While there is absolutely no substitute for thorough, professional first aid training, having a few handy first aid tricks in your pocket can make life much easier. Here are a few helpful tips:
Bug bites are very common. Most bites are from mosquitos, spiders, scorpions, ticks, or bees. Certain insects (particularly bees and ticks) have specific treatments associated with their stings, but following these general rules will help with almost all bug bites: (1) Remove a stinger if there is one; (2) Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off; (3) beware of signs of possible anaphylaxis, such as shortness of breath, excessive swelling or itching, heart palpitations, dizziness, weakness, or reddening of the skin. If the bug is dead and nearby, carefully pick it up in case you need it to be identified for proper treatment.
Especially when traveling, diarrhea is a common and frustrating condition that we all must deal with at some point. In most cases, diarrhea will go away on its own and no medical treatment will be necessary. If your diarrhea lasts for several days or comes and goes regularly, you should see a doctor for a more thorough treatment plan. For a regular bout of diarrhea, follow these suggestions: (1) Stay hydrated by drinking clear liquids and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and milk; (2) Eat yogurt for probiotics and extra nutrients; (3) Avoid medications that will restrict your bowel movements—your body is trying to get rid of something, so it’s best to let things run their course.
Bloody noses are a common part of childhood, and there have been recent changes in the way you are instructed to deal with them. Follow these guidelines to help reduce and stop a minor bloody nose: (1) Lean forward, not back, to be sure the blood does not go down the windpipe or into the stomach; (2) Pinch the nose to encourage the blood flow to slow and stop; (3) Use ice or an ice pack to slow bleeding; (4) Discourage nose blowing to keep the blood from coming out excessively. If a bloody nose does not stop within a few minutes, it is best to see a doctor.
Certain types of nausea may not be completely avoidable (such as motion sickness or morning sickness during pregnancy), but there are ways you can curb the nausea and keep it from escalating. Follow these tips to help reduce nausea: (1) Take slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth; (2) Take B6 or ginger supplements, or chew on some raw ginger; (3) Take anti-nausea medications as prescribed by a doctor or in over-the-counter forms.