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      You Can Save A Life

      Most of us are not first responders, those heroes who come on the scene of an emergency and handle it with just the right action to save lives. But there are some critical skills that we all can learn to apply in life-threatening situations. These will help keep the victim alive until the first responders arrive.


      How to help someone who is not breathing and unconscious


      When someone stops breathing, the brain and cells are deprived of oxygen. The brain, in particular, is dependent on oxygen to perform its basic functions. When it doesn’t receive oxygen, damage begins to set in. According to SpinalCord.com, the following occurs:

      • Between 30-180 seconds of oxygen deprivation, you may lose consciousness.
      • At the one-minute mark, brain cells begin dying.
      • At three minutes, neurons suffer more extensive damage, and lasting brain damage becomes more likely.
      • At five minutes, death becomes imminent.
      • At 10 minutes, even if the brain remains alive, a coma and lasting brain damage are almost inevitable.
      • At 15 minutes, survival becomes nearly impossible.

      So it is of the utmost importance to help an unconscious person who is not breathing with CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation). CPR can be done two ways, depending on the circumstance and the person involved: chest compressions with rescue breath and just chest compressions by themselves. There are also different procedures depending on whether the person is an infant, a child or an adult.


      How to help someone who is choking


      It can happen that a particle of food or other small item accidentally gets lodged in a person’s respiratory tract and blocks the air flow into the lungs. The person cannot breathe, and if the particle isn’t quickly removed, he will go into respiratory arrest, which means he will stop breathing. The main symptom for someone who is choking is an inability to breathe or talk. He may also cough, or, in very severe cases, start turning blue from lack of oxygen.


      When you observe these symptoms, you can help dislodge the particle by alternating between 5 blows between the shoulder blades and 5 thrusts of the Heimlich Maneuver, which is strong pressure applied to the person’s abdomen to help dislodge the particle from his windpipe.


      How to help someone who is bleeding severely


      Severe blood loss can result from serious cuts, puncture wounds or blunt trauma. According to Healthline.Com: “If too much blood volume is lost, a condition known as hypovolemic shock can occur. Hypovolemic shock is a medical emergency in which severe blood and fluid loss impedes the heart to pump sufficient blood to the body. As a result, tissues cannot get enough oxygen, leading to tissue and organ damage.” And death.


      It is particularly important to recognize when someone is bleeding from an artery because he could bleed out and die within minutes. You know that the blood is coming from a ruptured artery when it is bright red and seems to spurt out in pulses.


      Severe bleeding is stopped by putting pressure on the wound, ideally by holding a sterile cloth or gauze on it. But anything made out of fabric will do in an emergency. If possible, raise the wounded limb over the heart to help slow down the blood flow. In the case of an arterial bleed, do not remove the pressure until medical professionals arrive.


      You can help


      You may not be a first responder, but you can help even in these life-threatening emergencies. All it takes is willingness to help and some training. The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association offer a variety of courses that teach you how to perform CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver and Emergency First-Aid. Check them out to see which ones fit your needs.


      Proper training and preparation will give you the skill and the self-assurance to perform these procedures. And having a well-stocked emergency kit will ensure that you have the necessary materials, such as sterile gauze pads or a CPR mask, to hand.

      Include Instant Cold Packs In Your First Aid Kit

      “Just put some ice on it”. How often have we heard that phrase? Or even said it? Somehow we just know that cooling some injuries makes them feel better. But which injuries? And why does it work?

      Injuries that respond to cold treatment

      Bruises happen when the small blood vessels under the skin break and blood seeps into the surrounding tissue. This usually happens as a result of falling, bumping into something or getting hit by a blunt object.

      Insect bites and stings can come from yellow jackets, honey bees, wasps, hornets, fire ants, mosquitos and spiders.

      Strains happen when a muscle, or the tendon that attaches the muscle to the bone, gets damaged. Strains usually occur in the neck, back, thigh or calf when muscles get stretched in unusual or unexpected ways. They are accompanied by pain and possible bruising.

      Sprains happen when ligaments are injured as a result of stumbles or falls. Ligaments are the elastic tissues in the joints of the ankles, knees, wrists or elbows. The joints will swell or bruise.

      How A Cold Pack Works

      Cold packs provide relief because they reduce bleeding when the cold constricts the blood vessels. The cold also reduces inflammation and muscle spasms.

      Cold packs can be made from ice cubes or even frozen foods stored in the freezer. Or you could be a bit more fancy and have a gel pack stored in the freezer in case you need it.

      But what if you are on the road? Or out of ice? Or have eaten the last of the frozen vegetables? Your best bet is an Instant Cold Pack. This pack contains chemicals that turn cold instantly when the pack is hit or shaken up.

      And the best place to keep one is in your First Aid Kit. That way you always know right where it is and have instant access to it. In fact, you should keep several Instant Cold Packs in your kit, and make sure that you replenish them after you use them.

      How to Use the Cold Pack

      1. Activate the Instant Cold Pack.
      2. Place the cold pack on the injured area. Be sure to place a cloth or thin towel between the pack and the skin to protect it. The cold pack should last for 20 minutes.
      3. If possible, elevate the area of the injury. This also helps limit bruising or swelling because it reduces the amount of blood flowing to the area.

      You will want to continue treating the area with cold therapy for the next 48 hours for maximum benefit. So keep additional Instant Cold Packs around or use some of the other options listed above.

      Be alert for any signs of infection, such as fever, or allergic reactions to stings or bites and seek medical care immediately.

      So go ahead and put some ice on it. You will feel better fast!

      Tips For Treating Minor Or First-Degree Burns

      Burns can happen quickly. Too much time in the sun without proper sunscreen application. A moment of inattention while curling your hair. Your child accidentally tipping over your hot tea on himself when he rushes to hug you. But you can be prepared to handle any burn emergency by implementing some of the prevention tips listed below and knowing just what to do in the event of a burn.

      Types of Burns

      You can be burned in a variety of ways. There are thermal burns caused by heat - either through scalding from hot liquids or from contact with flames or hot objects. There are electrical burns caused by direct contact with electricity - such as touching a live wire or sticking something in an outlet. And there are chemical burns resulting from ingesting or touching a chemical substance - such as swallowing things like drain cleaner or spilling chemicals such as bleach on the skin.

      Burns generally fall into three categories.

      First-degree burns are the mildest form of burn and affect the top layer of the skin. The symptoms include swelling, redness and pain. The skin may be tender to the touch.

      Second-degree burns also affect the skin layers beneath the top layer. They produce blisters which can break open, leaving the area looking wet. Other symptoms include severe pain and redness.

      Third-degree burns affect all the layers of the skin and the underlying tissue. This most serious type of burn leaves the top layer of skin looking waxy white or leathery brown or charred. Because there may be some nerve damage, the area may feel numb.

      This article will focus on first-degree thermal burns.

      Call 9-1-1 Immediately if:

      • The burn goes through all the levels of the skin
      • The skin is leathery, charred looking or has white brown or black patches
      • The burn is larger than 3 inches
      • The burn covers the hands, feet, face, genitals or a major joint
      • The person is an infant or a senior

      How to treat a first-degree burn:

      According to WebMd, the first thing to do in any burn situation is to stop the burning immediately. This means stopping the person’s contact with the burning material, be it a hot liquid, steam, etc. In the case of fire, help the person “stop, drop, and roll” to put out the flames. Then remove all smoldering material from the person, including clothing. If the clothing sticks to the skin in some part, cut around it. Also, immediately remove any constrictive clothing or jewelry because the burn can swell quickly.

      Then follow these steps:

      1. Cool the burn. This can be done by holding the skin under cool (not cold) water or immersing it into cool water until the pain goes down. If there is no running water, use cool compresses.
      1. Protect the burn. Cover it with a sterile, non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth.
      1. Treat the pain with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol) or naproxen (Aleve).

      The burn should heal within a week.

      To help the skin heal and prevent scarring, you can use antibiotic ointments or home remedies such as aloe vera and honey.

      See a doctor if:

      • There are signs of infection: increased pain, redness, swelling, fever or oozing or red streaks running through the skin near the wound
      • The person needs a tetanus or booster shot
      • The burn blister is more than two inches across and oozes
      • Redness and pain last for more than a few hours
      • The pain gets worse

      How to help prevent thermal burns

      Here are some simple steps to take to help prevent thermal burns.

      1. Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children.
      2. Use a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer.
      3. Use care when using irons, flat irons, curling irons or other heated appliances.
      4. Help prevent fires by installing smoke alarms and maintaining them properly.
      5. Don’t smoke in the house, or when tired or taking medication that causes drowsiness.
      6. Don’t use fireworks or sparklers.
      7. Set the thermostat on the hot water heater to 120℉. Higher temperatures can scald the skin.
      8. When cooking turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.
      9. Keep hot foods and drinks out of the reach of children.
      10. Put a screen on fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. If there are young children in the house, screen radiators and electric baseboard heaters.
      11. When it is  hot outside, check playground equipment before using. Better yet, use it only in the morning before it has a chance to get hot.
      12. Hide the metal latch of the seatbelt in the seat to prevent the sun from heating it directly.
      13. Apply sunscreen when going outside. And limit direct sun exposure.

      Minor burns can happen quickly and unexpectedly. You can be prepared to handle them by using basic first aid techniques and the supplies found in a good emergency kit. Having one handy in your home and in your car will allow you to handle a burn emergency with confidence.

      Stay Cool This Summer And Avoid Heat Illness

      Summer is here. With temperatures on the rise we need to know how to stay safe in the heat and how to help our friends and family if they should suffer from a heat illness.

      Our bodies naturally produce heat. And they have a built-in safety system to cool off: sweat. As sweat evaporates off our skins, our bodies’ temperatures drop. But when the external temperatures and humidity rise, our bodies can’t keep up. Sweating alone is not enough and we may overheat and develop heat illness.

      Who Is At Risk?

      • Older adults
      • Young children
      • People who are overweight
      • People who overexert themselves during exercise, play or work
      • People who are physically ill, especially those with high blood pressure or heart disease
      • People who take certain medications, such as those for depression, insomnia or poor circulation

      Types of Heat Illness

      There are four main types of heat illness.

      • Heat rash - a skin irritation from excessive sweating. This is most common in young children.
      • Heat cramps - muscle pains or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs. These usually occur during heavy exercise because the body loses salts and fluids when it sweats.
      • Heat exhaustion - this illness may come on after several days of exposure to high temperatures and dehydration. Symptoms include heavy sweating, rapid breathing, a fast, weak pulse, weakness, fainting, muscle cramps, nausea and/or vomiting, irritability, headache, cool clammy skin and increased body temperature (under 104°).
      • Heat stroke - this is a life-threatening illness where body temperatures may rise above 106°. This could cause brain damage or even death if it isn’t treated. Symptoms include no sweating; flushed, hot, dry skin; a rapid, strong pulse and breathing, dizziness; weakness; nausea; confusion; severe headache; loss of consciousness; seizure.

      How To Help Someone With A Heat Illness

      Here are some tips on how what you can do to help someone who has a heat illness.

      • Heat rash - This condition will usually go away on its own in a few days. Encourage the person not to scratch the rash. Keep the affected area dry. And try to keep the person in a cooler, less humid place.
      • Heat cramps - Have the person stop the exercise or activity and rest in a cool place Encourage him to drink fluids, especially ones with salt and sugar, such as sports drinks. Gently stretch and massage the muscles.
      • Heat exhaustion - Move the person to a cooler place indoors or a shady area. Remove any excess clothing. Encourage the person to drink cool fluids containing salt and sugar, such as sports drinks. Put a cool, wet cloth or cool water on the skin. Call the doctor for advice. If left untreated, it could turn into heat stroke.
      • Heat stroke - Call for emergency medical help immediately. While waiting for the help, get the person indoors or into the shade. Remove as much clothing as possible and sponge off with cool water.

      How To Prevent Heat Illness

      Do the following to help prevent heat illness.

    • Stay Cool
        • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
        • As much as possible, stay in cool, air-conditioned places when the temperatures soar
        • Schedule your outdoor activities to take place when it is cooler - in the mornings and the evenings
        • Don’t overexert yourself - dial back on intense activities and rest in cool, shady places often
        • Wear sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses
        • Eat light meals more frequently throughout the day
    • Stay Hydrated
        • Drink fluids frequently throughout the day - not just when you are thirsty - but stay away from very sugary or alcoholic drinks because these actually make you lose more body fluid.
        • Replace salt and minerals lost from sweating. This can be done by drinking sports drinks, taking cell salts or mixing electrolyte powder into water.

      Following these guidelines will help you keep yourself and your family and friends safe this summer. Keep this guide posted on the refrigerator for reference. And keep an emergency kit with a thermometer, instant cold compresses and electrolyte powder handy in your home, at the office and in your car. That way you will be prepared to handle any heat illness if it arises.

      Keeping Your Home And Family Safe

      Our home is our haven. It is that safe space in a tumultuous world where we can regroup
      and connect with our spouses, our children, our families. It is part of the foundation from
      which we create our future. Yet even our home contains safety hazards that can potentially
      destroy the safe environment we work so hard to create. A
       2015 report published by Safe
      Kids Worldwide states that more than 10,000 children are seen in emergency departments
      every day for injuries that commonly happen in the home.

      Fortunately there are many simple things we can do to keep our families safe. Here is a short list.

      Prevent Falls

      • Stabilize staircases by ensuring they have solid handrails, secure flooring, adequate lighting and safety gates, if there are small children in the home
      • Clear all debris from outside stairs and provide secured mats to make the surface less slippery.
      • In the bathroom, secure rugs and put non-slip stickers on tub or shower floors. Install handrails to help the elderly or very young get in and out of tub or shower.
      • Provide a space where toys and active gear, such as skateboards and sports equipment, can be stored so nobody can trip over them.
      • Secure windows by installing window guards or window stops.

      To prevent shelving or TVs from falling, secure them to the wall with brackets, braces, mounts or wall straps.

      Prevent Fires

      • Install fire alarms on every level of your home and check the batteries at least one a year.
      • Ensure candles and matches are out of reach of children. Do not leave lit candles unattended.
      • Unplug small appliances when they are not in use. Also, make sure that all appliances work well and do not have frayed cords. Don’t overload electrical outlets.
      • Keep a fire extinguisher handy in your kitchen or by the fireplace and check it once a year to ensure it is still working.

      In case a fire does occur, have a home fire escape plan. Drill it regularly.

      Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

      • Install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home.
      • Prevent leaks by having any appliances that use gas, oil or coal (such as an HVAC system or water heater) serviced by a professional every year.

      Prevent Choking

      • Ensure toys don’t have any loose parts.
      • Keep small items, such as the ever-popular tiny toys, nuts or hard candies out of reach so that small children can’t get to them.
      • Use a baby monitor to listen in for signs of choking when children are playing in another room.
      • For children under the age of four, cut up any food that can block the airways.

      Prevent Cuts

      • So small children and pets can’t cut themselves on opened cans and lids or other sharp things that are thrown away, use a locking garbage can.
      • Properly store all sharp kitchen tools, razors, scissors and all yard tools out of the reach of young children.

      Prevent Poisoning

      • Store the following items out of sight and out of reach: medications and supplements, paint, household cleaners, pesticides, turpentine, detergent and all personal care products. Use safety locks on cabinets, drawers and cupboards.

      Prevent Strangling

      • For cords on window blinds, either trim, remove or wrap them up using special hooks.

      Prevent Drowning

      • Always stay with a child when he or she is around a water source - be it the bathtub, the pool or a sprinkler. And always close the toilet lid and don’t leave buckets of water standing about.

      Prevent Burns and Shocks

      • Ensure the dishwasher is securely latched at all times.
      • Use the back burners when children are present while you are cooking.
      • Put on stove knob covers so young children can’t turn on burners.
      • Cover electrical outlets.

      Always Be Prepared

      Follow these tips to safeguard your family. And in the event that an accident does happen, be prepared. Have to hand an first aid kit that will allow you to quickly and calmly tend to the injury or emergency.

      There is much information about home safety. Please check out the following websites for further data, tips and how-tos.