First aid tips for winter

When winter comes around, the season brings with it a greater risk of cold-weather injuries. As a first aider, you will need to know how to treat some of the most common accidents and injuries which occur at this time of year.

Of course, the best way to prepare for any and all medical emergencies is to undergo first aid training. However, there are some basics you can learn about recognising and treating cold weather injuries in the meantime.

Sprains and strains

Amongst the most common injuries in winter are sprains and strains, caused by sudden or violent movements (such as slips, trips and falls). Sprains can be treated by remembering the acronym RICE:

RRest the affected part
I – Apply an ice pack (wrapped in a tea towel)
C – Give the part comfortable support with a bandage and padding
EElevate the part to reduce swelling and pain

St John Ambulance also warned that sprains can often be confused with fractures and broken bones. Isobel Sternfeld, a training officer for the organisation, said:

“As well as swelling, bruising and pain, fractures can be suspected if you see a shortening, bend or twist in the limb. If you are unsure whether it is a sprain, strain or fracture that you are dealing with then always treat it as a fracture.”