You are enjoying the great outdoors but what happens if while camping something goes wrong? If you have some basic first aid tips up your sleeve it will go a long way towards helping out.
As we know, camping is one of the great Australian holiday traditions and for those who can live without many of life’s luxuries, there is no better way to enjoy our magnificent beaches and parks. Time away often means BBQ’s and camp fires, which makes us more susceptible to burns.
Dan Coad, Red Cross National first aid advisor provides the following tips:
- The faster and longer a burn is cooled using cool running water, the less damage is done.
- For severe burns that require further medical assistance, cover after cooling with plastic wrap or a clean plastic bag.
- Do not use dressings as they will stick to the wound.
- Butters, creams and ointments will add further heat to a burn so they should be avoided all together.
If bitten or stung:
- First look for a bite mark or stinger, and any swelling.
- Remove the stinger with flat card making sure you don’t inject more venom.
- Wash the wound with soap and water and cover with a clean dressing and apply an ice or cold pack.
- Call 000 if the person appears to be having an allergic or anaphylactic reaction.
- If it’s a snake bite, the person who has been bitten will usually feel pain, look for fang marks or swelling.
- Call 000 immediately if you suspect the person has been bitten by a venomous snake.
- Ensure you calm and reassure the person and keep them still.
- Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage to the affected area.
- Start by covering the bite and moving the bandage to the edges of the bite area, and then back up to the top of the limb marking the bite site on the outside of the bandage and immobilise the extremities.
- Keep the bitten part still and try to lower the person’s heart rate by keeping them calm and still unless it is absolutely necessary to move them.
- Contrary to popular belief, do not apply ice or a tourniquet to a venomous snake bite, do not cut the wound and do not apply suction to try and remove venom.
To find out more about the treatment of burns or venomous snake bites download a Red Cross first aid mobile app through Google Play or the App Store. Always take a Red Cross first aid kit in the car or caravan and better still book into a Red Cross first aid training course for 2014.
Purchase a Red Cross first aid kit online, or to book your first aid training course for 2014 go online to or call 1300 367 428.