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Sharp Health News

5 ways to prepare for everyday emergencies

Sept. 15, 2015

Keep your family safe

Everyday emergencies can feel just as traumatic as a real disaster. However, Dr. Danielle Douglas of Sharp Grossmont Hospital will tell you that a trip to the ER or a call to 911 is not always the right choice.

“As an ER physician, I see some ‘emergencies’ that could potentially be tended to at home,” says Douglas. “By preparing in advance, you could save yourself a lot of time, money and undue anxiety.”

From pesky insect bites to a bad knock on the noggin, or even a car that just won’t start, these five tips will help you keep calm and carry on.

  1. Keep important phone numbers on hand for the babysitter to use or if you can’t trust your memory during stressful times
    * Family and friends nearby
    * Closest or friendliest neighbor
    * Poison control
    * Family physician, pediatrician and dentist

  2. Know directions to places you might need in a pinch (or enter them into your car’s GPS)
    * Closest ER and urgent care center
    * Family physician, pediatrician and dentist offices
    * Local veterinary hospital (if you have pets)

  3. Organize in one spot what you really need in a basic first-aid kit
    * Selection of adhesive bandages in various sizes
    * Antiseptic solutions and ointments
    * Elastic bandage to wrap injured wrists, elbows, knees or ankles
    * Instant cold pack, or an ice pack in the refrigerator or freezer
    * Thermometer
    * Tweezers to remove stings and splinters
    * Hydrocortisone cream for itches and rashes
    * Aloe vera for sunburns

  4. Have basic medicines on hand — and out of reach of the little ones
    * Antihistamines
    * Pain and fever relievers (for adults and children, if needed)
    * Decongestants
    * Anti-diarrheal medicine
    * Antacid for gas, heartburn, indigestion and upset stomachs
    * Laxative or stool softener

  5. Be prepared for life’s little annoyances
    * Working flashlights for every family member in case the power goes out
    * Phone numbers for the auto club or local towing company in case of automotive troubles 
    * Back-up batteries for all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the house

“It’s important to realize, however, that not all emergencies can be taken care of without a specialist,” says Dr. Douglas. “If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to call your family physician or go directly to your local ER or urgent care center.”

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