First Aid: Choking

If someone chokes and cannot breathe, you should be prepared to help. What should you do?

Choking means that the air passages are blocked. It should be treated immediately to save the victim’s life.

Signs of choking include coughing, noisy breathing, waving for help, inability to talk or turning blue. As soon as you notice any choking signs you should give 5 blows as shown here. Five times between the person’s shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5.

If he’s still choking you should try the Heimlich maneuver. Stand behind the victim, surround him with your arms, make a fist with one hand, and grasp the fist with the other hand. Then press inwards and upwards five times.

If the victim is still choking and starts to lose consciousness you have to call the emergency number immediately. Lay the victim in a supine position on the ground and sit on his legs while placing the heel of your hand slightly above the navel. Apply upward thrusts, which is the same as Heimlich’s maneuver but in a flat position. By using this maneuver we are trying to expel the blocking agent, using the air present in the victims lungs.

Try to check if there’s anything blocking the victim’s throat, but be very careful not to push it deeper into the airway.

If he had already lost consciousness, we will discuss this in more detail later.

This was the scenario in case of choking. More information about different scenarios will be in the next videos about choking.

I wish you good health!

Alyaa Gad

Cat Shower!

I would like to explain to you what I would call a “cat shower”, which you can do very quickly if there is not enough water available for a full shower or if you don’t have enough time or if you’re bedridden or for a baby when the weather is cold.

You will need:

  • 2 small towels
  • Some warm water in a bowl
  • Your favourite shampoo
  • Shower gel or soap
  • Some fresh lemon juice, if you like

Now let’s illustrate how it’s done. Add some drops of your favourite body washer gel to the water. And immerse the small towel and then squeeze the water out. Wipe the face and the head and then the neck. Then expose the baby’s body and wipe the abdomen, the arms and the armpits, then the back, then the legs, and finally the genitals. Then cover up the back of the baby and you can replace the towel by a new one.

At the end of the shower you can add some drops of fresh lemon juice into the water and use this as natural deodorant and to restore the natural ph of your skin. You can use it especially to wipe the armpits.

This is a simple shower that you can do without consuming too much water. It will leave you feeling fresh and ready to go only in a couple of minutes.

My best regards!

Alyaa Gad

Constipation in Babies

Constipation in babies leads to many problems. That’s why we must always be aware of the pattern of their bowel movements. Every day we should watch our child’s bowel movements. Normally she would pass stools everyday, but if there’s no defecation for more than three days and you’re noticing that your baby is suffering, this is regarded as constipation. In this case we should help the baby, because his weak muscles cannot press properly.

The causes of constipation can be recently changing the type of milk in form of formula feeding, and if you are breastfeeding maybe some kind of food that you’re eating is affecting his bowel movement. If you’re formula feeding please make sure that the formula is not affecting your child’s bowel movements, otherwise you will have to change it. And if you’re breastfeeding, make sure that you’re eating a healthy diet.

I would also advise you to check your baby’s stool for any foreign objects – blood or pus or any abnormal look or colour or odour. You should also notice how many bowel movements are happening in a day or a week, and if there are any abnormalities present, please note them down, might you need to report them to your doctor.

So, what should you do if your baby is constipated? Most importantly you should give plenty of fluids – water or teas like Caraway tea. You can also breastfeed for longer periods of time, so that your baby takes more fluids via your breast milk.

Secondly you need to massage the baby’s tummy. Let me show you how. Lay the baby on her back or in a half-sitting position, and massage her tummy in a clockwise direction, as if you’re counting the clock hours. 12 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4. Why? Because this is the direction of the bowel movement, starting with the ascending colon, transverse colon, and descending colon, till it reaches the rectum and the anus. That’s why it’s very important to massage in a clockwise manner.

If after two hours your baby is still constipated you can try this tip:

First, you’ll need any type of plant oil. Let’s say olive oil. You will also need cotton swaps, Q-tips or cotton buds – preferably thin ones – then immerse them into the oil, and make sure it’s totally covered in oil. Raise the baby’s legs and hold them with one hand if you can, and then gently press on the tummy of the baby. If the child is a boy make sure to cover the penis, in case he urinates. Insert the cotton bud carefully into the anus – it’s the lowest opening in girls – and only insert the cotton part. Count till 15 slowly. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 11 – 12 – 13 – 14 – 15. Then remove the cotton bud. Very soon you’ll observe that the baby is defecating.

Change the diaper and remember to be ready with a paper sheet placed under the baby and toilet paper to clean up.

I wish you good health!

Alyaa Gad

Head Lice

Head lice are annoying insects as small as sesame seeds. They affect particularly children and people living in big crowds. It’s highly contagious and can spread on school children and then to their families and can be difficult to get rid of. In this video I have some advice for you to get rid of the problem.

Basically lice live in the human hair on the scalp, and especially in the back of the head and behind the ears. Lice live in human hair and have a life cycle. They’re first eggs or “nits” and then nymphs and then adults. And they feed on our blood. They reproduce at high rates and stick their eggs to the hair. We are dealing with insects that reproduce quickly – every two weeks there is a new group of eggs. That’s why treatment should continue for at least one month while daily combing the hair to make sure that the lice is absent from the hair. Especially the parts in the back of the scalp and behind the ears.

With long hair lice will be more difficult to treat. Let me explain to you how to do it. As I mentioned, treatment should be for at least one month with daily combing and doing the following steps:

First we must use a narrow-tooth comb made of metal with a double row as you see here, or plastic or wood. White combs are better so you can get to see the dark lice on them.

In case of repeated infection in children I recommend that you shave their hair using an electric shaver, especially in boys. This will remove lice effectively.

After we finish combing out the lice properly you may face another problem, which is the attached eggs, or the “nits”. How can I deal with that? Another way is the manual way by which you can remove the nits by the tips of your nails. First you can spry apple cider vinegar. It will dissolve the glue by which the nits are attached to the hairs. Then leave it for about 30 minutes and then comb it. Sometimes you may need a stronger technique, if the child is old enough. I suggest that you use a tong or a hair iron, which is excellent because it burns the eggs. This will solve a big part of the problem. And you can use it once a week.

We have two main aspects concerning treatment of lice. Lice present in the scalp, which disappears when you comb properly everyday from the roots till the end of the hairs, and then we have the eggs that are attached to the hair and cannot be easily combed out. That’s why I would suggest high temperatures to kill the eggs and the combing to manually get rid of the big lice. Do not use hair irons for children less then 2 years of age, because they might move their head and get injured.

When you are using these combs for delousing I would recommend that you use a white cotton cloth, so that you can see the lice better. Make sure that the cloth can be washed at high temperatures. After delousing you can wash the cloth in hot water – 95° C or above 200° F – to kill the lice immediately and to prevent it from spreading to others.

Don’t forget to spray your child’s comb with alcohol after each use. You can also use some drops of essential tea tree oil. Add them to your child’s shampoo and this will get an odour, which is unpleasant to the lice and thus will prevent the infection to come back.

Please remember that the life cycle of the lice takes about a month. So, there’s an egg, a nymph and an adult, and all these we have to deal with them every day for at least a month, to make sure that they are totally gone. Don’t forget that the best way is to comb every day for about a month. You can kill the eggs or the “nits” using a hair iron or a tong, but that’s for older children or adults. If you have a young child – younger than two years of age – you will have to remove the eggs manually. So first you have to spray apple cider vinegar and wait for 30 minutes and then manually remove the eggs. This will take a long time, but it’s the best way for your children. Be aware that any chemicals we apply on the child’s hair can be harmful, especially in young children less than 2 years of age, because it may be affecting their nervous system. That’s why we have to prevent applying any chemicals to their body.

Treating lice requires patience and repetition. Repeat the above steps for the infected children, their siblings and their parents at the same day. Also you should clean your home and wash all bed sheets in high temperatures, clean the floor using a vacuum cleaner, so as to get rid of the lice all over the house.

It is well possible that the child gets re-infected from school. For that reason I would recommend that the school implements a week of lice treatment, so that all the children are treated at the same time.

I wish you all good health!

Alyaa Gad

First Aid Box

A first aid kit should be available everywhere we go. In the home, in our car, when we go on holiday… We should be fully aware of its content and replace the missing items on regular basis. In this video I’ll explain more about the contents of a first aid kit.

You can buy a complete kit or you can make a plastic box and place in it the contents that I am going to mention now. Make a list of the contents that’s shown here, so that if any component is missing, mark it on the list and make sure you replace it as soon as possible, so that the kit is ready to use whenever you need it.

First important component is the band-aid for small wounds, which should be available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Also make sure that you have enough of those, especially if you have small children at home.

There also should be gauze with different sizes, e.g. this one is 8.5 x 5 cm. There’s also a 10 x 10 cm gauze, and there are bigger sizes available as well. I recommend the medium size, 8.5 x 5 cm, as it can cover larger wounds.

There are also burn dressings, especially designed so they won’t stick to the site of the burn or abraded wounds. A good alternative would be plastic foil that is used for cooking. Besides there’s also plastic bandages, which have got many types and variable lengths and widths. This type of bandage is used for deep wounds and if compression is needed, in sprains and sometimes in fractures.

The adhesive band is used to keep the elastic band or gauze cured in place.

Sometimes we may need forceps, especially if living in countries known to have ticks. Forceps can also be used to remove thorns or glass embedded in the skin.

Medical scissors are characterised by having certain angles or having rounded ends.

Here we also have alcohol, cotton buds, cold and hot compressors. These compressors are commonly used in sprains and in fever. So you have hot and cold compressors.

And there is foil for large burns. And it’s also used to cover victims in accident sites, as on the highway or in cold weather, to maintain the victims body temperature. A good alternative is the aluminium or plastic foil we use in the kitchen.

This was a brief summary of the necessary components of the first aid kit. In the coming videos I will discuss how to use each and every in more details.

I wish you good health!

Alyaa Gad