First Aid is one of those tricky skills that you rarely ever need…until, suddenly, you do. Even small medical accidents can be stressful, but knowing how to react can keep a minor problem from taking a turn for the worse.
Here are 10 tips to keep in mind the next time you face any of the following:
For Minor Burns
- When treating first-degree burns or small second-degree burns (usually confined to an area less than three inches), start by cooling the damaged skin by running it under cool water for at least 10 minutes. Steer clear of ice or very cold water.
For Cuts and Scrapes
- Use gentle pressure to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding hasn’t slowed after 20 to 30 minutes of pressure, seek additional medical attention.
- Clean the scrape with water, but avoid getting soap in an open wound. Apply an antibiotic (like Neosporin) and cover with a bandage.
For Heat Exhaustion
- Get out of the heat immediately and lay down with feet and legs elevated. Replenish fluids and place a cool cloth on the forehead or back of the neck.
- Make sure to monitor symptoms to ensure heat exhaustion doesn’t turn into heat stroke. Seek immediate medical attention if fainting, confusion, or high fever occurs.
For Bee Stings
- Assuming there isn’t an allergy to contend with, remove the stinger and apply a cold pack or cloth to reduce swelling.
- Hydrocortisone or lidocaine creams can help minimize pain and itching.
For Sprained Ligaments
- Though sprains can be painful, they are usually minor and can be easily treated without medical intervention. The first step is to avoid putting any weight or using the affected limb.
- Use ice and compression at regular intervals throughout the day and elevate the injured limb above your heart to reduce swelling.
For Any Other Random Minor Accidents
- Create a well-stocked first aid kit! Being prepared will save you a trip to the store and allow you to treat minor accidents without delay.
While first aid knowledge is great for treating small injuries and incidents, don’t ever hesitate to seek additional help if the situation worsens. Call your doctor, head to a hospital, or call 911.
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