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Good Health and Bad Medicine:
 First Aid - Part 1

 First Aid - Part 2

 First Aid - Part 3

 First Aid - Part 4

 First Aid - Part 5

 First Aid - Part 6

 Medicine Cabinet


 Pain - Part 2

 Liniments, Rubbing Salves And Plasters

 Read More Articles About: Good Health and Bad Medicine

First Aid - Part 1

( Originally Published 1940 )

ACCORDING to the National Safety Council, 31,500 people died, 140,000 were permanently disabled and 4,500,000 were temporarily disabled in accidents occurring in the home during the year 1938. Automobile accidents caused about 32,000 deaths, while accidents in factories and shops totaled 16,500 deaths and almost a million and a half temporary and permanent disabilities.


With injuries so common, everyone should know not only the elementary facts about first aid, but, what is more fundamental, how to prevent accidents. Home accidents could be greatly reduced if the following precautions, advocated by the National Safety Council, were observed:

1. Have your medicine cabinet where it is out of reach of small children.

2. Never take medicine from a cabinet in the dark. Poison looks the same as a harmless medicine when you can't see the label. Don't clutter the medicine chest with out-of-use, improperly labeled bottles.

3. Stairways should be well illuminated and kept dear of toys and other objects.

4. See that electrical appliances and cords are properly insulated. Larger appliances should be grounded.

5. AIways light a lamp when moving around the bedroom at night. Furniture out of place, shoes in the middle of the floor, etc., in a dark bedroom cause thousands of injuries and many deaths each year.

6. Teach your children not to leave toys on the floor when they are through playing.

7. Keep firearms in locked drawers.

8. Be careful in getting in and out of bathtubs; use a mat under the shower.

9. Never look for gas leaks with an open flame.

10. Never smoke in bed.

11. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, learn how to operate your coal furnace properly, and don't operate your car in the closed garage.

12. Never touch electrical appliances or sockets while taking a bath.

Most automobile accidents can be avoided by safe driving and safe walking. Many accidents occur because of faulty vision of auto drivers. An inadequate amount of vitamin A in the diet can cause nyctalopia or poor visual acuity in dim light (see Vitamin A, page 142). The interior of autos should also be adequately ventilated. It has been found (U. S. Public Health Service) that the interiors of about 5 per cent of autos tested on the highways contain a sufficiently high concentration of carbon monoxide to produce symptoms such as dizziness or even collapse after a period of time. Never keep a car running in a closed garage. Carbon monoxide, generated by the motor, kills many of those who do.

Industrial accidents and deaths seem to be increasing in number, despite the fact that most of them are preventable. Accidents occur because machines are not properly safe-guarded and because factory inspection in many states is inadequate. So little money is appropriated by most states for inspection that it would take existing staffs almost decades to catch up with the work they are legally bound to do.

Adequate factory inspection, abolition of the speed-up, proper repair of machines and sufficient rest periods are some of the measures that would eliminate accidents.

The worker and his union should be aware of the hazards in specific occupations. Much information about preventable hazards can be obtained from the U. S. Department of Labor. The union can then seek to eliminate these hazards and attempt to force the employer to assume responsibilities fixed by law; and when they are not so fixed, to press for protective legislature.

A complete discussion of first-aid measures will be found in the U. S. Red Cross Manual of First Aid. Many insurance companies also publish briefer pamphlets on first aid which are usually free to the public.

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