Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Health Tips for February 3

Health Tip: Check Your Child's Car Seat

Use of a car seat can save a child's life, but it must be installed correctly.

The U.S. National Safety Council offers this checklist for making sure that a car seat is properly located and secured:

  • Make sure the car seat is installed in the backseat -- never in the front.
  • Children less than 1 year old or less than 20 pounds should ride facing the back of the car; older or heavier children can ride facing the front.
  • Make sure the safety belt is securely holding the seat. Ensure that the seat is snugly strapped in and that the belt has been placed correctly.
  • The harness must fit snugly, too. The clip should fit at about the level of your child's armpits.
  • If your child is 40 pounds or under, continue using the car seat. Switch to a booster seat once your child weighs more than 40 pounds. The child probably will need a booster seat until he or she is about 4'9" tall and weighs about 80 pounds.

Health Tip: Caring for a Deep Cut

If you or someone else has gotten a deep cut, it's important to stay calm and administer first aid.

The American College of Emergency Physicians offers these suggestions for treating a deep cut:

  • Hold a clean cloth or bandage against the wound, and apply steady pressure.
  • At the same time, hold the injured area above your heart (unless a limb is broken).
  • If your bandage becomes soaked, leave it there and apply a fresh bandage on top of the old one.
  • Try to gently rinse the cut with tap water only -- no antiseptics or soap.
  • If after five minutes the cut continues to bleed, if the cut is very deep or wide, if it's located on the head, or otherwise looks serious, seek immediate medical attention.

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