Children should be taught the following modes of saving: life, health, and limbs in cases of sudden emergency, before a medical adviser can be summoned.
In case of a common cut, bind the lips of the wound together with a rag, and put on nothing else. If it is large, lay narrow strips of sticking-plaster obliquely across the wound. In some cases it is needful to draw a needle and thread through the lips of the wound, and tie the two sides together.
If an artery be cut, it must be tied as quickly as possible, or the person will soon bleed to death. The blood from an artery is a brighter red than that from the veins, and spirts out in jets at each beat of the heart. Take hold of the end of the artery and tie it or hold it tight till a surgeon comes. In this case, and in all cases of bad wounds that bleed much, tie a tio:ht bandage near and above the wound, inserting: a stick into the bandage and twisting as tight as can be borne, to stop the immediate effusion of blood.
Bathe bad bruises in hot water. Arnica-water hastens a cure, but is injurious and weakening to the parts when used too long and too freely.
A sprain is relieved from the first pains by hot fomentations, or the application of very hot bandages, but entire rest is the chief permanent remedy. The more the limb is used, especially at first, the longer the time required for the small broken fibres to knit together. The sprained leg should be kept in a horizontal position. When a leg is broken, tie it to the other leg, to keep it still till a surgeon comes. Tie a broken arm to a piece of thin wood, to keep it still till set.
In the case of bad burns that take off the skin, creosote-water is the best remedy. If this is not at hand, wood-soot (not coal,) pounded, sifted, and mixed with lard, is nearly as good, as such soot contains creosote. When a dressing is put on, do not remove it till a skin is formed under it. If nothing else is at hand for a bad burn, sprinkle flour over the place where the skin is off, and then let it remain, protected by a bandage. The chief aim is to keep the part without skin from the air.
In case of drowning, the aim should be to clear the throat, mouth, and nostrils, and then produce the natural action of the lungs in breathing as soon as possible, at the same time removing wet clothes and applying warmth and friction to the skin, especially the hands and feet, to start the circulation. The best mode of cleansing the throat and mouth of choking water is to lay the person on the face, and raise the head a little, clearing the mouth and nostrils with the finger, and then apply hartshorn or camphor to the nose. This is safer and surer than a common mode of lifting the body by the feet, or rolling on a barrel to empty out the water.
To start the action of the lungs, first lay the person on the face and press the back along the spine to expel all air from the lungs. Then turn the body nearly, but not quite over on to the back, thus opening the chest so that the air will rush in if the mouth is kept open. Then turn the body to the face again and expel the air, and then again nearly over on to the back; and so continue for a long time. Friction, dry and warm clothing, and warm applications, should be used in connection with this process. This is a much better mode than using bellows, which sometimes will close the opening to the windpipe. The above is the mode recommended by Dr. Marshall Hall, and is approved by the best medical authorities.
Certain articles are often kept in the house for cooking or medical purposes, and sometimes by mistake are taken in quantities that are poisonous.
Soda, Saleratus, Potash, or any other alkali, can be rendered harmless in the stomach by vinegar, tomato-juice, or any other acid. If sulphuric or oxalic acid are taken, pounded chalk in water is the best antidote. If those are not at hand, strong soap-suds have been found effective. Large quantities of tepid water should be drank after these antidotes are taken, so as to produce vomiting.
Lime or baryta and its compounds demand a solution of glauber salts or of sulphuric acid.
Iodine or Iodide of Potassium demands large draughts of wheat flour or starch in water, and then vinegar and water. The stomach should then be emptied by vomiting with as much tepid water as the stomach can hold.
Prussic Acid, a violent poison, is sometimes taken by children in eating the pits of stone-fruits or bitter almonds which contain it. The antidote is to empty the stomach by an emetic, and give water of ammonia or chloric water. Affusions of cold water all over the body, followed by warm hand friction, is often a remedy alone, but the above should be added if at command. Antimony and its compounds demand drinks of oak bark, or gall-nuts, or very strong green tea.
Arsenic demands oil or melted fat, with magnesia or lime water in large quantities, till vomiting occurs.
Corrosive Sublimate, (often used to kill vermin,) and any other form of mercury, requires milk or whites of eggs in large quantities. The whites of twelve eggs in two quarts of water, given in the largest possible draughts every three minutes till free vomiting occurs, is a good remedy. Flour and water will answer, though not so surely as the above. Warm water will help, if nothing else is in reach. The same remedy answers when any form of copper, or tin, or zinc poison is taken, and also for creosote.
Lead and its compounds require a dilution of Epsom or Glauber salts, or some strong acid drink, as lemon or tomatoes.
Nitrate of Silver demands salt water drank till vomiting occurs.
Phosphorus (sometimes taken by children from matches) needs magnesia and copious drinks of gum Arabic, or gum-water of any sort.
Alcohol, in dangerous quantities, demands vomiting with warm water.
When one is violently sick from excessive. use of tobacco, vomiting is a relief, if it arise spontaneously. After that, or in case it does not occur, the juice of a lemon and perfect rest, in a horizonal position on the back, will relieve the nausea and faintness, generally soothing the foolish and overwrought patient into a sleep.
Opium demands a quick emetic. The best is a heaping table-spoonful of powdered mustard, in a tumblerful of warm water; or powdered alum in half-ounce doses and strong coffee alternately in warm water. Give acid drinks after vomiting. If vomiting is not elicited thus, a stomach-pump is demanded. Dash cold water on the head, apply friction, and use all means to keep the person awake and in motion.
Strychnia demands also quick emetics.
The stomach should be emptied always after taking any of these antidotes, by a warm-water emetic.
In case of bleeding at the lungs, or stomach, or throat, give a tea-spoonful of dry salt, and repeat it often. For bleeding at the nose, put ice or pour cold water on the back of the neck, keeping the head elevated.
If a person be struck with lightning, throw pailfuls of cold water on the head and body, and apply mustard poultices on the stomach, with friction of the whole body and inflation of the lungs, as in the case of drowning. The same mode is to be used when persons are stupefied by fumes of coal or bad air.
In thunder-storms, shut the doors and windows. The safest part of a room is its centre; and when there is a feather-bed in the apartment, that will be found the most secure resting-place.
A lightning-rod, if it be well pointed, and run deep into the earth, is a certain protection to a circle around it whose diameter equals the height of the rod above the highest chimney. But it protects no farther than this extent.
In case of fire, wrap about you a blanket, a shawl, a piece of carpet, or any other woolen cloth, to serve as protection. Never read in bed, lest you fall asleep, and the bed be set on fire. If your clothes get on fire, never run, but lie down, and roll about till you can reach a bed or carpet to wrap yourself in, and thus put out the fire. Keep young children in woolen dresses, to save them from the risk of fire,