Do you squirm at the sight of your kid’s blood? Or do you text your Nurse/Doctor/EMT friend for first aid advice as soon as an injury occurs? Read on to learn first aid basics!
If you’re like me, you want an expert with you, or at least someone more experienced. But if you have a basic knowledge of first aid and a simple first aid kit you can treat many of the minor emergencies families confront on a daily basis.
First Aid Basics- What Every Parent Should Know
Remember taking the first aid course or American Red Cross certification back when we were teenagers? We needed to prove to parents that their children were safe in our care – and that we were worth $5 an hour.
Now that we’re parents, we are around children so much more often, yet many of us lack confidence in their training on first aid basics, should an emergency occur.
I know I tend to immediately turn to medical experts or rush my children to an Urgent Care Center, for something as basic as a tick bite.
While severe situations do require medical help, knowledge of first aid information and first aid training in a few intervention treatments such as CPR can go a long way in treating many emergency medical symptoms.
Here’s a brief guide to the most common emergency situations and symptoms and how to respond. Learn these first aid basics and feel confident that your child’s health is safe in your care.
Wound Care First Aid Basics
Bleeding from a deep cut or other wound is often a distressing symptom. The first step, always, is to cover up the bleeding and add pressure. If you have a first aid kit, it should contain the gauze, ointment, and bandage needed for a small cut.
There are a few ways to know if the wound needs stitches and medical assistance. This diagram clearly outlines (with great pictures) the different treatment responses needed in a bleeding emergency, especially if the bleeding will not stop or if there is a foreign object in the wound.
What Do You Do About Bug Stings?
A bee or wasp sting usually only requires medical assistance if the person has an allergic reaction. If the injured person has an allergy, you must access their medication, such as an epi-pen immediately and then call for medical help.
The average injury from a sting can be handled without professional help:
- Remove the stinger immediately.
- Apply a cold pack to the area for 20 minutes, every hour, to provide relief from pain.
- Take an antihistamine to help decrease swelling and itching and ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief.
- After washing the sting with soap and water, using a hydrocortisone ointment from your first aid kit can relieve minor symptoms.
There are even more home health remedies for the treatment of bee and wasp stings.
First Aid Basics for Burn Care
How bad is this burn? I ask myself this every night while cooking. First-degree burns affect the outer layer of skin and can be treated with relief creams or ointments.
Second-degree burns, or burns that affect the outer layer and second layer of skin, may require medical assistance. If the burn covers a large area of skin, impacts an airway or was caused by chemicals or electricity, see your health care provider, who will need to check for blood flow and other issues.
There is more info for Basic First Aid for burn treatment out there.
CPR in First Aid Basics
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and is a technique used when someone’s breathing or heart has stopped. These life-threatening symptoms can be caused by a heart attack or near-drowning.
However, if you are not certified in CPR, doing something is better than doing nothing. If you do not have the formal training, learn these steps to use Hands-Only CPR and do not attempt rescue breathing.
Remember, CPR is done while waiting for emergency services to arrive. If you are doing CPR, be sure another bystander is calling for medical help.
Spinal Injury First Aid Treatment
If you are in an emergency situation in which a spinal injury could be possible it is very important that you do not move a person with the injury. Any movement could worsen the injury.
You must also support the injured person’s head and neck to keep them from moving it. Before emergency personnel arrives, you can do this by kneeling above their head and gripping it on both sides without blocking their ears. You can also have a bystander bring a rolled towel or blanket to brace their neck.
COVID-19 and Basic First Aid
So usually my first instinct in any injury is to rush to Urgent Care or call a doctor. But after COVID-19, I’m more motivated than ever to improve my skills in first aid.
Quarantine and social-distancing limitations encourage us to stay home and not seek medical attention unless absolutely necessary. (Medical and health professionals are needed for more than my kid’s paper cut)
Come on parents, grab your first aid kits! We can do this!
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