Dec 08, 2019 by Sidra
Every year, during camping season, children and teens across Qatar develop camping related injuries.
Dr. Usama Al Kanani, Attending Physician from the Children’s Emergency Department (CED) at Sidra Medicine said: “We have started to see more children coming to our Emergency Department with camping-related injuries either sustained at the camp site or on the motorway while on the journey to or back from camp. The most serious injuries in teenagers are those related to four-wheel bikes, also known as All Terrain Vehicles (ATV).”
“In untrained hands and without safety measures, an ATV can cause serious injuries to the head, extremities, neck or abdomen. We have seen cases of children who were ejected from the bike or with broken bones or internal injuries because the ATV rolled over on to them. These children have to undergo multiple imaging while at the CED and be admitted as in-patients to ensure we monitor their progress,” continued Dr. Al-Kanani.
Other common camping related pediatric injuries reported to the CED include:
Injuries as a result of children not using a car seat
While not all injuries are equally dangerous, some severe injuries can lead to long term impairments or death. Parents need to ensure their children are protected from head injuries, which is also quite common among young campers who are more likely to become off-balance easily. Parents are advised to think carefully about protective equipment for their children such as helmets, proper shoes and clothing before they head out camping.
For a safer camping experience, the Emergency Department at Sidra Medicine shares some tips for parents:
Always wear your seat belt and make sure your children are security strapped in.
Poisonings are also very common during the camping season and can be caused by various types of envenomation or smoke inhalation in poorly ventilated tents. Sidra Medicine has a free national poison helpline through its Qatar Poison Center– 40031111 - for poisoning treatment consultation for both children and adults. The free service is available from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 a.m. seven days a week, and should be contacted for all poisonings.
Dr. Leena Amine, Manager of the Qatar Poison Center said: “If your child has been bitten by a snake or spider or stung by a scorpion or by jellyfish, we strongly recommend calling the Qatar Poison Center. The hotline will advise on appropriate first aid and treatment of each case.”
Dr. Amine shared some tips for parents regarding the three most common poisonings:
If your child is bitten by a snake or stung by a scorpion, seek immediate medical attention. The Qatar Poison Center will be able to guide you with some immediate steps before you head to the emergency department or while waiting for an ambulance. Important things to consider are to immobilize the injured limb or body part. Remove shoes and tight clothing from the affected limb.
Do not use a tourniquet or any form of suction: i.e., trying to suck the venom out. Also, do not apply heat, cold, electricity, or any substances to the bite. If possible, take a picture of the snake or scorpion from a safe distance, or try to remember the colour and shape so you can describe it. This will help with treatment.
Most jellyfish stings cause minor injury only and can be safely managed on site without emergency care. The Qatar Poison Center can provide you with the most appropriate first aid instructions.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odourless, tasteless gas which can cause severe poisoning and even death. This can happen if charcoal, wood, a gas stove or non-electric heaters, kerosene lamps or shishas are used inside closed tents without proper ventilation. Be aware of suggestive symptoms, including a dull headache, weakness, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, confusion, blurred vision or loss of consciousness. Seek medical attention immediately.
The team at Sidra Medicine would like to wish everyone a happy and safe winter camping. For more details about the Children’s Emergency Department or the Qatar Poison Center, visit www.sidra.org.
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