Health Care Tips for Parents in Lockdown – Part 1

The following is a transcript of a FaceBook Live Session conducted by Dr. Prachi Agashe, Pediatric Ophthalmologist and Dr. Mandar Agashe, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon on our official facebook page. The video was viewed and liked by many parents and we thought that some may find the transcript useful too! So here goes part one…

Dr. Mandar: A very good morning to all of you and welcome to the first Facebook live session from Agashe’s Paediatric SuperSpeciality Clinic. I’m Dr. Mandar Agashe, Consultant Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon.

Dr. Prachi: Hi, I’m Dr. Prachi Agashe, Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Adult Squint Specialist and Neuro-Ophthalmologist.

Dr. Mandar: As you know, everyone in India is concerned about the Corona virus pandemic, the lockdown and the impact that this lockdown has, on our day to day lives and various fields. I am sure everyone has been bombarded now with all the Corona virus related videos, messages, forwards – how to wear and remove masks, how to wash hands, how to use hand sanitizers and what not.

Dr. Prachi: So we thought, let us do something, unrelated to the Corona virus. As even with the pandemic and the lockdown, our life goes on. Our day to day problems and issues related to our fields and other things too go on.

Dr. Mandar: Kids continue to play and do silly things, albeit at home.

Dr. Prachi: Kids are helping out with cleaning, they can splash water and get something in their eyes.

Dr. Mandar: They continue to jump from stools and sofas and have their childhood falls.

Dr. Prachi: They continue to have their eye issues like eye watering, eye redness and so on.

Dr. Mandar: So let us see how we can deal with these issues when you may find it difficult to reach their doctor.

Dr. Prachi: So, Dr. Mandar let us look at a common scenario. A five year old playful boy just jumps from the sofa, lands up in a weird manner on his feet and twists his ankle. Now he has swelling and pain around his ankle. Can you tell us what can be done now?

Dr. Mandar: Well, this is a very common scenario. We have a playful child who has an injured ankle or foot. So what do we do now? Right from our training days, we have been taught one mnemonic which is R-I-C-E. What does that mean?

Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

Rest – Allow the child to rest his foot on a pillow. Keep two pillows around it to stabilize his ankle and if possible, keep a small cardboard splint around the ankle. This will keep his foot stable on the pillow with the toes pointing up.

Ice – It is a very important component of primary first aid of any injured limb. Remember in any injury as a rule, do not use heat or warmth. Use ice to cool down the limb. You can use a few ice cubes in a small towel and gently apply the towel with the ice on both sides of the injured part for about five minutes for two to three times a day.

Compression – If you have an old crepe bandage, you can use it for compression. You can use it gently tied below and above the injured part, keeping in mind that it should not be too tight and you should remove it once or twice a day.

Dr. Prachi: Can we tie a handkerchief or a towel if we don’t find a crepe bandage?

Dr. Mandar: Well, if you don’t find it, you can use it, but always remember that it should not be too tight. You should remove it twice or thrice a day so that it does not cause too much of compression.

Elevation – It is important. Always see to it that the limb is elevated above the level of the heart on a pillow. This really helps the swelling and makes the child feel much better, much earlier.

The most important thing here is not to massage the limb. Remember in an injured limb, it is always our mindset – the grand parent will say, “arre usko massage kar do, ye lep lagaao, woh lep lagaao” (massage the area, apply that medicated paste). Always remember: do not massage the injured part. It may momentarily feel better, however in the long term it can cause severely increased pain and swelling and is associated with a significant amount of complications.

So Dr. Prachi, sometimes kids do similar silly things with their eyes. So the scenario is, this is a three year old boy playing with his dad who is now washing clothes and soap water goes into his eye. He starts howling. Dad doesn’t know what has happened and Mom as usual starts blaming Dad. Now what do we do?

Dr. Prachi: Well, number one, stop the blame game…

Dr. Mandar: Easy to say, difficult to follow!

Dr. Prachi: Yes, this is not an uncommon scenario. So the most important thing over here is do not panic. A very important thing to do is to give an eye wash. Now how do you go about giving an eye wash at home? A simple thing is, you can just use some filtered water from your water purifier or something. Put it in a glass, just hold open the eyelid and just keep pouring the water.

Secondly you can just make your child stand in the shower and just let the water flow on. Let it go into the eyes and let it just keep going. Tap water is not the best thing, but if you don’t have access to filtered water, you can just use it. Washing the eye copiously with water is extremely important.

Number two, ice as you stated earlier. Ice compresses help in soothing the eye and cooling down the eye.

Thirdly if you have some lubricating eye drops with you at home, which has been recently opened less than a month ago, you can use a couple of drops from that.

Now let the child rest for some time. Let him just go off to sleep or let him just close his eyes and lie down for ten fifteen minutes. In half an hour to one hour, things should settle down.

However, if the redness and pain persists and the child is not able to open his or her eye after half an hour to one hour, then do seek an ophthalmologist’s opinion.