Providing first aid services to injured people was one of the first humanitarian acts of the Red Cross, when Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross, organized groups of people to help him tend to the wounded in the War of Solferino in Italy in 1859.
In honor of his legacy, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has been helping alleviate human suffering through its many humanitarian services, such as providing relief and rescue efforts during disasters, providing livelihood opportunities to people who have been hit hard by calamities, and—going back to what inspired Dunant to establish the Red Cross—through the simple act of spreading awareness about how to treat one’s own injury as a first-aid measure. As Fire Prevention Month comes to a close, PRC offers the following first-aid tips on the treatment of burns:
- Cool the burn under cool running water for at least 10 minutes
- If the burn requires further medical care, loosely cover the burn with plastic wrap or a clean plastic bag. Otherwise, it does not need plastic covering
- If necessary, call hotline 143 or get someone else to do it
Other helpful tips this summer:
- Use cool clothes on sunburned areas.
- Apply soothing lotion containing aloe vera.
- Drink electrolyte beverages. If you don’t have access to an electrolyte beverage, make your own: add 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 quart of water. Drink half a cup every 15 minutes. (If electrolyte beverages or salt are not immediately available, just drink cool water.)
- Don’t break the blister, if present.
- Avoid wearing clothes or shoes, or doing activities, that will irritate the blisters.
Most people who suffer from burns require immediate emergency medical assistance to prevent complications and further damage. Through first aid treatment, the level of damage may be lessened, but remember to consult your physician if the problem persists.
Today, due to the increasing number of people who suffer from fire-related incidents and injuries, knowledge about first aid technique has become essential.
But, of course, prevention is still key. Below are tips on how to prevent fires from happening at all.
- Place a fire extinguisher in your house and learn how to properly use it.
- Place matches and lighters out of reach of children.
- Check electrical wires and cords before using.
- When going outside, avoid direct exposure to the sun. Bring an umbrella, water, face towel, sunglasses and/or a cap for protection.
- Wear cool and light-colored clothing.
PRC on Fire Prevention Month
Through the month of March, PRC held several activities and drills in support of its campaign for Fire Prevention Month to help spread public awareness about fire prevention, on top of its relief and rescue efforts in actual fire incidents.
“Since January 2017, the Red Cross has helped out in 65 fire incidents in National Capital Region (NCR). Through the help of our volunteers and using our emergency equipment, PRC ensured the safety of the people involved in said incidents,” said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon.
“Fire prevention should not end here,” he added. “We should continue fire prevention by instilling awareness in the public and giving them trainings, so we can become a fire-safe country.”
Be more disaster and emergency ready by downloading the PRC First Aid App and Hazards App on iOS and Google Play for free. For more information about PRC’s services, visit www.redcross.org.ph.