NaijaMedics, a group of medical professionals providing health related information to help solve basic health challenges have revealed simple interventions that can be carried out at home to halt the progress or reduce the chances of severe illness.
They advised that the simple procedures should followed at the earliest stage to halt the progress of the illness which may eventually result in sequelae of severe illness.
This is useful in reducing the body temperature when a child is running a fever (raised body temperature above 37.4). It is also useful in adults, but more importantly in children less than five years of age as they are prone to having frequent febrile convulsions.
Dip a towel (hand or face) in lukewarm water — not cold water and use it to ‘mop’ the child’s body. This reduces the temperature a bit and reduces the chances of convulsions. Frequent convulsions may lead to seizure disorders.
This is useful in dislodging blocked noses and air passages. It’s useful for anyone at any age. Upper respiratory tract infections are mostly viral or allergic and can lead to plenty secretions that crust and lead to blocked airways. Steam inhalation is helpful.
Boil clean water. Pour in a bucket or large bowl, and cover yourself with a thick clothing (towel or blanket). For kids, sit with them in a small space (bathroom for instance) with doors and windows closed. Let them breath normally. Breath normally inhaling the steam from the bucket.
The steam works by softening the crust, and making it flow out of the nostrils. It is very uncomfortable, so take breaks. Stay under the cover for about 1-2min per time.
For better effects, put a drop of eucalyptus oil or any menthol containing ointment (avoid menthol in kids).
ORAL REHYDRATION SOLUTION (ORS):
Every mother should have this or at least know how to make it. Most children will suffer several episodes in the first 5 years of life so ORS should be your best pal. It acts by replacing fluids and essential electrolytes that are lost from diarrhoea.
These loses are what actually kill, rather than the disease process that caused the diarrhoea in the first place. So ORS is very important.
WHAT YOU NEED:
6 level teaspoons of sugar
1 level teaspoon of salt
1 litre of clean (preferably boiled and cooled) water.
Add all these and stir till all the crystals of the salt and sugar is dissolved. Give the child 2-3 teaspoons after every stool or vomit.
There are also prepared packages sold in the chemist near you. All you have to do is dissolve in 1L of clean water. Stir till all dissolved and give the child.
Remember: it expires after 24hours and any left should be thrown away.
DEALING WITH BURNS INJURY:
If you suffer a burn injury at home especially wet burns from steam there tends to be a bullae (that fluid-filled swelling) shortly afterwards.
Never burst it!
Your skin is the best dressing and the fluid inside is as clean as your blood.
Never ever burst that swelling. Instead apply Vaseline just for soothing and allow your body to reabsorb it.
You will be tempted to touch it cos it’s painful and discomforting but don’t. You will only introduce bacteria from your dirty hands.
NaijaMedics recognise that these home interventions do not aim to replace appropriate hospital care. Therefore, individuals are warned against going beyond some of the simple procedures explained above but instead should visit the hospital Self medication is also not advised.