Staying safe and healthy during a protest #EndPoliceBrutality

Protesters in Nigeria

The #endsars protest is gaining ground all over the world now, Nigerians are all in and this is not a bluff this time. Many are protesting all across the nation, enough is enough. The international media is starting to wake up, hopefully, our government decides to wake up too.

We wait, but in the meantime, our protests continue. Everyone out there protesting are doing so because of what they believe in. It is commendable, and we want to give a few tips to keep you safe and healthy out there.

Tips to stay safe and healthy during a protest

Joining a protest is not easy on the body. Many people have to go in extreme conditions- under the heat of the sun, under the rain. Sometimes little food and water to drink. People even sleep on the streets with little protection from the elements.

But there are a few things that you can do to make it a lot more easier on you and your health. here they are:

  1. Be mindful of underlying health conditions
    If you have any health condition that needs monitoring or regular drug use, you should plan ahead. Carry your drugs along with you and some water.
    If you suffer from low blood sugar, go along with some candy bars or soda drinks. Go with your inhaler if you are asthmatic. Make sure you protect your health
  2. Be well-kitted
    Take these items along with you:
    – A water bottle with a squirt top (to drink or wash your eyes)
    – Means of identification and emergency contact
    – Enough money to pay for food or transportation, if necessary
    – Some chocolate and protein bars, they will give you needed energy
    – Some wet wipes and tissues
  3. Dress for the weather
    When going for protests, go along with appropriate clothing. In Nigeria right now, for most places, it is sunny during the day and cold at night. Wear something light (t-shirts, jeans) and hold a sweater for when it gets cold at night. Also, it might rain, so go with rain jackets.

How to handle health emergencies

We all know that protesters can sometimes be at the wrong end of a baton, gunshot, and tear gas. How do you deal with these health emergencies if they happen?

Tear gas

Tear gas
Tear Gas

If you are exposed to tear gas at any time (sometimes, you might not even know), take the following steps.

  • Try not to use oils or lotions, they tend to trap the molecules of the gas and prolong their effects
  • Try to calm down and breathe slowly. Panicking increases the effect it has on you. Remember, the effects are only temporary
  • Move away from the source of the gas, find fresh air
  • don’t rub your eyes with your clothes, or your hands, it will make it worse. Immediately remove contacts if you are wearing one
  • Get water, rinse your eyes thoroughly, blow your nose, rinse your mouth, cough, and spit (do not swallow)
  • Get rid of your clothes when you can and shower for about 20 minutes under running water

Blunt force (batons, punches, kicks)

Take these steps if you are exposed to any blunt force trauma or trying to help someone who is:

  • Try to get yourself or the victim to safety, away from getting even more injured
  • If you or the victim are bleeding, get a clean cloth, and apply pressure, don’t poke or try to clean the wound. But try not to touch body fluids, wear gloves.
  • Try to get to clean air, and allow the person to breathe, clear airways if there are any obstructions
  • Don’t move the injured
  • Call for help

Gunshot

This is a lot more serious and should be handled with care. Here is what you should do:

  • The first step is to give the injured person some space and call for help immediately
  • While you wait for help, stop the bleeding by pressing a clean cloth into the wound. Press as hard as you can. Do not clean the wound or poke it.
  • If the gunshot is to the chest, seal the opening with some kind of plastic to stop air from being sucked in. This helps to prevent a collapsed lung. You can remove it later if the victim complains of difficulty in breathing.
  • Do not elevate legs to treat for shock

Stampede

This is another common health emergency that can occur during a protest. here is what you can do:

  • Try to take a mental picture of the exits
  • Try to stay on your feet
  • Don’t push or scream, conserve your energy
  • Pull up your arms towards your chest like a boxer. This works if you are standing or on the floor under the stampede.
  • If you are still standing, keep trying to move in between people, sideways. It is easier that way than pushing forwards or backwards. Do this until you can get to the edges.

Stay safe

We understand why this protest has to be done, but you also need to stay safe. Take note of the tips in this piece. And don’t forget, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, wear your masks and hydrate. Stay safe warriors.

*featured image: https://channelstv.com

Facebook Comments
SHARE
Segun is an ardent lover of fashion, reading and writing. When Segun isn't swimming baking or cooking he is punching away keys somewhere on the African continent. He is a creative with a penchant for finding (and in some cases creating) new and interesting ways of doing things. For more details, send an email to info@healthfacts.ng

LEAVE A REPLY