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close this bookBasic Science and Health Education for Primary Schools Uganda (UNICEF, 1992, 162 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentForeword
View the documentLinking Volume 1 and 2 of Basic Science and Health Education Teacher's Guide
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction to Book
View the documentCHAPTER 1. My Health and Other People's
View the documentCHAPTER 2. Caring for Our Bodies
View the documentCHAPTER 3. Causes of Accidents
View the documentCHAPTER 4. Names and Sources of Food
View the documentCHAPTER 5. The Importance of Immunisation
View the documentCHAPTER 6. Cleaning Things We Use
View the documentCHAPTER 7. Family Relationships and Interactions
View the documentCHAPTER 8. The Six Immunisable Diseases
View the documentCHAPTER 9. Food Hygiene
View the documentCHAPTER 10. Helping Others to Keep Healthy
View the documentCHAPTER 11. Worms, Diarrhoea and Dehydration
View the documentCHAPTER 12. Safety and Accident Prevention
View the documentCHAPTER 13. Germs and Prevention of Disease
View the documentCHAPTER 14. Working together for Good Health
View the documentCHAPTER 15. Topic: Keeping Clean
View the documentCHAPTER 16. Malaria, Trachoma and Sleeping Sickness
View the documentCHAPTER 17. First Aid for Common Accidents
View the documentCHAPTER 18. Food Preservation and Contamination
View the documentCHAPTER 19. Injuries and Their Care
View the documentCHAPTER 20. Digestive System
View the documentCHAPTER 21. Nutrition, Health and Disease
View the documentCHAPTER 22. Worms

CHAPTER 19. Injuries and Their Care



By the end of the topic, pupils should be able to:

1. Name some road traffic accidents.
2. Describe causes of road traffic accidents and ways of preventing them.
3. Demonstrate the Highway Code.
4. Describe common injuries of the bones.
5. List causes of fractures, strains/sprains.
6. Describe fractures and sprains.
7. Explain and show how to care for injury to bones, joints and muscles.
8. List ways of preventing falls, fractures and sprains.

Behavioural Changes:

Pupils should:

(i) Avoid situations that are likely to cause falls, fractures and sprains.
(ii) Exercise care when climbing, walking, running and playing.
(iii) Give First Aid for falls, sprains and fractures.
(iv) Observe the Highway Code.

Sub Topics:

a) Road traffic accidents, Common accidents, causes and ways of preventing them. the highway code.

b) Common injuries to bones, types of fractures and first aid for fractures.

c) Common injuries to joints and muscles, symptoms of sprains/strains and first aid for sprains/strains.

d) Ways of preventing falls, fractures and sprains. When there is time, take an extra lesson to let pupils practice the first aid.

Main Ideas:

1. Many accidents take place on the road and can be prevented.

2. Overturning, falling, colliding and knocking are some accidents that take place on the road.

3. Road accidents are caused by over-speeding, being drunk, careless walking, riding and driving and failure to follow the Highway Code.

4. Sprains, fractures and dislocations are common injuries to bones and joints.

5. Proper care is important

- at the time of the accident.
- during the healing process.

Notes for the Teacher:

Refer especially to Chapter 17 in this Guide and to "Skeltal and Muscular Injuries" p.63 in Teacher's Guide Vol. I. and to Basic Science Book 4.

How do road accidents happen?

Let pupils tell you what accidents have happened recently and how they happened. Refer to list under main ideas (no. 3) and chapter 17.

Symptoms of fractures:

The most common fractures are of arms/hands and legs/ankles.

A fracture is a break. Broken bones can be either simple or compound fractures.

In simple fractures the bone is broken but remains inside the skin. The broken part (especially on an arm or leg) looks the wrong shape, may be swollen, or bruised and is very painful.

In a compound fracture the bone will have broken through the skin and there may be bleeding also.

Symptoms of sprains/strains:

A sprain is an injury to a joint. Usually the ligaments (soft tissue connecting two bones) are torn or pulled. The joint will become swollen and painful. If there is a bad tear, there may be bruising as well.

Symptoms of muscle injuries.

The most common injuries to muscles are cuts and bruises.

First Aid for broken bones

When a broken bone is a simple fracture, do the following:

1. Keep the injured bone still.

2. If it is broken arm or wrist, put it in a sling to rest it and keep it still.

3. If it is a broken leg or arm you can also make a home-made cast or splint. This is something to keep the injured bone still. You can make this from rolled up newspapers, a clean, smooth stick or something similar.

4. Take the patient to a health unit where they may be able to have an x-ray. The patient may need help to walk.

5. A broken bone may take many weeks to heal. All patients may need understanding, and may need assistance with moving around or carrying things. Also, cheer them up by spending time with them.


A compound fracture:

1. Cover the wound to prevent infection.
2. Stop bleeding if a lot, by applying pressure above the injury.
3. Support the injured part and keep it still, using suggestions for casts or splints above.
4. Get help quickly.

First Aid for Sprains/Strains:

1. Raise the injured part.
2. Put on a cold wet cloth or ice to the injured part to reduce swelling and pain for 24 hours.
3. The joint should be supported and kept still using methods explained above.
5. Severe sprains heal after 3 or 4 weeks.
6. The health worker may prescribe some asprin to take for the pain.


Take the injured person to the clinic.


Care during recovery.

A broken bone may take many weeks to heal. All patients need understanding, and may need assistance with moving around or carrying things. Also cheer them up by spending time with them!

A sprain may swell, and benefit from a cold wet cloth, and raising the injured part on a cushion.

Sometimes it is extremely difficult to know if a hand or foot is only bruised, sprained or broken. X-rays are taken to help. A tear in a joint is called sprain. The joint should not be moved about. It should be wrapped with something that gives support. Severe sprains heal after 3 or 4 weeks. Broken bones take longer. You can keep the twisted joint into the correct position for healing by using a home-made cast/or elastic bandage.


In order to relieve pain and swelling, keep the sprained part raised high after care. For the first 24 hours, put ice or cold wet cloth over the swollen joint. This helps to reduce swelling and pain. It is also advisable to take some asprin as prescribed by the Health Worker. After 24 hours you should soak the sprain in very warm water several times.


1. Discuss with pupils why it is dangerous to cross the roads at bends.

2. Take children to the nearest road site that presents these problems and demonstrate how to overcome them. You could also use the school compound for pupils to demonstrate road safety. Use road signs to promote awareness.

3. Let pupils make up picture stories to show accidents e.g. falls, sprains, fractures - their causes and how to give First Aid to each one of them.

4. Compose a song with pupils to describe prevention of these accidents.

5. Let children practise putting on a sling and splint.

6. Let children demonstrate how to transport a person with a sprain/fracture to a Health Centre.


Observation, predicting, drawing, construction, lifting/carrying injured people.


Splint, cloth, pictures/posters, Highway Code.


Pupils may describe causes of the accident discussed and First Aid for each of them. Let them observe drawings, pictures to identify fractures.


Help pupils form Health Committees and make a record of accidents that happen in the area.


(What have you learnt from this chapter?)

1. List 5 causes of road traffic accidents.
2. Describe how to cross a road safety.
3. Describe the steps for first aid for a broken bone.
4. What is a sprain?
5. List the steps for first aid for a sprain or strain.