Baby Sitters Safety Guide
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First Aid Tips
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First Aid Tips

In case of a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1 immediately. The following are provided to give you some basic knowledge of first aid in the case of an accident in or around the home and to provide immediate first aid prior to the arrival of the ambulance.

First Aid Kit
Every home should have a first aid kit. Whether you buy a first aid kit or put one together yourself, make sure it has all the items you may need. A first aid kit should contain:

  • Flashlight and batteries - in case the power goes out in your home.
  • Tweezers and scissors - to remove splinters and to cut tape and gauze.
  • Emergency blanket - to wrap victim to minimize shock.
  • Triangular bandages - to hold dressings or splints in place.
  • Antiseptic towelettes - to clean cuts and scrapes and rescuers' hands.
  • Adhesive bandages in assorted sizes.
  • Sterile gauze pads - to place over wounds.
  • Elastic bandages - to secure a splint, bandage or apply compression.
  • Adhesive tape - to secure bandages or splints.
  • Antiseptic ointment - to prevent infection in cuts, scrapes, and minor burns.
  • Latex/nitrile gloves - to protect against disease transmission.
  • Plastic bags - for an ice pack.
  • Instant cold pack - for reducing pain and swelling.
  • Syrup of ipecac - to induce vomiting in case of poison ingestion.
  • Activated charcoal - to absorb and neutralize ingested poisons.
  • Emergency numbers - poison control center, etc.

Minor Cuts

  • Cleanse the wound and dry the area thoroughly.
  • Apply a sterile bandage over the wound.
  • Change the bandage if it becomes wet or dirty.
  • An elastic bandage, also called a pressure bandage, can also be used to control bleeding.
  • To apply an elastic bandage: Secure the bandage over the dressing. Use overlapping turns to cover the dressing completely. Tie or tape the bandage in place. Check the fingers for warmth, color and feeling.

Nose Bleeds

  • Have the person with the nosebleed sit down and lean forward to keep them from swallowing any blood (this could upset the stomach).
  • Keeping continual pressure, have the person pinch their nostrils together for about ten minutes.
  • Keep the person quiet. If a person is nervous, the nosebleed might get worse.
  • Apply ice over the nose. Cooling is helpful in controlling someone's bleeding.


  • Cleanse affected area and dry thoroughly.
  • Cover the wound with a sterile, non-stick pad applied with first aid tape or apply a transparent, microthin dressing. If the pad or dressing is being used over a joint, bend the joint during application.
  • Observe condition of wound daily for signs of healing.
  • If you suspect infection, consult your physician.

Bones & Joints Injuries
Suspect that a person might have a broken bone, due to the signs and symptoms of the person injured or the manner in which they were injured. Fractures (Broken Bones) - a break in the continuity of the bone. These may be closed (no open wound) or open (an open wound).

  • Signs & Symptoms - deformity, pain, swelling and discoloration, loss of function (cannot move the limb), grating sound on moving the limb, or exposed bone ends. Dislocation - displacement of a bone end from its joint surface.
  • Signs & Symptoms - pain or feeling of pressure, loss of movement of the joint, deformity, and numbness or tingling.
  • Sprains - injuries in which ligaments are partially torn. These usually happen when a joint is suddenly twisted beyond its normal range.
  • Strains - an overstretching of muscles and tendons.
  • Signs & Symptoms - pain, swelling, discoloration, usually do not cause deformity.
    • Remove clothing from around the suspected injury.
    • If an open fracture (a break in the skin), clean away the debris. Cover with a sterile dressing.
    • Splint in the position found.
    • Do not attempt to push bone ends back into the wound or straighten the extremity.
    • Get medical help.

Minor Burns

  • Stop the source of the burn.
  • Cool the burn under cool water until the pain subsides.
  • Gently blot dry with sterile gauze or a clean cloth.
  • Apply an antiseptic spray or ointment, if desired.
  • Cover loosely with a dry, clean dressing or transparent, microthin bandage. Change the dressing as needed.
  • Observe the condition of the wound daily for signs of healing.

    Note: For more serious burns (skin becomes white or charred), do not apply water, antiseptic sprays, ointments, or home remedies. Call 9-1-1.


  • Do not break the blister - if blister is open or broken, cleanse and remove all dirt from the area, then dry thoroughly.
  • Cover the blister with an adhesive bandage to cushion and protect it, or apply a transparent, microthin bandage over the blister and cushion around the blister with a foam pad.
  • If the dressing is being used over a joint, bend the joint during application.
  • Observe condition of wound daily for signs of healing. If you suspect infection, consult your physician.

Chemical Burns
These can be caused from any toxic substance that comes in contact with the skin. These can include bleach, paint removers, and various household cleaners.

  • Remove the chemical from the skin as quickly as possible using lots of water (unless contraindicated). Read the safety precautions on the chemical's container. (Remember to always keep the chemical in its original container.)
  • Remove the person's contaminated clothing if possible.
  • If it is a powdered/dry chemical like lye, brush off as much as possible before using the water.
  • Avoid getting any of the chemicals on yourself.
  • Get help as soon as possible.

Electrical Burns
These can injure a person on the inside as well as the outside.

  • Do not go near the person until you are sure that the electrical source is turned off.
  • Call for help immediately.
  • Check the person for entrance and exit wound. Cover these with dry sterile dressings.
  • Watch the person to make certain that they are breathing and that they have a pulse. Make them as comfortable as possible.

Closed Wound
A closed wound, such as a bruise, usually does not need special medical care. You can use direct pressure on the area to cut down bleeding under the skin. Raising the injured part also will help reduce swelling. Apply cold pack to help control pain and swelling.


  • Clean a needle or tweezers with rubbing alcohol and cleanse the skin area of the splinter.
  • Remove the splinter with the clean needle or tweezers. CAUTION: Foreign objects/splinters that are deeply embedded below the skin should be left for removal by a physician. If you suspect infection, consult your physician.
  • After splinter removal, thoroughly cleanse the affected area using firm pressure and small circular motions. Dry the wound area with sterile gauze, a clean cloth or cotton pad.
  • Bandage the wound using a spot bandage.


  • Clean the injured area.
  • If the skin is broken, apply a sterile bandage.
  • Elevate the injury to help reduce the swelling.
  • Apply a cold pack to the injured area. The cold pack may be secured to the injury with an elasticized bandage. Do not wrap too tightly. If wrap feels uncomfortable or tight, remove and wrap again.
  • Compressing the pack and wrap on the injury will help minimize swelling. Remove the cold pack after 20 minutes.
  • Reapply the elastic bandage and elevate the injured area again.
  • Reapply cold pack regularly (waiting at least 20 minutes between applications) for up to 48 hours after the injury. If swelling and/or pain has not improved, consult your physician.

Bites And Stings

Insect Bite
Signals may include a visible stinger, pain, swelling and/or possible allergic reaction. To care for an insect bite:

  • Remove stinger by scraping with a credit care or fingernail.
  • Wash wound.
  • Cover.
  • Apply a cold pack.
  • Watch for signals of allergic reaction such as breathing difficulty.
  • Call 9-1-1 or local emergency number if an allergic reaction occurs.

    Spider Bite
    Signals include a bite make, swelling, pain, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing or swallowing. To care for a spider bite:

  • Wash wound.
  • Apply a cold pack.
  • Call 9-1-1 or local emergency number for medical care if necessary (e.g., allergic reaction).

    Tick Bite
    Signals include a bull's-eye, spotted, or black and blue rash around bite or on other body parts, fever and chills, flu like aches. To care for a tick bite:

  • Remove tick carefully with tweezers. Do not squeeze the tick's body.
  • Wash wound.
  • Apply antiseptic and antibiotic ointment to wound.
  • Watch for signs of infection.
  • Get medical attention if necessary (e.g., if rash or flue like symptoms appear or if you cannot remove the tick).
  • Do not try to burn the tick off.
  • Do not apply petroleum jelly or nail polish to the tick.

    Snake Bite
    Signals include a bite mark and/or pain in affected area. To care for a snake bite:

  • Wash wound.
  • Keep bitten part still and lower than hear.
  • Call 9-1-1 or local emergency number.
  • Do not apply ice or tourniquet. Do not cut the wound.

    Animal Bites
    Signals include bite mark and/or bleeding. To care for an animal bite:

  • Wash wound thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  • Control bleeding.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover with gauze bandage and first aid tape or adhesive bandage.
  • Call 9-1-1 or local emergency number, or get medical attention if wound bleeds severely or if you suspect the animal has rabies.
  • Report the incident to local animal control or police officer.

Poisonous Plants

Millions of people each year suffer from contact with poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. To care for someone who has come in contact with a poison plant:

  • Immediately wash affected area thoroughly with soap and water.
  • If rash or weeping sore develops, apply a paste of baking soda and water on the area several times a day.
  • A lotion such as calamine or Caladryl may help soothe the area.
  • An antihistamine, such as Benadryl, may also help dry up the sores.
  • If condition persists or worsens, seek medical attention.
  • Call 9-1-1 or local emergency number if there are signals of a serious condition.