Cunningham Family's Adventures Thru the USA

Camping

How to Track

  • Badger
  • Bear
  • Bobcat
  • Coyote
  • Deer
  • Fox
  • Hare
  • House Cat
  • Mice
  • Mountain Lion
  • Rabbit
  • Raccoon
  • Skunk
  • Snake
  • Squirrel
  • Turkey
  • Wild Dog
  • Wolverine

How to Handle Becoming Lost

If you become lost: Stop, Think, Observe, and Plan before you take action.

Becoming lost causes fear, frustration and anger. Remember not to panic. Staying calm and stopping is a great place to start. You have to be calm enough to think the situation through.  Does someone know where you were going? If so, they may be searching for you. Is there an open area where the searchers would have a better chance of seeing you?

  Your mind is your greatest survival tool, so think about what you DO have that can help you in this situation. Like if you have something shiny, you can try to flash passing planes for help.

Consider your surroundings… and decide if you need to take action.

In most cases, the priority should be…

  • Find or make a shelter against the weather.
  • Build a fire.
  • Use fire to signal and hopefully attract attention.
  • Find water.

After a few days, you may want to consider that no one is coming to your rescue and you may have to find you own way back to safety.

However, even if you know the direction you were walking in, it’s hard to walk a straight line.  Many theories have been put forward to explain why lost people travel in circles. It seems that almost every person tends to veer in one direction or another in a consistent way. Then you must factor in the wind, rain, snow, and/or sun that can cause you to veer off course even further.

To be able to follow a straight line between two points without any compass you should use landmarks. Decide on two landmarks ahead and line them up… Do the same thing on the way back. Back marks are just as important as fore marks, and in the absence of natural landmarks, you can make your own.

Also you can try, pushing a stick into the ground to find direction. Mark the shadow from the stick and wait about 30 minutes. Mark the new shadow from the stick. Draw a straight line between the two marks. This line points east to west. The sun rises in the east, sets in the west and when you face north, east is to your right.

One last thing:

  • Drink lots of water (hopefully you are carrying plenty with you) especially if it’s hot and humid and you’re sweating a lot. If you’re not carrying water with you, don’t just start drinking out of random puddles. You never know what might be breeding in it.
  • I know this sounds gross but if you have to find bugs to eat. Bugs are full of protein, easy to find and can help you survive until you can find help. Avoid brightly colored bugs though since they may be poisonous.
  • During rain storms, water and mud can easily cause you to lose your footing and get washed away. Try to find some high ground that doesn’t look like water rushes down it. And don’t stand next to a sharp edge or rushing water may take you with it.
  • Run away from snakes, but clap your hands and make lots of noise if large animals approach you.

And finally, I would think it goes without saying that you should never venture into the wilderness without a compass and a map.


How to Build a Fire

To know how to start a fire is one of the most fundamental skills needed. But knowing how to build a fire is just as important.
  • Before you can begin to build your fire, select the fire’s location. Select it with care, a good fire location is important. Consider a spot that has some shelter, is protected from the wind and has a readily supply of wood.
  • To ensure your fire doesn’t get out of control make sure there is nothing near it that could catch on fire, especially “dry vegetation.” Clear any debris away and start the fire on solid ground or on a layer of stones or on a flat shale rock. This will eliminate the possibility of a ground fire.
  • If it is raining or very wet out, look for dead branches ON trees instead of looking on the ground. Trying to start a fire with live (green) branches will prove to be an incredible waste of time and energy.

To make a fire, you need to build it up gradually, beginning with small pieces of wood, then progressing to larger pieces as the fire gets going.

  • Tinder is a material that ignites very easily to start a fire. Good tinder is dry and only takes only a spark to ignite. However, tinder must be absolutely dry. There are a number of things you can use such as paper, leaves, grass, bark and resin. You will find resin in spruce and pine trees. Resin will burn even if it is wet. Cotton-balls soaked in vaseline is my personal favorite for starting fires. This is a very effective, very lightweight solution that you can carry with you anywhere go. All you need to do is light the wad, and you have a very even, hot, long burning flame. Also, lint from your dryer is another very lightweight, easy fire starter.

Tinder is the most important part of your fire, so prepare it well. If you can only find dry sticks and pieces of bark, consider turning them into a powdery tinder by using a knife. If you have found resin, rub it on small twigs and sticks. Collect tinder before you need it.

  • Kindling is readily combustible material that you add to the burning tinder. Small dry twigs and sticks are best. They should easily light when placed on a small flame. The dead branches on the undersides of trees provide excellent kindling, and they are usually dry, even if it has rained for weeks.
  • Once your fire is established, you can add larger pieces of firewood. Make sure your firewood is as dry as possible. Look for dead trees, they are usually a good source of dry firewood.

Remember:

Never leave a campfire unattended.

Make sure your fire is completely out before leaving camp. Always check at least twice.


How to Start a Fire

Different Fire starting methods

Practice how to start a fire under different conditions and with different fire starting techniques, if possible.

Starting a fire falls into two categories: modern and primitive methods.

  • Modern starting methods include matches, flint strikers, butane lighters or convex lenses.
  • All primitive methods require a lot of practice to manage but it includes flint & steel, a fire plow and a bow & drill.

Matches

  • When you are using matches, always light your campfire from the upwind side, shield your fire area with your body or make a windshield with your jacket or other gear before lighting your fire. Make sure you have gathered together all the materials you need before lighting the fire. Carefully light the tinder. When the tinder start to burn, use the same match and try to light the tinder on the opposite side. Add more tinder slowly, then kindling, and build your fire up gradually.

Always carry waterproof matches with you. Every match you have is like gold. There are numerous ways of waterproofing matches, the simplest way is just buying waterproof matches. However, when they can’t be found…

Try:

  • Dipping your matches in melted paraffin wax
  • Coat matches in nail polish, be sure to seal the entire match

Store matches in a 35mm film container, and glue a small piece of sandpaper in the cap (or just keep a piece in the film container) to help start the matches.

Flint striker

An effective fire starter is an artificial flint striker. There are a number of different shapes and designs available on the market.

  • To use it, you scrape hard to produce a shower of sparks to catch your fire.

Convex Lenses (Magnifying Glass)

A magnifying glass isn’t always used merely for magnification. The unique properties of a magnifying glass have long been known to have the ability to create a fire. In the absence of matches or a lighter, a magnifying glass is a great tool for any wilderness survivalist.

  • A magnifying glass starts a fire through the use of heat from the sun. This is done by positioning the glass so that the sun’s rays pass through the lens, forming a small point of light on a pile of dry kindling. If the sun’s light is hot enough, the kindling is dry enough and the focal strength of the lens is adequate, a fire will eventually spark.

The science behind lighting a fire with a magnifying glass can be found in the form of photos. Photons are the particles that carry visible light from the sun to the earth. They also contain energy in the form of heat. Through the use of a magnifying glass, the path of these photons are narrowed to a highly localized area (the dot of light that passes through the lens). This results in a concentration of heat that can reach incredibly high temperatures. If a high enough temperature is reached (somewhere around 450 degrees F), the kindling will smolder and begin to burn. The key to localizing photons is in the convex shape of the magnifying lens. This shape collects photons on one side of the lens and draws them to a single point as they enter out the other side. As such, any item with a convex lens can be used to start a fire. For example, a pair of eyeglasses or a binocular lens can also be used. However, the larger the lens, the more easily it will be to start a fire. The steepness of the convex shape also plays a part in achieving the extreme heat needed to achieve combustion.

Flint & Steel

The flint and steel forgoes the need for a lighter, and in a survival situation, you can actually use the back of a pocket knife, and a piece of quartz, or agate to create a spark.

  • For this to work, you need very small pieces of tinder, dead grass, tiny cedar shavings or birch bark. Strike the quartz against the knife (NOT the knife against the quartz since you can cut yourself) aiming the sparks at the tinder. Repeat this until the tinder ignites. Once you have a small flame, gradually increase the size of twigs and grass that you add to the fire as mentioned above.

Fire Plow

It doesn’t get any more basic than this!  It is the most primitive of methods, literally rubbing two sticks together. If you can break off a branch or a large splinter of wood and rub it against a log, you can be sitting around a warm fire while others are still whittling their more advanced fire sets.

  • To make the plow, take a stick that is a foot long and comes to a point. Make the first inch of the stick between half and a quarter of an inch wide. Some sticks will already be this shape, otherwise you can get the point like this with a knife or by rubbing it against an abrasive rock. The narrower the tip the more concentrated the heat, but the deeper it will dig into the log or base. And the deeper the plow digs into the base, the harder it will be to quickly push back and forth to get a coal.
  • The plow is used to make a groove in the base log of the fire plow set. The base can also be a stick, so long as it is at least two inches wide. Start off with the plow stick at right angles with the base. Push back and forth to indent the groove. If the base is a stick and not a log, you may have to flatten the base or indent this groove with a knife to keep the plow from slipping out. If it is a big log, just start plowing slowly.
  • Have one hand an inch from the tip of the plow and the other with the palm over the butt end. Work the plow back and forth making a groove in the base six inches long. Once you have this groove made you are ready to lower the butt end of the plow and get to work. You need to lower the end of the plow so that the contact area between the plow and the base is greater. This dries out the woods and builds up heat without gouging too deeply into the base.
  • Once the wood is really smoking and black dust is forming, raise the butt end of the plow to focus the heat on the tip. Go back and forth touching the accumulating dust at the far end of the groove every other time or so without obliterating this dust pile. Getting this subtle touch and retreat technique takes practice. Keep at it! You’ll get the rhythm.
  • As you work the plow back and forth, sometimes a lip will form in the groove just before the place where the dust pile is accumulating. Each time you hit this lip you can be extinguishing a potential coal with the plow. Hitting the lip also hinders your momentum and decreases dust accumulation. If a lip forms in the groove, either move the stroke of the plow forward a little to break through this lip or move the stroke back so you don’t touch it at all.

Speed and pressure are both important. If you find the accumulating dust is big and flaky, or if the plow is really deepening the groove too quickly, use more speed and less pressure, or drop the butt end of the plow down to increase the contact area between the plow tip and the groove. This will fire harden the groove some so that it will wear more slowly, and get sufficiently hot without wearing too deeply. On the other hand, if you don’t apply enough downward pressure, a shiny black glaze will form, impeding friction. Your plow will slide easily in the base groove without making smoke. Stop and clean the glaze off of the plow stick and out of the base groove with a rough rock or put sand in the groove and plow through the glaze.

You will find that as you plow and work at touching and retreating from the forming dust pile, the groove will shorten up and you will be primarily using the half of the groove closest to you. If you allow the groove to get too short you will be spending all your time plowing tiny strokes back and forth and you will not be able to get enough speed. Keep the groove at least three inches long even if you have to extend the groove toward you as you plow. The Fire Plow method is a sprint. If you start to slow down then switch and let someone else go at It. When you stop plowing and get ready to switch, always keep the tip of the plow buried in the dust so you don’t lose heat.

If the groove gets so deep that it is hard to move the plow, you may shift your pressure forty-five degrees out to the side of the groove. This widens the groove instead of continuing to make it deeper. You can still get a coal this way without having to start a new groove. Once you get a coal with your fire plow set, you’ll transfer it to your tinder bundle and blow it to a flame. Do this carefully enough to keep the coal intact. Fold the nest around the coal to keep the coal from falling out and lift the tinder to mouth level, inverting the nest somewhat. This inversion al lows the heat from the coal to rise into the dense mass of the tinder nest.

  • Blow gently on the coal, allowing it to consume the dust. As you blow, keep pinching the nest around the coal just enough to keep the coal in the nest while you tip the nest over and blow up into it. Don’t pinch so hard that you put out the coal ! As you’re blowing, if sparks are flying all over, pinch the nest to surround and contain the burning tinder. If you don’t close up the nest at this point the burning tinder may fall out of the nest.
  • Once the smoke increases, blow with more force. Turn your back to the wind so the wind will blow into the nest and keep the smoke out of your face. Keep blowing until the bundle bursts into flames. Sometimes, if the tinder is damp, it may have to dry out before it can flame. So hold off blowing a minute to let the tinder dry out and then resume blowing. If the nest is too small or not dense enough and falling apart, you may need to add more dry material around the smoldering nest.

Bow and Drill Kit

This method is very complicated so I’m gonna direct you to another website wildernesscollege.com


Fishing with Children

  • Have Patience

There is absolutely no way that you can be successful in teaching a child to fish without patience. They are going to frustrate you, aggravate you, and in all likelihood will either loose or break at least some of your tackle in the process.

  • Don’t Use Your Best Tackle

Locate some tackle that is in good working order that will not be a great loss to you if it doesn’t come back.

  • Practice, Practice, Practice

Like other skills, casting and handling a rod and reel takes practice. Maybe try practicing casting dummy lures (that means with NO HOOKS!). Adjust the casting reel to help prevent most backlashes, and then sit down with them and advise them on how to fix the backlashes that would occur. They need to be confident that they can do it themselves. Otherwise they will come running to you on every backlash.

  • Patience, Patience, Patience

Remember to be Patient!

  • Take Them to Fish Where They Might Actually Catch Fish

This may mean going to a local park or duck pond. Remember it really doesn’t matter what kind of fish they catch as long as they catch fish! The worst thing to do at this point is to take them on an all day expedition where you do all the fishing and they get banished to the front of the boat because they are “in the way”. You MUST make these fishing trips specifically for them. They need to catch, not just fish. Nothing turns a kid off faster than fishing for several hours and either not catching anything or having to stay out of the way while you catch everything!

  • Cheer and Encourage

Cheer every time they catch a fish. Encourage them when they miss a bite. Always be positive. You can’t cheer enough. They actually are looking to please you by catching a fish. They want to catch a fish to show you that they can do it.

  • Patience, Patience, Patience

Did I mention patience?

  • Catch and Release or Catch and Eat?

Try to catch at least a few fish that you can take home, clean (with the youngster’s help, of course) and then cook and eat.

For all the rest of the fish you need to explain – in their terms – why we need to keep only what we plan to eat and release all the others. Plant this seed early and they will practice conservation of the resource their whole life.

  • Clean Up

If you were fishing in your boat, let them help while you clean it. Let them know that, especially in saltwater, they need to wash their tackle after every trip. This is another seed to plant early.

  • And Lastly – Have Patience -smiles-

This is obviously the most important factor in all you do. Loosing your temper or getting angry will absolutely turn a kid off.


Fishing for Beginners

  • Complete beginner on this topic then this is great site: Learn How to Fish
  • Another great site is LearningtoFish.com. It was created to introduce fishing knowledge for the beginning angler and fishing enthusiasts through a series of how to fish articles, how to fish tips and fishing instructional videos.

Learn How to Fish

Fishing for Beginners

Fishing with Children

How to Clean a Fish

Campfire Fish Recipes

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Food-borne illness

All foods naturally contain small amounts of bacteria. But poor handling of food, improper cooking or inadequate storage can result in bacteria multiplying in large enough numbers to cause illness. Parasites, viruses, toxins and chemicals also can contaminate food and cause illness.

Signs and symptoms of food poisoning vary with the source of contamination, and whether you’re dehydrated or have low blood pressure.

Generally they include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting (sometimes)
  • Dehydration (sometimes)

With significant dehydration, you might feel:

  • Lightheaded or faint, especially on standing
  • Rapid heartbeat

Whether you become ill after eating contaminated food depends on the organism, the amount of exposure, your age and your health.

High-risk groups include:

  • Older adults. As you get older, your immune system may not respond as quickly and as effectively to infectious organisms as when you were younger.
  • Infants and young children. Their immune systems haven’t fully developed.
  • People with chronic diseases. Having a chronic condition, such as diabetes or AIDS, or receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer reduces your immune response.

If you develop food poisoning:

  • Rest and drink plenty of liquids.
  • Don’t use anti-diarrheal medications because they may slow elimination of bacteria from your system.

Food-borne illness often improves on its own within 48 hours. Call your doctor if you feel ill for longer than two or three days or if blood appears in your stools.

Call 911 or call for emergency medical assistance if:

  • You have severe symptoms, such as watery diarrhea that turns very bloody within 24 hours.
  • You belong to a high-risk group.
  • You suspect botulism poisoning. Botulism is a potentially fatal food poisoning that results from the ingestion of a toxin formed by certain spores in food. Botulism toxin is most often found in home-canned foods, especially green beans and tomatoes. Signs and symptoms of botulism usually begin 12 to 36 hours after eating the contaminated food and may include headache, blurred vision, muscle weakness and eventual paralysis. Some people also have nausea and vomiting, constipation, urinary retention, difficulty breathing, and dry mouth. These signs and symptoms require immediate medical attention.

First-aid kits

A well-stocked first-aid kit can help you respond effectively to common injuries and emergencies.

Keep at least one first-aid kit in your RV, one in your backpack and one in your car. Store your kits in easy-to-retrieve locations that are out of the reach of young children.

Children old enough to understand the purpose of the kits should know where they are stored. You can purchase first-aid kits at many drugstores or assemble your own.

Contents of a first-aid kit should include:

Basic supplies

  • Adhesive tape
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic solution or towelettes
  • Bandages, including a roll of elastic wrap (Ace, Coban, others) and bandage strips (Band-Aid, Curad, others) in assorted sizes
  • Instant cold packs
  • Cotton balls and cotton-tipped swabs
  • Disposable latex or synthetic gloves, at least two pairs
  • Duct tape
  • Gauze pads and roller gauze in assorted sizes
  • Eye goggles
  • First-aid manual
  • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Plastic bags for the disposal of contaminated materials
  • Safety pins in assorted sizes
  • Tooth preservation kit consisting of salt solution and a sealable travel case
  • Scissors, tweezers and a needle
  • Soap or instant hand sanitizer
  • Sterile eyewash, such as a saline solution
  • Thermometer
  • Triangular bandage
  • Turkey baster or other bulb suction device for flushing out wounds

Medications

  • Activated charcoal (use only if instructed by your poison control center)
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Over-the-counter oral antihistamine (Benadryl, others)
  • Aspirin and nonaspirin pain relievers (never give aspirin to children)
  • Calamine lotion
  • Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream
  • Personal medications that don’t need refrigeration
  • If prescribed by your doctor, drugs to treat an allergic attack, such as an auto-injector of epinephrine (EpiPen)
  • Syringe, medicine cup or spoon

Emergency items

  • Cell phone and recharger that uses the accessory plug in your car dash
  • Emergency phone numbers, including contact information for your family doctor and pediatrician, local emergency services, emergency road service providers and the regional poison control center
  • Medical consent forms for each family member
  • Medical history forms for each family member
  • Small, waterproof flashlight and extra batteries
  • Candles and matches for cold climates
  • Sunscreen
  • Mylar emergency blanket
  • First-aid instruction manual

Give your kit a checkup
Check your first-aid kits at least every three months, to be sure the flashlight batteries work and to replace supplies that may have expired.

And Remember, it never hurts to take a first-aid course to prepare for a possible medical emergency. Be sure the course covers cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED). Renew your CPR certification at least every two years.

Prepare children for medical emergencies in age-appropriate ways.

The American Red Cross offers a number of helpful resources, including classes designed to help children understand and use first-aid techniques.


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including heart attack or near drowning, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped.

It calls for a time when we must step beside ourselves and stay calm in an emergency situation and the best way to stay calm is by knowing what to do. Remember, the difference between your doing something and doing nothing could be someone’s life.

In 2010, the American Heart Association updated its guidelines to recommend that everyone — untrained bystanders and medical personnel alike — begin CPR with chest compressions.

Here’s advice from the American Heart Association:

  • Untrained. If you’re not trained in CPR, then provide hands-only CPR. That means uninterrupted chest compressions of about 100 a minute until paramedics arrive (described in more detail below). You don’t need to try rescue breathing.
  • Trained, and ready to go. If you’re well trained and confident in your ability, begin with chest compressions instead of first checking the airway and doing rescue breathing. Start CPR with 30 chest compressions before checking the airway and giving rescue breaths.
  • Trained, but rusty. If you’ve previously received CPR training but you’re not confident in your abilities, then just do chest compressions at a rate of about 100 a minute. (Details described below.)

The above advice applies to adults, children and infants needing CPR, but not newborns.

CPR can keep oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until more definitive medical treatment can restore a normal heart rhythm.

When the heart stops, the absence of oxygenated blood can cause irreparable brain damage in only a few minutes. A person may die within eight to 10 minutes.

To learn CPR properly, take an accredited first-aid training course, including CPR and how to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED).

Before you begin
Before starting CPR, check:

  • Is the person conscious or unconscious?
  • If the person appears unconscious, tap or shake his or her shoulder and ask loudly, “Are you OK?”
  • If the person doesn’t respond and two people are available, one should call 911 or the local emergency number and one should begin CPR. If you are alone and have immediate access to a telephone, call 911 before beginning CPR — unless you think the person has become unresponsive because of suffocation (such as from drowning). In this special case, begin CPR for one minute and then call 911 or the local emergency number.
  • If an AED is immediately available, deliver one shock if instructed by the device, then begin CPR.

Remember to spell C-A-B

In 2010, the American Heart Association changed its long-held acronym of ABC to CAB — circulation, airway, breathing — to help people remember the order to perform the steps of CPR. This change emphasizes the importance of chest compressions to help keep blood flowing through the heart and to the brain.

Circulation: Restore blood circulation with chest compressions

  1. Put the person on his or her back on a firm surface.
  2. Kneel next to the person’s neck and shoulders.
  3. Place the heel of one hand over the center of the person’s chest, between the nipples. Place your other hand on top of the first hand. Keep your elbows straight and position your shoulders directly above your hands.
  4. Use your upper body weight (not just your arms) as you push straight down on (compress) the chest at least 2 inches (approximately 5 centimeters). Push hard at a rate of about 100 compressions a minute.
  5. If you haven’t been trained in CPR, continue chest compressions until there are signs of movement or until emergency medical personnel take over. If you have been trained in CPR, go on to checking the airway and rescue breathing.

Airway: Clear the airway

  1. If you’re trained in CPR and you’ve performed 30 chest compressions, open the person’s airway using the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver. Put your palm on the person’s forehead and gently tilt the head back. Then with the other hand, gently lift the chin forward to open the airway.
  2. Check for normal breathing, taking no more than five or 10 seconds. Look for chest motion, listen for normal breath sounds, and feel for the person’s breath on your cheek and ear. Gasping is not considered to be normal breathing. If the person isn’t breathing normally and you are trained in CPR, begin mouth-to-mouth breathing. If you believe the person is unconscious from a heart attack and you haven’t been trained in emergency procedures, skip mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing and continue chest compressions.

Breathing: Breathe for the person
Rescue breathing can be mouth-to-mouth breathing or mouth-to-nose breathing if the mouth is seriously injured or can’t be opened.

  1. With the airway open (using the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver), pinch the nostrils shut for mouth-to-mouth breathing and cover the person’s mouth with yours, making a seal.
  2. Prepare to give two rescue breaths. Give the first rescue breath — lasting one second — and watch to see if the chest rises. If it does rise, give the second breath. If the chest doesn’t rise, repeat the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver and then give the second breath. Thirty chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths is considered one cycle.
  3. Resume chest compressions to restore circulation.
  4. If the person has not begun moving after five cycles (about two minutes) and an automatic external defibrillator (AED) is available, apply it and follow the prompts. Administer one shock, then resume CPR — starting with chest compressions — for two more minutes before administering a second shock. If you’re not trained to use an AED, a 911 operator may be able to guide you in its use. Use pediatric pads, if available, for children ages 1 through 8. Do not use an AED for babies younger than age 1. If an AED isn’t available, go to step 5 below.
  5. Continue CPR until there are signs of movement or emergency medical personnel take over.

To perform CPR on a child

The procedure for giving CPR to a child age 1 through 8 is essentially the same as that for an adult. The differences are as follows:

  • If you’re alone, perform five cycles of compressions and breaths on the child — this should take about two minutes — before calling 911 or your local emergency number or using an AED.
  • Use only one hand to perform heart compressions.
  • Breathe more gently.
  • Use the same compression-breath rate as is used for adults: 30 compressions followed by two breaths. This is one cycle. Following the two breaths, immediately begin the next cycle of compressions and breaths.
  • After five cycles (about two minutes) of CPR, if there is no response and an AED is available, apply it and follow the prompts. Use pediatric pads if available. If pediatric pads aren’t available, use adult pads.

Continue until the child moves or help arrives.

To perform CPR on a baby

Most cardiac arrests in babies occur from lack of oxygen, such as from drowning or choking. If you know the baby has an airway obstruction, perform first aid for choking. If you don’t know why the baby isn’t breathing, perform CPR.

To begin, examine the situation. Stroke the baby and watch for a response, such as movement, but don’t shake the baby.

If there’s no response, follow the CAB procedures below and time the call for help as follows:

  • If you’re the only rescuer and CPR is needed, do CPR for two minutes — about five cycles — before calling 911 or your local emergency number.
  • If another person is available, have that person call for help immediately while you attend to the baby.

Circulation: Restore blood circulation

  1. Place the baby on his or her back on a firm, flat surface, such as a table. The floor or ground also will do.
  2. Imagine a horizontal line drawn between the baby’s nipples. Place two fingers of one hand just below this line, in the center of the chest.
  3. Gently compress the chest about 1.5 inches (about 4 cm).
  4. Count aloud as you pump in a fairly rapid rhythm. You should pump at a rate of 100 compressions a minute.

Airway: Clear the airway

  1. After 30 compressions, gently tip the head back by lifting the chin with one hand and pushing down on the forehead with the other hand.
  2. In no more than 10 seconds, put your ear near the baby’s mouth and check for breathing: Look for chest motion, listen for breath sounds, and feel for breath on your cheek and ear.

Breathing: Breathe for the infant

  1. Cover the baby’s mouth and nose with your mouth.
  2. Prepare to give two rescue breaths. Use the strength of your cheeks to deliver gentle puffs of air (instead of deep breaths from your lungs) to slowly breathe into the baby’s mouth one time, taking one second for the breath. Watch to see if the baby’s chest rises. If it does, give a second rescue breath. If the chest does not rise, repeat the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver and then give the second breath.
  3. If the baby’s chest still doesn’t rise, examine the mouth to make sure no foreign material is inside. If the object is seen, sweep it out with your finger. If the airway seems blocked, perform first aid for a choking baby.
  4. Give two breaths after every 30 chest compressions.
  5. Perform CPR for about two minutes before calling for help unless someone else can make the call while you attend to the baby.
  6. Continue CPR until you see signs of life or until medical personnel arrive.

Blisters

The most common cause of a blister is friction and burns. Try not to break the blister open, if it isn’t too painful. By keeping in intact, the unbroken skin provides a natural barrier against infection and bacteria.

 Cover a small blister with an adhesive bandage, and cover a large one with a porous, plastic-coated gauze pad that absorbs moisture and allows the wound to breathe. If you’re allergic to the adhesive used in some tape, use paper tape.

 If you have diabetes or poor circulation, call your doctor before considering the self-care measures below.

To relieve blister-related pain, drain the fluid while leaving the overlying skin intact.

Here’s how:

  • Wash your hands and the blister with soap and warm water.
  • Swab the blister with iodine or rubbing alcohol.
  • Sterilize a clean, sharp needle by wiping it with rubbing alcohol.
  • Use the needle to puncture the blister. Aim for several spots near the blister’s edge. Let the fluid drain, but leave the overlying skin in place.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment to the blister and cover with a bandage or gauze pad. Or dab on a few drops of Listerine (a powerful antiseptic) and cover with bandage or gauze pad.
  • Cut away all the dead skin after several days, using tweezers and scissors sterilized with rubbing alcohol. Apply more ointment and a bandage.

Call your doctor if you see signs of infection around a blister — pus, redness, increasing pain or warm skin.

To prevent a blister: Use a bandage, socks, gloves, or similar protective covering over the area being rubbed. Special athletic socks are available that have extra padding in critical areas. You might also try attaching moleskin to the inside of your shoe where it might rub, such as at the heel.

Shoe-shopping tips
Remember the following when you shop for shoes:

  • Shop during the middle of the day. Your feet swell throughout the day, so a late-day fitting will probably give you the best fit.
  • Measure your feet. Shoe sizes change throughout adulthood.
  • Measure both feet and try on both shoes. If your feet differ in size, buy the larger size.
  • Go for flexible, but supportive, shoes with cushioned insoles.
  • Leave toe room. Be sure that you can comfortably wiggle your toes.
  • Avoid shoes with seams in the toe box, which may irritate bunions or hammertoes.
  • Wear the same socks you’ll wear when walking, or bring them with you to the store.