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Mom, I Have A Splinter!

Those pesky little slivers of wood.  They show up in places we’d otherwise consider safe!  What is an easy and pain-free way to remove a splinter, especially from a small hand or foot?

First of all, make sure your hands are clean and the area around the splinter is clean.  While you don’t want to get the splinter wet (wood swells with water), you do want to make sure the area around it is clean.  Soap and water are fine choices for cleaning, or an alcohol pad will do just great as well.  Sterilize a needle and tweezers.  Make sure the tweezers have a blunt end and are not beveled. 

Make sure that you will be pulling WITH the splinter.  You want to take it out exactly the way it came in.  If the end is sticking out of the skin, try to grab it with the tweezers.  Or, use the needle to gently scrape away a bit of the skin around the splinter top to make for an easier “grab”. 

Another easy way to remove a splinter that is above the skin’s surface is with heavy-duty tape, such a duct tape or packing tape.  Or, put a dab of hair remover or dilapatory on the it, wait for it to dry, then peel off.  Just remember, in both cases to pull back in the direction the splinter entered the body to avoid breaking it off inside the skin.

If children are upset, wait until they are calmed down to remove it.  Distract them with a story or with a game.  Let your child practice on a stuffed animal, and try out the tweezers on a part of the body without the splinter, so they can see how gentle you will be.  And, if all else fails, wait until your child is alseep to try and remove the splinter.

Most times, splinters can work themselves out in about a week.  But, if you notice soreness, redness or oozing from the spot, call a doctor.

And, once it is all said and done, be sure to wash the area off with soap and water, administer a little T.L.C. give a kiss and perhaps a cool band aid.

Swim Season – Are You Ready?

With the summer heat (and in the South, do we ever get the summer heat!) comes activities that help us cool off and have fun as well.  Swimming, sprinklers, and all sorts of water toys abound from now until well into the fall.  And, while water play is one of the hottest activities (no pun intended) this time of year, it is even more important to pay attention to a few rules around the water.

  1. Most importantly, NEVER leave children unattended around water.  Even a sprinkler toy can be a safety hazard as the ground and surrounding area become wet and slick.  Cement patios and even wooden decks can become slick with water, and a running child on a slick surface will almost always lead to a hard fall.  Running inside to grab the phone or find a towel is just opening a window for a disaster to happen.  Make sure someone is always watching the children around water.
  2. Floatation devices often leave us with a false sense of security.  Just because your child is wearing a life vest or other floatation apparatus does not mean they can’t be harmed in the water.  Floaties especially pose a dangerous risk; they may slip down the child’s arm or lose air, resulting in a very unsafe situation for a small child.  Make sure your child is always close enough for you to grab should they start to have a problem in the water (especially the nonswimmers!).
  3. SWIM LESSONS!  If your child, at any age, is not proficient enough to swim across a pool or dive underwater to retrieve an object, please consider enrolling them in some formal swim instruction.  The best defense against childhood drownings is a good offense.  Be proactive and teach your child techniques for survival in water.
  4. CPR for you…no one wants to be put in a position to have to use CPR on someone, especially a young child.  But, being prepared is the only way to face an accident should one arise.  It is far better to be trained in CPR and never have to use it than to be at the scene of an accident and not have the tools needed to save a life.
  5. Take care of your skin!  While you should protect your skin year round, the sun is most damaging this time of year when we tend to wear less clothing and stay outside for longer periods of time.  Always apply sunscreen (at least 30 SPF on children) prior to being outside, and reapply often, especially after swimming or being wet. 

Summer is always more fun when water is involved, and as long as you follow a few simple rules for staying safe, everyone will have a terrific time!

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