Friday, January 30, 2009

Basic First Aid Kit

First aid is quite simply just that. When someone suffers an injury or sudden illness, it is the first course of treatment, or aid, given to that person to ensure that they are safe and comfortable. Only after first aid has been administered and a person still seems unwell, should further action be taken (a visit to the pharmacist, doctor or calling an emergency ambulance).

What Do I Need to Know?

On the most part, first aid brings to mind putting plasters on grazed knees - however, there is much more to it than the ability to stick something over a portion of human that's leaking a bit of blood. Most people know what to do when someone suffers a minor cut or bump, however, what about accidents or illnesses that could be far more serious, even life-threatening? In order to be prepared for these (hopefully) unlikely events, having taken a first aid course is more than helpful. First aid courses are often conducted by local schools and colleges and it's recommended that you try and attend these to keep your first aid knowledge up to date. You should also have a first aid kit somewhere in the house, stocked up and at the ready. When confronted with someone who is sick or injured, you need to be able to stay calm and find out what the matter is. If you feel confident enough to administer some form of aid, do so.

Further treatment can be performed at a later time by trained health care professionals.

How Do I Make a First Aid Kit?

A good first aid kit can be purchased with most necessary items already included from any good pharmacy - however, you can add to what is supplied and/or make up your own personal kit. Every individual has different needs according to their environment and personal life, so while you can follow the advice about a first aid kit and its contents, it is worth remembering that you might need to add other items vital for your own circumstances. Some people suffer from ailments such as asthma or diabetes, or have life-threatening allergies. If you're one of these people, make sure your first aid kit contains everything you need in case of an emergency associated with these illnesses/allergies.

If you have a first aid manual, keep it near the kit. If you don't have a manual - get one. A good first aid manual will show you how to do everything - from applying dressings and slings, to how to perform CPR1. It is important to have an up-to-date first aid manual, as methods and medications change. In the manual, and also on a piece of card in the kit, important information like emergency telephone numbers, blood groups, dates of inoculations (such as tetanus, MMR, hepatitis, etc), allergies to medications and any other specialist information is listed. These could be vital in the event of an emergency situation. It is also advisable to put all this information in a prominent place aside from the first aid kit. This way, if anyone who is unable to use a first aid kit can find contact numbers for emergency services and any other information that may be needed.

A first aid kit should be clearly marked First Aid. The current international symbol for first aid is a white cross on a green background (other indicators for first aid include the traditional red cross symbol on a white background and vice versa). Proper identifying marks on the kit are vital, not only so you know what it is, but also if anyone else needs to help you in your own home they can find the kit with ease. This also means you should always keep the kit in a handy place, but out of the reach of children. High-up kitchen cupboards are ideal, as it is the law of averages that you will need your first aid kit most when someone is in the bathroom! It is a fact that most accidents do occur in the home, usually in the kitchen. If you make your own kit, ensure it's in a waterproof container with separate compartments for dressings, as well as sterile items and medications. A tackle-box of the sort that anglers use is ideal. Remember - a first aid kit is only as good as what you keep in it.

If you use anything, replace it immediately. Also make sure you check the use-by dates of any medication or item every six months, and update them if necessary. Important: Dispose of any out of date medication in the proper manner. If unsure how to dispose of medication, return it to either a local pharmacist or GP.

What Should a First Aid Kit Contain?

A first aid kit should contain the following:


Adhesive dressings (sticking plasters) - Used for minor cuts and grazes and can be bought in boxes of various shape, size and types. These include waterproof, fabric, hypo-allergenic, antiseptic and for children there are character based sticking plasters (eg, Winnie the Pooh, Spider-Man or Barbie). Keep at least one box in the first aid kit and another in a medicine cabinet as they are used frequently.

Bandages - For protection of wound dressings. Bandages come in various sizes and types, the most common being crepe or gauze. Keep at least three of each sort in a first aid kit, these being triangular bandages (which are also useful in making slings) and roll bandages (which are rolled around dressings to provide support to injuries). Other variants include TubiGrip, which is a tubed bandage designed to support an injury.

Cling film - Apply to serious burns liberally to keep the wound away from open air. This assists in pain relief and keeps burns from becoming infected. Seek immediate professional help after a serious burn has occurred.

Cotton balls/wool - Wet with water, useful for cleaning wounds. Do not apply cotton wool directly to wounds as the fibre will become stuck.

Cotton buds - Useful in cleaning wounds or removing obvious foreign bodies.

Sanitary towels/pads - Useful as a dressing pad.

Slings - A triangular piece of fabric used to support affected limb injuries. Two or more are needed.

Sterile dressings - Non-adherent 'ouchless' dressings (some come with antiseptic added), gauze (light fabric squares used as dressings) and swabs (used to clean wounds). Keep lots of these.

Tampons - Useful for stemming blood-flow from puncture wounds (animal bites) and if cut in half are extremely effective for relieving epistaxis (nosebleed).


Adhesive tape - Micropore, Transpore or Elastoplast. A roll of each type is recommended as it used to hold dressings in place, but has many other uses.

Medi-Prep Wipes - Contained in small sachets and are useful to assist in the sterilisation of wound areas or with safety pins/tweezers for extraction of foreign objects.

Disposable gloves - For the first aider's use only. Keeps your hands clean and prevents cross-infection.

Frozen gel pack - Invaluable in reducing swelling/bruising. Place the cold pack in a cloth towel and apply to the injury. Frozen peas are also excellent for this purpose, as the packet will mould to the body. While this item is not actually kept in your first aid kit - it is a necessity2.

Measuring cup/spoon - For the measuring of medication given to children.

Scissors - For cutting anything - clothing, strips of gauze, dressings, tape.

Safety pins - Vital in pinning slings, but can also be used to remove foreign bodies if sterilised.

Splints - Vital in keeping potentially broken digits or limbs in place. Small finger-splints and applicators are available for finger injuries.

Thermometer - For measuring body temperature. Various thermometers are available, the timpanic being most accurate. This is placed in the ear, but can be an expensive addition to a first aid kit. The oral digital thermometer is best. Reasonably-priced, it can be placed under the tongue or arm for a approximate temperature reading. Forehead strip thermometers are also available, but these are notoriously inaccurate.

Tweezers - For the removal of obvious foreign bodies (splinters, bee-stings, etc).


Medications do not necessarily need to be contained within a first aid kit. However, they can be helpful, so should be kept in a medicine cabinet at least. Important - when administering medication, read all labels, check use-by-dates and consult your first aid manual or a trained first aider/health professional.

Analgesic tablets or capsules - Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Aspirin5. For children, include some sachets of Calpol or other paracetamol-based suspensions. These are invaluable in reducing pain and fevers. Ensure you have some soluble analgesics too, as these are helpful for reducing the pain of throat infections like tonsillitis.

Antihistamine cream - For insect bites and stings. Helps reduce the swelling and pain after being stung by a bee or wasp.

Antihistamine tablets - To help reduce the effects of allergic reactions.

Antiseptic solution - For instance TCP/Betadine. Helps to clean a wound of bacteria. Useful if the injury has occurred on something like glass or metal, which could lead to Tetanus.

Calamine Lotion - For the relief of itch from sunburn or rash from insects/plants.

Petroleum Jelly - Such as vaseline (alternatively, a water-based lubricant like KY Jelly). Assists in the removal of rings and so forth from swollen digits and has a variety of other uses.

Hopefully, if your first aid kit comprises most of the above items, you'll be ready for almost any incident. Some items that you may use more regularly, like analgesia, sticking plasters and thermometers, may find a more suitable place inside a medicine cabinet, in fact all the items listed could, and perhaps should live there too. However, if little Timmy from number 14 trips on the curb, it's easier to grab your first aid kit and run to him, than to drag screaming, crying, blubbering Timmy inside so you can get to your medicine cabinet.

If you are a vehicle owner, try to make a first aid kit to keep in the vehicle at all times, even if it's not mandatory in the country you live in. It doesn't have to be as comprehensive as a home kit, but should contain at least some dressings, bandages, slings, scissors, tape and analgesia. If you plan to travel, make up a first aid kit relevant to your trip. It's all very well taking some bandages along on a hiking trip, but if you are in the middle of the Australian outback it may have been wiser to pack some insect repellent instead of the extra tube of toothpaste...

Remember, it is better to have and not use, than to not have and need.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Seven Foods For Good Sleep

Sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing. It allows our body to rejuvenate and restore itself. Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest causes of aging. Tiredness can also affect your mood and how you feel. Chronic tiredness can increase your risk of depression and anxiety. It can also affect the way that you respond and react to the people around you.

It can also affect your cognitive
ability and your ability to use your brain. This can cause you to be less
constructive and creative. It can a

There is no set amount of time that everyone needs to sleep, since it varies from person to person. Studies indicate that people are generally most effective when they sleep an average of 7 hours, but people can find anywhere between 5 and 7 hours okay for them.

Insomnia can be caused by deficiencies in certain nutrients. The foods that we eat can help us to gain those nutrients and help us sleep. These 7 super foods can help us get a good night's sleep at last so that we can feel refreshed and energized in our daily life.


Bananas are a delicious sleepy time fruit. They balance melatonin and serotonin levels, which are the neurotransmitters necessary for deep sleep. They also contain magnesium, which is a muscle relaxant.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile is a mild sedative that calms and relaxes, making it the perfect natural antidote for restless minds and bodies.


While sugar is stimulating, honey helps the brain to turn off because it contains orexin, a recently discovered neurotransmitter that's linked to alertness.


Potatoes contain tryptophan, which will ensure you get your ZZZZZZZZs.


Oats are a rich source of sleep inducing melatonin


A handful of my favorite food can help one relax and unwind because they contain the snooze helping nutrients tryptophan and magnesium.


Flaxseeds are a rich source omega-3 fatty acids, which make them a natural mood lifter. They are one of the 7 super foods for a good night's rest.

Tags: sleep, insomnia, sleep aid, sleeping, sleep aids, insomnia cure, natural sleep aids, insomnia treatment, good night sleep, sleep pattern, treatment for sleep disorder, how to get a good night sleep, good sleep, sleeping technique, sleep secrets, tips for good nights sleep, good sleeping habits

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fish In Your Diet

Include a Healthy Dose of Fish in Your Diet

This is No Fish Tale!

Fish helps lower cholesterol (the bad kind) and it is low in fat and calories so it can aid in weight loss if it's not fried, breaded or grilled in butter or oil.

Now there's a new study that shows fish may help stave off certain types of cancers. A research study recently done in Milan, Italy compared 10,000 hospital patients who had cancer to 8,000 other patients who did not have cancer. Before the cancer tests or hospital admission, they were all asked how much and how often they ate fish, on average. Those who ate one or more servings a week showed a definite pattern of protection against cancers such as stomach, mouth, pharynx, esophagus, colon and rectum.

Fish may be an even healthier choice than previously thought. Remember, tuna salad (easy on the mayo) counts too as well as fish chowder and fish dips (made with low cal dressing and/or cream sauce).

So it's not as tough as you think to include fish a few times a week in your diet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Banana A Day Keeps the Doctor Away!

At my age I don't even buy green bananas -- George Burns at age 100.
BANANAS After Reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again! Bananas. Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.


According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.


Forget the pills -- eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.


High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure

This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect way to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power

200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.


High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.


One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.


Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness

Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites

Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.


Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.


The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control

Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool! temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.


Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.


Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.


According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine," eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!


Those keen on natural alternatives swear that, if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So you see, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. In fact, bananas have an exciting nutritional story. They are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. One banana has 16% of the fiber, 15% of the vitamin C, and 11% of the potassium we need every day for good health! When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals.

So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

Some Banana Meals

Banana bread
Banana cake
Banana wrapped in tin foil with some brown sugar and put in the oven, or on the barbecue
Banana sandwiches
Banana split
Banana smoothie
Banana in a fruit salad
Banana fritters
Banana with yoghurt
Banana with icecream
Banana milkshake
Banana on waffles or pancakes
Banana pancakes
Dehydrated banana chips - dried (they're nice)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Drinking Hot water after meals

This article is not only about the hot water after your meal, but about heart attacks. The Chinese and Japanese drink hot tea with their meals, not cold water, maybe it is time we adopt their drinking habit while eating.

For those who like to drink cold water, this article is applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this "sludge" reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine . Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer . It is best to drink hot soup or hot water/tea after a meal.
A serious note about heart attacks - You should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line.
You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. 60% of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know, the better chance we could survive.
A cardiologist says if everyone who reads this message sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we'll save at least one life.