Be prepared for accidents during the summer holidays

Be prepared for accidents during the summer holidays

9th July 2015
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With the summer holidays about to start in Leicestershire, the NHS is encouraging parents to plan ahead and make sure they are fully prepared for the inevitable knocks, scrapes and grazes.

More than two million children under the age of 15 experience accidents in and around the home every year. Those under four years of age have the most bumps due to a combination of developing dexterity, curiosity and spirit of adventure1. Some basic first aid knowledge and supplies will help you cope when accidents happen.

Dr Avi Prasad, GP and clinical lead for urgent care across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “The summer holidays are a wonderful time for children to play and have adventures. Being vigilant is part of being a parent and knowing what to do should your child need medical help takes the worry and panic out of the situation.

“Most injuries can be treated at home with a first aid kit and lots of cuddles so now’s a good time to check you have everything you need. Ask your local pharmacy if you’re unsure. They can give you advice about the types of over the counter treatments that are right for your child.”

A typical first aid kit should include:

• high factor sunscreen (SPF 50 provides the best protection) – this should be re-applied every couple of hours during a day in the sun, even if it’s cloudy or overcast. It’s especially important if your child is in and out of water.
• thermometer– digital thermometers that you put in your mouth produce very accurate readings; a thermometer placed under the arm is a good way to read a baby or young child's temperature. In children under five, a fever is considered to be a temperature higher than 37.5C (99.5F).
• antiseptic – this can be used to clean cuts before they're dressed (bandaged) and most can treat a range of conditions, including insect stings, ulcers and pimples; alcohol-free antiseptic wipes are useful to clean cuts.
• tweezers – for taking out splinters; if splinters are left in, they can cause discomfort and become infected.
• plasters – a range of sizes, waterproof if possible.
• sterile dressings – larger injuries should be covered with a sterile dressing to prevent infection until treatment can be given by a health professional.
• medical tape – this is used to secure dressings and can also be used to tape an injured finger to an uninjured one, creating a makeshift splint.
• bandages – these can support injured limbs, such as a sprained wrist, and also for applying direct pressure to larger cuts.
• eyewash solution – this will help wash out grit or dirt in the eyes.
• insect bite and nettle rash cream – good for reducing skin irritation if your child is bitten or stung.
• allergy medicine – your local pharmacy can advise you on the best type of allergy treatment for your child.
• cooling gel packs or flannels – dip in cold water and use as a compress if your child has a small bump to the head.
• coughs, colds and pain relief remedies - paracetamol or ibuprofen are good for relieving discomfort. However, avoid ibuprofen if your child has asthma, unless advised by your GP.

If you’re worried about your child’s injuries and unsure if they need medical help, you can call NHS 111, where you can seek advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For minor illnesses and injuries including, lacerations, stomach upsets, burns and strains, you can visit one of our urgent care centres, where you do not need an appointment. Details can be found at www.choosebetter.org.uk

Urgent care centres in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland:

Urgent Care Centre, Leicester Royal Infirmary
Infirmary Square, Leicester, LE1 5WW
24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Rutland Memorial Hospital
Cold Overton Road, Oakham, LE15 6NT
Mon-Fri 8.30am-9pm
Weekends/Bank Holidays 9am-7pm

Urgent Care Centre, Loughborough Hospital
Hospital Way, Loughborough, LE11 5JY
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Now with extended x-ray facilities
9am – 5pm weekdays, 10am – 6pm at weekends

Market Harborough District Hospital
Coventry Road, Market Harborough, LE16 9DD
Mon-Fri 8.30am-9pm
Weekends/Bank Holidays 9am-7pm

Melton Mowbray Hospital
Thorpe Road, Melton Mowbray, LE13 1SJ
Mon-Fri 5pm-9pm
Weekends/Bank Holidays 9am-7pm

Oadby Urgent Care Centre
18 The Parade, Oadby, LE2 5BJ
Mon-Fri 8am-9pm
Weekends/Bank Holidays 8am-8pm

Merlyn Vaz Walk-in Centre
Spinney Hill Road, Leicester, LE5 3GH
Mon-Sun 8am-8pm

You can find more information about what to do if your child has an accident at www.nhs.uk