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Easter…a time for celebration of new life, the official start of spring……. and last but not least chocolate!! Whilst the majority of us can happily and safely indulge in the odd egg or two, for many this can be a difficult time of year, especially for those with allergies to dairy or those suffering from diabetes. With the second Diabetes Prevention Week taking place between Monday 1st and Sunday 7th April, we have pulled together a special ‘Sugary’ First Aid Feature for you to feast your eyes on:
Diabetes Prevention Week (Monday 1st April till Sunday 7th April)
Diabetes UK has teamed up with the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme to help raise awareness of their Healthier You Programme. This is a free service run by the NHS to help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Check out their useful ‘Know Your Risk’ tool to find out whether you are at risk…it only takes a couple of minutes to complete!
Common Symptoms of Diabetes
- Going to the toilet a lot, especially at night
- Being really thirsty
- Feeling more tired than usual
- Losing weight without trying to
- Genital itching or thrush
- Cuts and wounds take longer to heal
- Blurred Vision
Mini Eggs and Choking
What is the difference between a solid mini chocolate egg and a grape? Very little when it comes to the risk of choking in small children! In fact there is a warning on the back of Cadburys Mini Eggs that they are not suitable for children under the age of 4 years. If you do find yourself having to attend to a choking incident, stay calm and follow the steps below:
- Cough it out – encourage them to cough it out. If that doesn’t work move to stage 2…
- Slap it out – help the child bend forward and use the heal of your hand to give up to 5 short, sharp blows between their shoulder blades. Check their mouth to see if there is anything in there. If there is encourage them to remove it themselves.
- Squeeze it out – if the back blows don’t work, try giving up to 5 abdominal thrusts. Stand behind the child, making sure they are bent forward. Link your hands between their tummy button and the bottom of their chest and clench your lower hand into a fist. Pull sharply inwards and upwards.
- If they are still choking call 999 for an ambulance. Then repeat steps 2 and 3 until whatever is stuck is cleared, help arrives or the child becomes unresponsive.
- If the child becomes unresponsive at any stage, open their airway and check their breathing and commence CPR if necessary whilst you wait for an ambulance to arrive.
Allergies and Anaphylaxis
If you or your child are unlucky enough to be allergic to chocolate then there are plenty of other ways to join in the fun safely. Painting eggs is a lovely Easter craft activity and supermarkets now sell a good range of dairy-free, chocolate eggs and other Easter treats.
Anaphylaxis is an extreme allergic reaction and is life threatening. Would you know how to recognise the symptoms and respond accordingly?
Symptoms of Anaphylaxis
- Swelling of tongue and/or throat
- Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
- Vocal changes (hoarse voice)
- Wheeze or persistent cough or severe asthma
- Difficulty or noisy breathing
- Dizziness/collapse/loss of consciousness
First Aid Treatment:
- Use an adrenaline auto-injector if the person has one – make sure you know how to use it correctly first.
- Call 999 for an ambulance immediately (even if they start to feel better) and mention that you think the person has anaphylaxis.
- Remove any trigger if possible (for example if they have been stung by a wasp or bee)
- Lie the person down flat (unless they are unconscious, pregnant or having breathing difficulties)
- Give another injection after 5-15 minutes if the symptoms don’t improve and a second auto-injector is available.