The kids are back at school – or almost – and it’s admin time for the year ahead! One thing you really shouldn’t shirk is your family’s medical needs for the next twelve months. Now’s the time to resolve outstanding 2016 medical aid issues, tweak your coverage going forward and consider top ups such as gap cover plans that cover outstanding hospital costs and dread diseases. It’s also a good time to get your first aid line-up sorted so that should there be an emergency, you’re as prepared as you can be.
Essential First Aid Box Contents
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Is your first aid box missing a few important items? Well, don’t fret – just head to Sandton City. This mega mall sells more than just stunning clothes and shoes, you know … the Clicks and Checkers are perfect for restocking your box with ease! Plus, it’s only a hop and a skip away for most of us – talk about convenience. Better still (yes, it gets better), if you prefer natural healing products and methods, The Nutri-Balance Centre has got you covered (FYI, acupuncture and shiatsu massages are available on request … yes please!). Details: sandtoncity.com or 011-217-6000
Quick First Aid Rules
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Medications at home
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While most of us, fortunately, aren’t faced with medical emergencies on a daily basis, keeping a home supply of basic medication is hugely handy. Top up this general list with your own more specific requirements.
Looking for the nearest pharmacy? Here are a few important details to stick on the fridge:
Morninghill Pharmacy, Mediclinic Morningside, Corner Hill and Rivonia Road, Morningside. Details: 011-282-5101
Grosvenor Pharmacy, Hobart Corner Shopping Centre, Hobart Road, Bryanston. Details: 011-706-1371
Weleda, Corner Witkoppen Road and The Straight, Pineslopes. Details: 011-467-2430
Colony Pharmacy, Shop 1 Colony Shopping Centre, 345 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park. Details: 011-327-0300
What to do if a person is choking
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Choking happens when someone’s airway suddenly gets blocked, either fully or partly, so they can’t breathe.
Mild choking: encourage them to cough
If the airway is only partly blocked, the person will usually be able to speak, cry, cough or breathe. They will usually be able to clear the blockage themselves.
Severe choking: back blows and abdominal thrusts
Where choking is severe, the person will not be able to speak, cry, cough or breathe. Without help, they will eventually become unconscious.
To help an adult or child over one year
Stand behind the person who is choking.
Place your arms around their waist and bend them forward.
Clench one fist and place it right above their belly button.
Put the other hand on top of your fist and pull sharply inwards and upwards.
Repeat this movement up to five times.
NB: Don’t give abdominal thrusts to babies under one year old or to pregnant women.
If a baby is choking
If the airway is still blocked, start with chest thrusts.
Chest thrusts for babies under one year old
If the baby’s airway is still blocked after three cycles of back slaps and chest thrusts, call your closest emergency number and tell them the baby is chocking. Don’t leave the baby. Continue with the cycles of back slaps and chest thrusts until help arrives. If the baby stops breathing start CPR.
What to do if a person is drowning
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What to do if a person gets burnt
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Then take the following steps:
For Minor Burns
Hold burned skin under cool (not cold) running water or immerse in cool water for about 10 minutes until pain subsides.
Use compresses if running water isn’t available.
Cover with sterile, non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth.
For Severe Burns
Joburg has some of the best hospitals and clinics around. Should you need to find the nearest one, have a look at the list below:
Morningside Mediclinic, Corner Rivonia and Hill Roads, Morningside. Details: 011-282-5000
Netcare Sunninghill Hospital, Corner Witkoppen and Nanyuki Roads, Sunninghill. Details:
Life Fourways Hospital, Corner Cedar Road and Cedar Avenue West, Fourways. Details: 011-875-1000
Netcare Olivedale Hospital, President Fouche and Windsor Way, Olivedale. Details: 011-777-2182
Alternative Medical Practises
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With many alternative medical practises being older than conventional or standard medicine, and many stemming from different cultures and countries it is no surprise that they are respected and used worldwide, and that many boast huge success. A vastly diverse field that encompasses many different forms of therapies that include diet, exercise and lifestyle changes as well as hypnosis, chiropractic adjustment, acupuncture and the use of herbs and oils, alternative medical practices can be used alongside or in place of traditional medical treatments. The choice is highly personal and, ultimately if it works, we say, use it!
Here are some of the most common alternative practices and what they aim to treat:
The best-known form of acupuncture consists of penetrating the skin with thin needles controlled by a practitioner or electrical stimulation. The needles are used to specific points in the body in the treatment of chronic pain, muscular discomfort, illness and depression.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils (concentrated extracts from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants) to promote healing. The oils can be inhaled, massaged into the skin or occasionally taken by mouth, and each has a specific purpose.
Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine use a variety of techniques, including herbs, massage, and specialized diets, with the intent of balancing the body, mind, and spirit to promote overall wellness.
Also known as hydrotherapy, balneotherapy involves the use of water for therapeutic purposes. It’s based on the idea that water benefits the skin and might treat a range of conditions from acne to pain, swelling, and anxiety. Practitioners use mudpacks, douches, and wraps in their treatments.
Biofeedback techniques allow people to control bodily processes that normally happen involuntarily—such as heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and skin temperature—in order to improve conditions including high blood pressure, headaches, and chronic pain. Patients work with a biofeedback therapist to learn these relaxation techniques and mental exercises. In initial sessions, electrodes are attached to the skin to measure bodily states, but eventually the techniques can be practiced without a therapist or equipment.
Chiropractic focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, including pain in the back, neck, joints, arms, legs, and head. The most common procedure performed by chiropractors is “spinal manipulation” or “adjustment” which is intended to restore mobility and loosen the muscles, allowing tissues to heal and pain to resolve.
Homeopathy functions in much the same way as a vaccine: It’s based on the principle of treating “like with like,” meaning a substance that causes adverse reactions when taken in large doses can be used—in small amounts—to treat those same symptoms. Homeopaths gather extensive background information on patients before prescribing a highly diluted substance to jumpstart the body’s natural systems of healing.
Reflexology involves applying pressure to specific areas on the feet, hands, or ears. The theory is that these points correspond to different body organs and systems and that stimulating them is believed to positively affect these organs and a person’s overall health.
Reiki is a form of energy healing based on the idea that “life force energy” flows through everyone’s body. According to this philosophy, sickness and stress are indications that life force energy is low, while energy, health, and happiness signify a strong life force. In a Reiki session, a practitioner seeks to “transfer” life energy to the client by placing their hands lightly on the client’s body or a slight distance away from the body. The purpose is to promote relaxation, speed healing, reduce pain, and generally improve the client’s wellbeing.
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