Summer Safety Week-Hiking Hazards: First Aid
(NC)-The great outdoors-a winding trail stretching deep into the forest,
offering hikers a glimpse of nature in its prime. The solitude is broken by the
call of a distant bird flying high overhead. You turn to look up and are
momentarily blinded by the sun. You stumble and catch your foot on a root. Down
you tumble with a sharp pain erupting in your ankle.
Joint injuries are a common occurrence for outdoor enthusiasts. Even with
precautions, an injury can result in fractures, dislocations or sprains. St.
John Ambulance, Canada's leader in safety-oriented™ first aid training and
products, advises that first aid knowledge can reduce suffering and the risk of
Bones at a joint are held together with tough bands called ligaments. When
ligaments stretch and tear, it's called a sprain. A first-degree sprain is least
severe, with the ligament merely stretched. A second-degree sprain involves some
tearing of the ligament while a third degree sprain is when the ligament is
Most sprains benefit from Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation-RICE.
Rest: Stop the activity and do not use the injured joint.
Ice: Apply cold to the injured area, but not directly to the skin.
Compression: Use a bandage to compress the injury to limit swelling.
Elevation: Raise the injured joint to relieve pressure and promote blood flow.
Knowing what to do in an emergency can help reduce suffering and prevent further
injury. St. John Ambulance has been helping Canadians learn essential lifesaving
first aid skills for more than a century. With custom, modular programs and
state-of-the-art training techniques, St. John Ambulance is Canada's leader in
training. For more information on courses in your area, contact the branch
nearest you or check us out on the web at www.sja.ca.