What to do if Santa comes a cropper this Xmas
St John Media Release
Date: 13 December 2006
What to do if Santa comes a cropper this Christmas
Santa loves to eat, drink and be merry, but we all know that too much Christmas cheer can lead to stomach aches or, worse, a sleigh accident.
To keep your loved ones and Santa safe this summer, St John has a few festive first aid tips.
Ungainly chimney landing
If Santa sprains an ankle this season, the ankle will be painful and swollen, and may be tender to gentle pressure.
Treatment is known as RICE:
Rest (stop activity),
Ice (wrap ice in a cloth or other covering and apply for 20 minutes every couple of hours or so),
Compression (apply a compression bandage), and
Elevation (raise and rest the sprained area).
Repeat up to six times in the first 24 hours. If symptoms have not improved after 24 hours, seek medical attention. This advice applies to all sprains, strains and bruises.
Seriously ungainly chimney landing
If Santa breaks a limb on landing, help him support the broken limb using pillows or similar support, but don’t force him into a position he finds uncomfortable. Dial 111 and ask for ambulance.
Over-indulgence on eggnog and cookies
Although not all stomach pain indicates a serious problem it should be treated seriously especially if it develops suddenly. Stomach pain can be a symptom of many problems. Pain may be sharp or dull. The patient may feel feverish, vomit or show signs of shock.
First aid treatment in this instance is designed to make the patient feel better and diagnosis should be left to a doctor. Talk to the patient and support them in a comfortable position. Seek medical assistance. If pain is severe and persistent call an ambulance.
Saving Santa from sunburn
The best treatment for sunburn is prevention, not just for Santa’s fair skin but for everyone. Cover up, wear a hat, and apply sunscreen to exposed skin. If you are sunburned, lots of cool running water is the best treatment. If the sunburn has serious blistering, you need to see a doctor.
If Santa burns more than the midnight oil delivering presents
Minor burns around the home, campsite or bach may seem like a nuisance but need treatment. Cool running water for 20 minutes is the best treatment for all burns. In some cases, like a picnic, water may not be readily available so use any clean cool fluid that is available, such as beer or soft drink. Call an ambulance if the burn is big, the person is in very severe pain, or you are worried.
Santa’s not the only flying object this summer
Bee and wasp stings are an unwelcome feature of summer. The best treatment is cool running water and an ice pack. Keep the ice on the sting area for around 20 minutes or until it feels better. If the sting remains on the skin (usually a bee sting), remove it as soon as you can to reduce the amount of venom that comes out.
How you remove it is not important. It is not true that squeezing or pinching the sting releases more venom. If the person shows any signs of being very unwell, eg if they have a spreading rash or difficulty breathing, dial 111 and ask for ambulance.
Stocking the sleigh
St John recommends all sleighs, homes, caravans, baches, boats and vehicles have a first aid kit. St John also recommends everyone does a first aid course, as knowing what to do around an accident, injury or illness can make all the difference. First aid can speed recovery, ease suffering and even save lives.
To order a first aid kit or book a first aid course (great Christmas present or New Year’s resolution ideas), go to www.stjohn.org.nz or phone 0800 St John (0800) 785 646.
St John wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable Christmas – including Santa.