While camping is typically pretty safe, sometimes those small injuries are unavoidable. Because you are in the wilderness, you will have to deal with some added hazards that are uncommon to everyday life. These minor dangers can include insect bites or stings, sunburns, campfire burns, and poison ivy rashes. Before leaving for your camping trip, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with some basic first aid procedures in case of slight accidents. This way you will be completely prepared if a situation occurs and everyone will be able to quickly resume enjoying their vacation and having a wonderful time. For problems that involve your health and wellbeing, it is always best to be safe rather than sorry. That is why you should review the following tips for how to deal with various situations that may occur on your camping trip.
Minor cuts and scrapes
If you have fallen or somehow scratched or cut a body part, it is important to first completely stop the bleeding and clean the infected area. For cuts that won’t stop bleeding on their own, you can apply light pressure to help the process along. After all bleeding has ceased, clean the wound thoroughly with cool, running water. An antibiotic like Neosporin can be applied before covering the cut with a bandage.
Untreated bruises can be irritating and painful. While there is no real way to make a bruise disappear altogether, steps can be taken to help decrease swelling and discomfort. Applying ice to the bruised area for about 15 minutes at a time will aid in numbing the area and keep it from swelling. You can stop swelling further by elevating the bruised limb. Acetaminophens like Tylenol are ideal for reducing pain.
Even tiny burns can be extremely painful. The best and quickest way to stop the pain from a burn is to run cool water directly over the burned area. If you have burned a large part of your body and blisters are forming, you should seek professional medical attention. If the burn is small and minimal swelling and redness are present, it is okay to self-treat your injury. Clean and dry the burn and apply an antibiotic ointment before covering the burn with a sterile bandage.
It is very easy to misjudge the intensity of the burning sun which is why many campers unfortunately experience sunburn. The best way to prevent sunburn is by applying sunscreen over exposed body parts throughout the day or by wearing protective apparel like hats. If you need to treat sunburn, the best way of doing so is by applying a topical cream like Aloe Vera and staying hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Sometimes it can be hard to spot this annoying plant until it is too late. If you’ve stepped on or accidentally picked up a poison ivy plant, you will most likely experience a rash which causes itching and irritation. There are ointments specially designed to treat poison ivy rashes but if none of these are available to you, applying a cold compress will help relieve symptoms until an ointment becomes available.
While these tips can come in handy for minor injuries, it is crucial to contact emergency services in case of any major accidents. Profuse bleeding, extensive burns, and any allergic reactions cannot be properly cared for unless attended for by a trained professional. If you are in doubt and unsure if professional medical attention is necessary, don’t risk it and call for help anyway.
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