Sometimes, everyday items can become lifesavers, helping you address various challenges when medical supplies or equipment are scarce. Tiny Hearts Education and former paramedic Nikki Jurcotz has shared three everyday items that every parent should have in their home, in the event of an emergency.
All emergencies require medical attention but these household items can act as an important first step before your child gets the necessary treatment.
Honey has so many uses, some stemming from thousands of years of history but recently it’s been confirmed that honey may save your child’s life if they swallow a button battery. If someone swallows a button battery, taking honey directly after can lessen the chances of oesophageal burns.
Nikki shared a video on TikTok showcasing just how much of a difference honey can make. She also shares with 7News:
Button battery ingestion is a serious medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention. Honey can make a significant difference in the damage caused.
However using honey as first aid treatment isn’t part of the guideline treatment in Australia (yet!), but other countries such as America have implemented the guideline ‘10mL of honey for every 10 minutes for children over one years old. Do NOT delay getting to the hospital to give honey.”
@tinyheartseducation They’re small, dangerous (when swallowed) and they’re hiding in kids toys and books. Button Batteries🚨 It’s so important to know the first aid management for the different accidents our little ones can get into including what to do if they ever swallow a button battery. From this experiment you can see how the simple act of giving honey can have a huge protective effect on the damage done if this were ever to happen to your child. The first aid you do before you reach the hospital, can make all the difference. If you suspect your child has swallowed a button battery call 000 if there are any red flags, if no red flags call the poisons information hotline (13 11 26). Share this info around so other parents know exactly what they need to do if this ever happens to their little one. #buttonbattery #buttonbatteries #childsafety #toysafety #kidstoys #firstaid #honey ♬ Paper Birds (3 min) – Jordan Halpern Schwartz
Keep in mind that if your child swallows a button battery they will require immediate medical attention so a trip to the ED is a must.
Read more about button battery safety.
Not only great for covering food, but cling wrap can also be a lifesaver in the event of burn injuries.
Laying the wrap over the burn – don’t wrap the limb because of swelling – protects the skin until medical help arrives and because it’s non-stick, it doesn’t damage the skin further when it is removed. It can also be used to immobilise arm fractures and as a bandage, until a cloth one can be found.
Nikki said the cling wrap should be used to cover the burn instead of wrapping around the limb.
This is because after a burn the limb will swell, so if the cling wrap has been wrapped around the burn it can swell underneath that wrapping,” she explained. “The cling wrap is used to protect the burn until it can be assessed by a medical professional. It’s good because it’s non-stick so won’t cause more damage to the burn when peeled off.”
Hair removal cream
If a child has a tourniquet, which is when a strand of hair wraps tightly around fingers or toes, Nikki suggests applying hair removal cream in the area.
Using hair removal cream can be a quick way to get rid of the hair and possibly prevent the need for emergency services – if the hair hasn’t cut into the skin already. The depilatory cream dissolves the hair making for easy removal.
If the tourniquet doesn’t appear too deep and there isn’t damage to the skin, you can try this treatment,” she said.
Apply a small amount of hair removal cream to the area and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water. If hair remains wrapped, take your child to the emergency department immediately.
More household items to use as first aid
Here are some additional everyday items that can be transformed into valuable tools and makeshift medical aids to mitigate a wide range of predicaments.
Beyond its common culinary use, vinegar can prove surprisingly versatile around the household. It can be used to mitigate the discomfort caused by jellyfish stings and certain insect bites and keeping some in a spray bottle for trips to the beach is a great idea.
Applying vinegar to the affected area can offer relief and alleviate the severity of the stinging.
Among asthmatics, coffee is recognised for its capacity to act as a mild bronchodilator. It provides temporary relief from asthma symptoms, expanding the airways in the lungs by relaxing the smooth muscles in the bronchial tubes for up to two hours.
Eucalyptus Chest Rub
This pleasantly scented ointment, commonly used to soothe coughs and relieve congestion, boasts a range of unexpected applications. It can also serve as an effective remedy for soothing cracked heels, addressing insect bites, aiding in pet potty training, discouraging cats from scratching, and alleviating headaches by rubbing a small amount on the temples.
Pantyhose or Stockings
The elasticity and durability of pantyhose and stockings make them valuable resources in emergencies. They can be ingeniously repurposed as makeshift tourniquets or utilised to secure bandages in place, aiding in the management of wounds and injuries.
In urgent situations, super glue can come to the rescue for minor cuts and wounds. Its adhesive properties enable effective wound closure, preventing infection and facilitating the healing process. Interestingly, it is even used in emergency rooms for the treatment of small cuts and abrasions.
While typically employed for brewing your morning coffee, coffee filters can serve alternative purposes. They can be utilised as makeshift wound dressings, offering protective and absorbent properties, making them valuable in emergencies.
Toothpaste extends its utility beyond dental hygiene, as it can provide temporary relief from the itching and burning sensations induced by minor burns or insect bites. A small application of toothpaste to the affected area can alleviate discomfort until proper medical care is accessible.
Pads and tampons can serve invaluable roles in emergencies involving blood. A tampon can be cut in half and inserted into the nose to stem a nosebleed or unravelled and used as an improvised wound dressing for minor cuts. Pads are suitable for larger wounds and can be stacked if necessary.
Known for their primary role in safe sex, condoms are remarkably versatile during emergencies by serving as effective covers for wounds, aiding in the maintenance of cleanliness and reducing the risk of infection.
Aside from science fun in the home, bi-carb soda has a multitude of uses. It can be made into a paste and helpful in drawing splinters out. A half a teaspoon in a glass of water can act as an antacid to relieve heartburn. A paste can also be used to alleviate insect bites.
This is probably the most universal thing ever invented. It can be rolled into strips and used as a makeshift splint. It can be used to fashion a bandage to keep a wound cover in place.
In times of crisis, resourcefulness and adaptability become paramount. These innovative uses for common items emphasise the importance of making the most of what’s available to ensure your safety and well-being when conventional solutions are not at hand. Remember that while these makeshift solutions can be helpful, they are not substitutes for professional medical care or proper emergency equipment. Always seek medical assistance when available and prioritise safety in all situations.