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Topic – Treating Minor Injuries

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Treating Minor Injuries

Minor injuries can happen anytime—when you are playing a sport or game, when you are exercising, or when you are just fooling around with friends. It is important to know how to treat minor injuries so they get better faster. It is also very important to know when you should see a doctor.

Strains and Sprains

A strain is when a muscle has stretched too far and tears a little. A sprain is an injury to the ligaments that hold a muscle to a bone. Ligaments can stretch and tear, just like a muscle. If you think you have a strain or a sprain, stop your activity immediately so there is no pressure or weight on the injured part. To treat minor strains or sprains, follow the PRICE rule:

Protect the injured part from further injury.

Rest the injured part.

Ice or cold compresses should be applied several times a day to reduce swelling.

Compress the area with a splint or elastic bandage to prevent swelling. Do not make the bandage too tight, though.

Elevate the injured part so that it is above your heart.

When to see a doctor: You should see a doctor if the pain is very bad, you cannot move or put weight on the injured part, the injured area feels numb, you heard a popping sound when the injury occurred, or the injured part is oddly bent. Sometimes a bad sprain can really be a bone fracture so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Scrapes and Cuts

If you are bleeding, apply pressure to the cut or scrape for 5 to 10 minutes. The bleeding should stop by then. Wash the wound with plain water. Look carefully to see if there is anything in the wound. Put on an antiseptic ointment and cover with a bandage that will keep out air and water.

When to see a doctor: You should see a doctor if the wound does not stop bleeding after applying pressure; the cut has ragged edges or is very long or deep; or the wound begins to look red or infected, is draining pus, or becomes painful to touch.

Blisters

We usually do not think of blisters as an injury, but they are. Blisters can be very painful and stop you from doing many activities until they heal. If you get a blister, wash the area with soap and warm water. Apply a cold pack to reduce swelling. Keep the area around the blister clean and dry. Do not burst the blister. If the blister does break, put a bandage over it to keep the area clean.

When to see a doctor: Look for signs of infection. The blister might get hot, swell, become red, or become painful. There might be red streaks on the skin coming from the blister area. There might be pus or other fluid coming from the blister. You might get a fever. If any of these things happen, see a doctor right away.


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