Workshop on First Aid and Oral Health Care

Workshop on First Aid and Oral Health Care


Concerned about holistic development of children and their well being, Smile Foundation has initiated a Health awareness Drive emphasizing on preventive and promotive aspects of health care. Leading the drive at the forefront are teachers for whom, as part of capacity building, a one- day workshop on "Oral Health Care and First Aid" was organized on 22 December, 2004 at Indian Social Institute, Delhi. This was attended by over 45 teachers from 21 Non profit organizations from across Delhi.

The workshop, divided into two sessions, focused on Oral Health Care and First Aid respectively. Experts as Resource Persons from All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) and Indian Red Cross Society took the respective sessions.

The session on oral health covered topics such as *Normal Oral Anatomy *Prevention of Dental Caries and Gum Diseases *Oral cancer- causes, consequences and prevention *Infant Dental Care *Practices of Oral hygiene *Brushing technique *Effectiveness of traditional methods. Some interesting bits of information was divulged during the course of the workshop such as:

  1. The longevity of teeth has no relation with age. It is all about oral care practices.
  2. It's not the toothpaste but brushing technique that counts. So there is no need to splurge on expensive toothpastes.
  3. Brushing teeth at night before sleeping is more important than brushing in the morning.
  4. Get children to start brushing their teeth as early as possible.
  5. There is no such thing as Veg or Non veg toothpaste. Calcium Phosphate, the chief ingredient, is available in abundance in nature; extracting it from animals is
  6. India is the largest producer and consumer of tobacco and has one of the highest rates of oral cancers in the world.
  7. 1 Kg. of cigarettes requiring burning of 640 Kg. of wood! And the possible (?) reason of deforestation much to the disliking of Environmentalists!
  8. Awareness about perils of tobacco consumption have a significant impact leading to decline in sales of tobacco products in the western world –in fact whole of Finland had just 22 cases of Oral cancer last year, as reported.
  9. Surprisingly there has been reported a decline in the sale of tobacco in Delhi in the last 5 years. In Pondicherry, the decline in sales has been almost 50 percent, as reported.

The handling of various situations / cases – like children sucking thumbs, yellow stain on teeth, Tobacco chewing/smoking etc were discussed and alternate solutions were put forth. The matter with regard to sale of Tobacco and tobacco products to under-aged population was of high concern and suitable remedial actions was also advised.

The session on First Aid covered the following topics *Artificial respiration *Stopping bleeding and wound dressing *Fracture and soft tissues injury management *Head injury *Heart attack *Shock treatment *Burns and scalds.

Some basic but highly useful information given referred to techniques of giving First Aid like- checking pulse rate, temperature, reassuring patients, their safety, treatment, arranging for immediate disposal of patient etc. . It was quite informative to know that blood oozing out from, say, ear or mouth, that is internal bleeding and that it must not be stopped as it would cause clotting inside which will be more harmful; whereas blood coming out of external cuts/wounds should be stopped. Similarly, in case of Heart attack, the patient should not be made to lie down as heart and lung get damaged if they do not receive oxygen for more than 3 minutes.

In case of fracture, movement at the site of injury should be prevented through comfortable support on way to medical aid. It was further informed 60-70% of deaths/fatality in an accident is due to shock rather than injury itself . . Therefore in such cases; temperature, pulse rate of the patient should be monitored while protecting him/her from cold and repeated assurances to be given about his/her safety. Tight clothes particularly around neck and waist should be loosened and the person should be made to lie down with legs elevated. Lastly, it was impressed upon that wrong methods of First Aid or no aid at all may prove to be the Last Aid!

The session was conducted in very interesting manner-laced with lectures, slide shows and considerable practical demonstration with help of plastic and wooden models and also live ones (participants)! Also participants were made to repeat demonstration/ exhibition of certain First Aid techniques explained and shown to them.

The usefulness of the workshop was highly appreciated by the participants who were also provided with IEC materials (Posters, training manual, audio films etc.) which would facilitate them to initiate workshops with their students and community. Smile aims to reach out to over 10,000 children with these knowledge and awareness through these teachers.

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