8 Common Myths vs Survival Tips That Actually Work

 We might have heard someone say that you can treat burns with butter or that it’s possible to suck out the venom from a sting. As appealing as these popular beliefs might be, they are not backed by science and, to make matters worse, they might even end up being harmful.

That’s why we at Bhaskar Health have made a list of the most common myths and the best course to take in case of an emergency.

1. How to safely escape from menacing dogs

8 Common Myths vs Survival Tips That Actually Work

The reasons why a dog may attack are not that clear. But what you should know is that trying to threaten the dog away by shouting or kicking at it is never a good idea since this will just make it angrier. Nor should you try to run away because, chances are, it’s going to chase after you.

  • What to do: If you’re wearing a jacket or a coat, gently take it off and place it on the animal. You’ll manage to escape by distracting it. If there is more than one dog, try to stand against a wall protecting your vital areas: face, chest, and throat. This way they won’t be able to surround you, leaving you even more vulnerable.

2. How to help heal a wound

8 Common Myths vs Survival Tips That Actually Work

We have been ill-advised about the wonders that ointments can do if you have a wound. In fact, you might be more likely to develop a rash from using them than cure an abrasion. Unless the wound is too deep, in which case you should go to the emergency room, you can treat it at home but make sure you don’t wait long before consulting your doctor.

  • What to do: Sometimes the simplest solution is the right one. Clean the wound with cold water and fragrance-free glycerin soap. When it’s dry, put a bandage on it.

3. How to cope during a power outage

8 Common Myths vs Survival Tips That Actually Work

These kinds of events usually catch us off guard and, if we aren’t well-prepared or informed, we might end up turning this situation into a complete disaster. Don’t be a hero and try to fix the problem yourself. Touching any downed power lines might cause electrocution. Also, lighting candles is so last century. You might end up causing an unintended fire and, moreover, they don’t offer a strong enough light.

  • What to do: Always be ready beforehand for these kinds of emergencies by creating a contingency plan. Stock yourself with useful supplies such as flashlights and bottled water, and make sure your family knows where you keep them. You could also invest in a generator so the most important appliances continue working until the power is back on.

4. How to deal with burns

8 Common Myths vs Survival Tips That Actually Work

This kind of skin injury may lead to serious consequences if no immediate action is taken. Nevertheless, some of the most popular home remedies are not effective. Putting butter, vinegar, onion juice, or a piece of steak on the wound may actually increase the risk of infection. It’s better to keep those ingredients for your next meal.

  • What to do: You should first immerse the wound in cool water. If it doesn’t need medical attention, you can try using petroleum jelly 2 or 3 times a day. Next, cover that area with a bandage. Remember that you should never pop any blisters that might appear and protect the burned skin from the sun.

5. How to shake off someone who’s following you

8 Common Myths vs Survival Tips That Actually Work

If you notice that someone might be following you, it’s highly likely you’ll try to pick up your pace and head straight home. However, by doing this you could be putting yourself in an even more potentially dangerous situation. The attacker might try to enter with you. If not, they will definitely know your address and could come back and catch you off guard.

  • What to do: First, make sure the person is actually following you. Try crossing the street or taking different turns to see if they’re still behind you. If they are, then try to remain calm and head toward a crowded area like a café. You might also want to try yelling “fire” in order to get attention from the people around you. This will probably scare the offender off.

6. How to stay safe on the road in the winter

8 Common Myths vs Survival Tips That Actually Work

Even for the most seasoned drivers, road conditions during the harsh winter months can be a challenge. Many believe that deflating the tires works wonders on icy roads but this is an urban myth. It can actually lead to difficult steering and you won’t be able to dig your way through the snow like you would when they are fully inflated.

  • What to do: Remember to do a complete check-up of your car to make sure it’s safe to drive in the snow. Get chains or studded tires on all of your wheels and prepare a kit to keep in the trunk of your car. Include a bag of sand, salt, or—believe it or not—kitty litter, a tow rope, a snow shovel, flares or emergency lights, and a first-aid kit.

7. How to survive a heat wave

8 Common Myths vs Survival Tips That Actually Work

Outsmarting mother nature can be crucial when temperatures rise to alarmingly high levels. Regardless of age or health, anyone can suffer from a heat stroke. Thirst isn’t an indicator of how hydrated you are since, by the time you’re thirsty, your body has already lost fluids. You shouldn’t replace water with sports drinks since most contain caffeine which will make you even more thirsty.

  • What to do: Even if you aren’t hungry, try to eat small meals that are rich in nutrients throughout the day. Spicy food makes you sweat and, hence, helps your core temperature drop. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water and be aware of the symptoms of dehydration, like rapid heartbeat, nausea, unconsciousness, and feeling dizzy or tired.

8. How to act if you get stung by a scorpion

8 Common Myths vs Survival Tips That Actually Work

Scorpions are considered a silent threat since they usually hide in the most unexpected places, even in your shoes. Though most stings are not serious, you should make sure you consult a doctor. Don’t go all Rambo and try to suck out the venom since this won’t help at all. Also, ice won’t be of any help in this case and it can backfire, increasing the intensity of the pain.

What to do: Cleaning the sting site with soap and water can help avoid any possible infections. To relieve the pain and swelling, you might try applying cold, damp compresses every 2 hours and elevating the area that got stung above your heart level.

Did you know about these myths? Do you have any useful tips to help the Bhaskar Health community stay safe? Share them in the comments below.

Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Dr. Rohit Bhaskar, Physio is Founder of Bhaskar Health and Physiotherapy and is also a consulting physiotherapist. He completed his Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. His clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab. Bhaskar Health is dedicated to readers, doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Bhaskar Health audience is the reason I feel so passionate about this project, so thanks for reading and sharing Bhaskar Health.

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