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A Summer Rite of Passage

Summertime brings with it the rite of passage of bruised knees and scraped elbows. What fun is that rolling hill if it is not tumbled down at top speed? What is the possible purpose of pavement if one does not drop to it from one’s bike? Of course, this means horror and heartsink for parents!

Here are some tips on dealing with summer injuries:

  1. Bleeding from an even minor injury can create panic. Apply firm and direct pressure to the wound for ten minutes to stop the bleeding. When the bleeding has decreased, wash with water and examine the area. The actual wound may not be as dramatic as the bleeding led you to believe. If the bleeding does not stop it is important to seek medical attention. If there is sign of infection such as increasing redness, pus or fever, it is also important to seek attention.
  2. A sprain or a strain can occur when a muscle is stretched. The most common is an ankle sprain. There may be redness or swelling at the site. Apply the principle of RICE – rest, ice, compress with a tensor bandage, and elevate the area. If there is difficulty weight bearing or tenderness over the bone, seeking medical advice and possible imaging may be necessary.  Children have bones that are like the green twigs of a tree in spring. They may not break through and through but may have an injury called a green stick fracture. They also have bones that are growing so that fractures through an area of growth can require treatment.
  3. Always wear a helmet on bikes, skateboards and anything that makes you move faster than you walk!

Enjoy summer and the rough and tumble that it brings. Keep a first aid kit in the house, apply these principles and get back outdoors when things have healed!

Dr. Bhooma Bhayana is a family physician in London and the mother of two young men and grandmother of one lovely princess! She continues to find wonder and enjoyment in family practice despite more than 30 years on the job!


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