Treating Minor Illness During An Emergency
The disruption caused to services and life in general when there is a disaster or emergency can often make it likely that someone in the family will suffer from a minor illness. The lack of electricity means that refrigeration is gone and food will spoil quickly. Also, clean water may be hard to come by. If it is cold and supplemental heat is unavailable, respiratory illnesses are likely. Having a first aid kit on hand will help you to deal with these sicknesses more easily and help the patient recover more quickly.
Colds and Flu
Having either of these illnesses is never fun at any time, but treating them effectively becomes more important when you will not have the usual comforts and services. Keeping the patient warm if the season is cold is important, so having an alternative source of heat if you live in a northern area is vital. Make sure that the person who is ill has access to plenty of fluids, and if you have canned soups or dehydrated foods on hand, these make an excellent way not only to help with hydration, but will also offer nourishment.
Decongestants to assist with opening up the nasal passages and cough syrup to help clear up chest congestion should be included in your first aid kit to handle these illnesses.
Lack of your usual source of water during an emergency can cause definite problems if you have no emergency water supply and no reliable means to purify water. Digestive problems usually manifest themselves as diarrhea and/or vomiting. One of the best things to have on hand to deal with these problems is a soothing liquid such Pepto-Bismol can help to relive these symptoms quickly. When suffering from illnesses such as this, it is best not to give plain water, even if it has been purified to the patient. It is much wiser to give an energy drink such as Gatorade which will restore the electrolyte balance in the body, preventing dehydration.
Although aspirin can be administered to older people (older than teens), it is advisable to use acetaminophen for children and teenagers, as aspirin has been linked to Reyes syndrome in children suffering from viral illnesses. However, caution should be observed in using acetaminophen when the child has been vomiting or has diarrhea as even a normal dosage can result in liver damage.
If a child has a fever, try bathing their limbs in tepid water, this is often enough to lower the body temperature, and making sure that plenty of cool liquids are available will also help to bring the temperature down. Remember, too, that a fever is the body’s way of fighting bacteria and viruses, and as long as it is not too high, it will not be dangerous. A very high fever, of course, will need attention.
You should have an accurate thermometer on hand to allow you to monitor the temperature of anyone who is ill, and there are now very effective models on hand that are non-invasive and will give a reading simply by putting them onto the skin or into the ear. As these models are dependent on batteries, however, it would probably be a good idea to have an old-fashioned thermometer or two on hand as well.
A travel First Aid Kit is ideal for emergencies incase someone starts to feel under the weather. While things can get chaotic, this kit is easy to keep on hand to make sure your entire family is ready for anything.
Choking First Aid Instructions