• Avoiding common hand injuries in the festive season

    Red Christmas TreeIt’s that time of year again when one is able to relax and enjoy oneself by celebrating with friends and family. Often activities at this time of year result in injuries that can be easily avoided. The following are a few tips to prevent injuries to yourself or to your family as well as some information on how to respond to an injury:

    Burns
    Burns can occur easily whilst preparing a Christmas feast or braaiing. Burns also often occur when a child is left unattended near a fire or stove.

      Prevention of burn injuries
    • Always wear oven gloves when removing objects from the oven
    • Turn handles of pots inwards
    • Be careful of steam from boiling pots
    • Hot oil must always be monitored
    • Never leave your child unattended in the kitchen
    • Never leave the kettle/electronic cords loose and within reach of children
    • Never leave a child unattended in an area with a plug socket or cover the socket with a safety cap
      What to do when a burn injury has occurred
    • Run cold water over the injured area for 20 minutes
    • Do not place ice on the wound
    • Do not place cream or oily substances on the wound e.g. Butter
    • Wrap the injured person in something warm but do not place this over the wound
    • Call an ambulance or go to the emergency room if blisters form or if the wound is white and charred

    Firecracker Injuries
    This type of injury is far more common than you may think. Over the festive season, a
    common form of celebration is to set off firecrackers BUT this may result in a serious
    injury to the hand or other body part. One who sustains this type of injury may need
    extended surgeries or even amputations.

      Precautions
    • Do not allow your children to play with firecrackers (even the small firecrackers)
    • Sparklers reach great temperatures and can cause severe burn injuries and can even set clothes alight
    • Keep a safe distance from any firecracker which may be set off
    • Do not use firecrackers if it is illegal within your area
    • Only people who are experienced in firecracker exhibitions should be setting off firecrackers
      What to do when a firecracker injury has occurred
    • Do not try any home remedies on the wound
    • Call an ambulance or rush the individual to the emergency room

    Emergency Numbers
    Emergencies: 10111
    Ambulance: 10177
    Emergency off cell number: 112
    Police: 1011

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