Whitewater Rafting: First Aid for Wounds and When to See Urgent Care
The White Salmon Rivers, Ross Lake, and Skagit River are special attractions to Lacey folks looking for a thrilling wild water rafting experience. Rafting trips near Lacey, Washington can range from a brief 4-hour wilderness trip to a full-blown backwoods adventure that would last for several days. However, regardless of whether you’re a group of hardcore outdoorsmen or not, it pays to be wary of the inherent perils that come with the sport.
Participants in whitewater rafting are likely to sustain wounds, cuts, and scrapes from smashing and brushing up against rocks as well as getting hit by paddles gone haywire as the rafts bang against boulders. While minor wounds typically don’t need serious medical attention, the danger comes when these breaks in the skin become infected. Dirty wounds usually contain bacteria and foreign materials, or get infected later on because of improper or inadequate care. As such, extra caution should be taken when treating these wounds.
Here are some tips for treating minor wounds from your rafting excursion:
- First, wash your hands thoroughly with an antibacterial cleanser or soap and warm water.
- Second, apply direct pressure on the wound using a sterilized piece of cloth or gauze to reduce the bleeding.
- Then, clean the wound by using cold water and gentle soap. Let it dry before you apply an antibiotic ointment.
- Lastly, wrap the wound using a clean dressing.
On the other hand, some cases may need more medical attention. It is advisable to visit a local Lacey urgent care provider like U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group within 48 hours in case of the following:
- The wound has grown large.
- The wound causes numbness in the injured part.
- There are hard-to-remove debris trapped inside.
- The wound is on the face or close to a bone.
- There’s swelling, redness, pus, and other indicators of infection.
Whitewater rafting safety starts with finding a professional outfitter. Determine how long they’ve been in business, whether they are certified by government and other safety authorities, and the level of training their guides gone through. A professional outfitter can guarantee that all safety precautions are observed. Moreover, ensure that you’re fully equipped with the right gear: a jacket that fits comfortably, a sturdy helmet, and some protective padding for the arms and legs.
Whitewater rafting can be one of the most exhilarating outdoor activities you’ll ever experience. Don’t let injuries take the fun out of it. Know first aid, observe safety, and get the right medical attention from urgent care facilities.
Know Before You Go: White Water Rafting, Greatist.com
10 Whitewater Rafting Safety Tips, RaftMasters.com