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Saturday, September 20, 2008

What can you do about - Burns and Scalds

Burns and scalds are injuries to the tissues of the body caused by heat, electricity, cold, chemicals or radiation. A scald is a burn by 'wet heat' e.g. hot liquids, steam.

The depth of burns can be classified as :

Superficial burns - Only the outer layer of the skin is damaged. The skin feels hot and is red and painful with no blisters. For example, mild sunburn or a scald caused by a splash of hot tea.

Partial - thickness burns- The skin is red and very painful. It is associated with swelling and blisters.

Full - thickness burns - All layers of the skin are damaged. The skin looks pale, leathery or charred. It is painless because the nerves are damaged. Always seek Emergency medical attention immediately for such burns.

What you can do

# Immediately wash the burnt area under cold, running water for about 10 minutes or immerse the burnt area in a bucket of cold water. This is to lower the temperature of the skin and decrease the injury caused by the burn or scald.
Wash with Cold water

# Carefully remove any clothing (unless it is stuck to the burn) or accessories from the burnt area before any swelling develops.

# After cooling the burnt area, pat dry with a clean cloth.

# Cover the area with a clean or sterile dressing which will not stick to the burn such as food-wrap film. There are many appropriate dressing available at the pharmacy.

# Do not break a blister as germs may enter and cause infection. If a blister breaks on its own, do not remove the skin; wipe the fluid off before covering the area with a dry, non-adherent dressing.

When to see your doctor

See your family doctor when:

1. You need help with the dressing

2. The burn gets infected and results in fever, redness, swelling, increasing pain and pus formation

When it is an Emergency

Go to the Emergency Department:

1. It is a full-thickness burn or a large partial-thickness burn

2. The burn is in the mouth or throat, at the eyes, ears or genital area, or involves an entire finger or hand.

3. The burn is caused by a chemical substance

4. The burn is caused by electricity or lightning

5. The burnt area is of a larger area than a person's hand.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

What can you do about - Backache

For today lets look at backache. Backache is pain in the back occurring commonly at the neck or lower back.

Backache can be caused by

* Poor posture
* prolonged sitting, standing or bending
* lifting heavy loads incorrectly
* vigorous jerking or twisting of the trunk ( e.g during a slip or fall)
* pregnancy or mensuration

What you can do to -

1. Don't worry, most backaches due to back strain go away on their own within a few days

2. Apply a hot compress on the aching area for about 30 minutes once or twice a day

3. Gently message the aching area

4. Take painkillers such as paracetamol if necessary

5. Avoid activities that are likely to strain your back, e.g bending over

Ways to prevent backache

* Keep your trunk upright when walking or sitting
- when standing for long period, alternately rest your body
weight on one leg

place a cushion in the hollow of your back

- When sitting, place a cushion in the hollow of your back

* Sleeping on a firm mattress and avoid sleeping face down

* doing stretching exercises if you have to stand or sit for long

* Bending with your hips and knees, not with your back when you
want to lift heavy loads: hold the loads close to your body as
you straighten your knee to raise the load

* Exercise regularly

* Doing warm - ups before exercise

When to see your doctor

See your family doctor when you have :

1. pain that does not go away with rest and with usual
pain relieving medicine such as paracetamol.

2. Pain associated with urinary symptoms.

When is it an Emergency?

Go to the Emergency Department when

* The pain comes after a fall or blow to the spine

* The pain is severe ans associated with muscle weakness, muscle
spasms or difficulty in controlling bladder and bowel movements

* You have severe pain that travels down the back of your leg

* You have pain that worsens in spite of treatment by your family

* You have low back pain associated with bloody urine

* The back pain is associated with other pains, such as abdominal

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fancy Dress Costumes

Yesterday my niece took part in a fancy dress costume competition held at the community centre near her place. It is so sweet to see cute little boys and girls dressed up as pirates, spaceman, fairies, princess and many more.

Of course, heroes such as Batman and Superman were there too. One little boy dressed as a clown. I wonder whether he was trying to imitate the "Joker".

It is generally easier to dress up a toddler or young kids. For those who are teens or even adults, trying to find costumes is not such an easy task. Have you ever wanted to dress up your pet in a cute little costume?

I was checking through the net and came across this wonderful site, buycosumes.com, which offer a large variety of themed costumes designed for infants, children, adults and pets at very competitive prices.

With Halloween round the corner, most parents would have started to prepare the costumes for their kids. For those of us, who are not too handy with sewing, buycostumes.com has a special feature for Halloween.

Would you child like to dress up as one of the Pokemons or your toddler as a cute little lion? So many different costumes from the many TV show that are available. Starwars, Batman, Indiana Jones, Transformers, Power Rangers, Pokemon, Disney Pixar and the list goes on and on.

Don't worry, they have not left out the "Girls". Whether you have a infant, toddler, preschooler, teen or even adult, a wide variety of costumes are available for them too. Your toddler can be a cute little monkey, or any other "plush" animal. For your older children, you can choose from the lovely cosumes from Starwars, barbie, Disney fairies, High School Musical etc.

Even simple kids costumes could have an added zest through good use of accessories. Whether you are looking for blood and gore, guns and lasers, boots and shoes, fangs, teeth, cape or coats, jewelery, makeup or mask or any other accessory that you would need, there is such a wide variety available at buycostumes.com

If you are planning to have a themed party, do check out the site for the many different party supplies as well as decoration and props available.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

What can you do about common ailments

As a parent, at one time or another, we are likely to experience or notice our loved our experiencing common symptoms such as aches, runny nose or vomiting. In most cases, ones body can overcome the symptoms by applying simple self-care. However, at times, professional care is needed. Read the signs that your body gives you when you or your loved one is sick and decide whether you can use over- the counter medicines or need to see the doctor.

For the next few Fridays, I will touch on common ailments that affect us explaining about the symptoms, what to do for each ailments, how to prevent it, when to see the doctor and when it is an emergency. The information I am sharing is from a booklet from Health Promotion Board, Singapore. I have found the information very useful and would like to share it with my friends.

For today, lets look at : Abdominal Pain / Indigestion
Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain or indigestion can be due to

* Excessive acid in the stomach due to drinking, smoking, overeating and mental stress

* irritations caused by taking spicy food or medicines such as aspirin

* infection (bacterial or viral).

Symptom you should watch out for are:

* stomach discomfort or pain
*loss of appetite or unbearable hunger
*bloating and burping
*nausea and / or vomiting.

What you can do

* Avoid solid food on the first day of attack. Eat bland food such as porridge and bread.

* Take antacids or milk to ease the discomfort. Avoid coffee and alcohol.

* Rest and avoid stressful situations.

You can prevent indigestion by:

1. Taking you meals regularly

2. Not overeating

3. Quitting or cutting down on drinking alcohol or coffee and cigarette smoking

4. managing mental stress.

When to see your doctor
See your family doctor

See your family doctor when:

* The symptoms occur regularly
* There is pain or vomiting that lasts more than a few hours
* There is significant loss or weight.

When it is an emergency

Go to the Emergency Department when:

* The symptoms do not subside in spite of medication given by your family doctor

* The symptoms are associated with sweating, breathlessness or nausea

* Vomiting does not subside

* Stools are bloody or black in colour

* There is blood in the vomitus

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