Sore Throat

Crush a tablet of aspirin in a wineglassful of warm water, gargle, and then swallow it. If soreness persists get a doctor. Be sure your child is fully immunised against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, etc. : many infectious fevers begin with sore throat.


Small easily removed splinters may be treated by easing the point out with a needle dipped in spirit, and then pulling it out with small tweezers. Large deeply embedded splinters should not be disturbed but re-moved by a doctor or in hospital.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains occur at joints, strains involve muscles: both are painful and rest is usually the best cure. Repeated cold compresses on a sprain may help ease the pain. If a person with a mild ankle sprain must get on his feet, bandage it firmly with a wide Elastoplast bandage over an old stocking. If swelling and pain persist get medical advice, particularly with sprained ankles, in case a small bone may be broken.


Alcohol. If due to over-indulgence in alcohol, give patient large quantities of strong black coffee, or tea : if neither is available give plain water or milk to help dilute the alcohol. The smell of alcohol in the breath may mask an illness for which the patient has taken a small drink, so get the facts of the case and inform a doctor if there is any doubt as to the real cause.

Drugs. If overdosage has caused staggering and con-fusion, retrieve remaining tablets or mixture and get a doctor; if possible tell him what you suspect.

Blows. If due to a blow on the head, keep the person at rest. If there is even the slightest sign of a momentary 'black-out' make him see a doctor.


Insect Stings. If there is a sting in the flesh, ease it out with the point of a needle dipped in spirit, then apply the remedy. For bee stings, household ammonia dab-bed on usually gives relief (do not use near the eyes). For wasp or ant stings put on olive oil, household ammonia, a saline compress, or baking soda solution.

Nettle Stings can be alarming to very young children, reassure them, and if possible find dock leaves, crush these in your fingers and rub on to the affected area. Calamine lotion or an antihistamine cream may give relief.

Some rashes resembling nettle stings may be associated with an allergy or a disease, so if there is no relief from home remedies or there is a rise in temperature, get medical advice.


This is a painful spasm of the diaphragm and happens during games or violent exercise. Give sips of water, keep the person quiet, draw up the leg on the side where stitch occurs, apply a warm (not hot) hot-water bottle and rub the affected side gently. Stitch usually indicates that the person is not 'in training' and has over-exerted himself.


Various stomach and intestinal infections cause stomach-ache, sometimes with diarrhoea or with vomiting. Keep patient warm, in bed, give fruit juice, and if symptoms persist call in the doctor. Emotional worries and fears may be the cause in young children -try to find the reason and reassure the child. For stomach-ache caused by overeating, a dose of Milk of Magnesia should give relief. In all cases where pain persists get the doctor to check up.

If some foreign body has been swallowed, take the patient to the hospital quickly.


Remove the constriction at the throat. If breathing has failed, start artificial respiration, at once. Get medical aid as soon as possible.

Stroke, Apoplectic

Most common in elderly people. Sudden onset is due to the rupture of a diseased blood vessel causing haemorrhage in the brain. The patient is unconscious, with face flushed, pulse slow, and paralysis often on one side. If the breathing becomes noisy, turn him to the recovery position and undo tight clothing. Keep him warm, but do not apply hot-water bottles. Give nothing by mouth. Keep at rest and send for a doctor. If breathing fails, start artificial respiration.

Treat as for fracture of the skull (compression).


Styes are usually caused by an infection in the nose. See a doctor as soon as possible. In the meantime do not allow the person to rub the eye or to wipe the other one with the same piece of material as is used for the infected one.

Relieve the irritation or pain by 'spooning', i.e. wrapping a handkerchief round a spoon and dipping it in a bowl of reasonably hot water containing bicarbonate of soda or salt (1 dessert-spoonful to 1 pint of water), pressing out excess fluid on the side of the bowl, and applying the 'fomentation' to the eye.

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