Guest Author - Erik Moeller
When October arrives we are pretty much through the summer camping season- summer camp, day camps and Philmont treks are all over. But Scouts still go to campouts, kids are playing sports, football season is underway. All of these activities mean that adults need to be vigilant for injuries and emergencies that are developed during these activities.
The injuries at summer camp are often different than injuries received at other times of the year. As Scouters we may be attuned to camping injuries and less attuned to other injuries. A couple of examples of questions we don’t often ask ourselves include:
Your Teenager falls and knocks out one of his teeth- What action do you take?
You are in the checkout line at the grocery store and the child in front of you starts to have a seizure. What do you do?
Your son is walking through the neighbor’s yard and starts to jump around and scream. He walked on an ant mound. His ankles and feet have red, swollen blisters. What should you do?
You remove a tick from your son’s arm. Should you put him on antibiotics to prevent Lyme Disease?
Your son is rollerblading and falls on his wrist. There is a little swelling, but it hurts to touch or move it. Is ice enough?
As parents and Scouters, we all have run into these situations. Many of them are no the kind of situations we think about in the normal Scout first aid situations. All of them are the kind of situation we might encounter on any day.
How do we become more First Aid conscious? In the Navy we had “an emergency of the day.” The Safety Officer presented us each day with an emergency situation and we had to review the proper procedure and response to that situation. Perhaps your troop or den or crew can have a First Aid Officer. At each meeting he or she could be responsible for presenting a situation that the group would have to work through. The type of injury or emergency could be determined by the group’s level of First Aid training and experience. In addition to teaching procedures, this process would continually have the group in a “First Aid frame of mind.”
There is a First Aid quiz that goes with this article. Several of the questions were taken for the quiz at keepkidshealthy.com. A link to the site is provided below in case you would like additional information related to First Aid or wanted to use their quiz for additional questions.