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23 April 2019

5 Essential First Aid Tips for Runners

5 Essential First Aid Tips for Runners

Whether you are a casual runner or training for a marathon you may find yourself with a running-related injury at some point whilst on the go. 

Here are 5 simple first aid tips for dealing with some of the most common runner's injuries or ailments:

 

1. Blisters

Blisters are fluid-filled bubbles on the skin that can be caused by your skin repeatedly rubbing against your trainers. If you get a blister from your trainers do NOT burst it as this can increase the risk of infection. Instead, you should wash the skin around the blister with clean water and then pat the area dry with a sterile gauze or a clean, non-fluffy material. Finally, apply a special blister plaster over the area for comfort and to prevent further infection.

2. Cuts & Grazes

If you find yourself with cuts or grazes after taking a stumble or fall you should immediately clean the area with clean running water or alcohol-free wipes and pat dry. If the wound is bleeding, cover it with a sterile gauze or non-fluffy material whilst raising and applying pressure to the area until the bleeding stops. Finally, cover the wound with a sterile dressing or plaster big enough to cover the entire cut or graze. If you can see dirt or stones embedded in the injury you may be at a high risk of infection so consult a medical professional as quickly as possible.

3. Knee Injuries

Sore knees can be an all too common injury for even the most prepared runners. If your knee starts hurting during your run you should stop and rest to prevent further damage. If you fall and hurt your knee you should lie down and support your knee in a raised position. Use a covered icepack or cooling bandage for 10 minutes at a time will help minimise swelling, along with wrapping your knee with soft padding and a bandage. If your knee continues to be very painful or swollen do not continue to walk, run or attempt to straighten the knee as more severe damage may have occurred. In this case, you should consult a medical professional immediately.

4. Dehydration

Dehydration can happen when on a long run or running in hot conditions as you sweat and lose salt and water from your body. Drinking water and isotonic sports drinks regularly whilst running will help to keep your body hydrated. If you start to have a headache, feel dizzy or lightheaded, have a dry mouth, muscle cramps or dark urine you should drink something immediately. If you do not feel any better after this seek medical help as you may be suffering from heat exhaustion.

5. Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a very serious condition that is the result of losing a huge amount of salt and water from your body through excessive sweating whilst running for a long period or in hot weather conditions. If you find yourself feeling unwell with a headache, nausea, pale or clammy skin, cramps or rapid weakening pulse you should stop running and seek medical advice straight away. Try cooling down by finding shade, using cooing towels and drinking plenty of water or isotonic drinks to replace the fluids you have lost. Even if you recover quickly you should avoid continuing your run until advised it is safe to do so by a medical professional.

If you are planning on tackling a long run make sure you are prepared with a BS 8599-1 compliant personal first aid kit equipped with all the essentials plus plenty of space to add more items to suit your needs. Available in a pouch or bumbag style – perfect for carrying first aid items on the go.

Want to build a custom running personal first aid kit? Speak to us! We build custom kits for all different kinds of needs and situations.

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