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
- Tweezers and scissors - to remove splinters and to cut tape
- 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'
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Observe condition of wound daily for signs of healing. If you
suspect infection, consult your physician.
These can be caused from any toxic substance that comes in contact
with the skin. These can include bleach, paint removers, and various
- 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.
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.
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
- 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
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.
- 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
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).
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
- 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.
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.
Signals include bite mark and/or bleeding. To care for an animal
- 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.
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
- If condition persists or worsens, seek medical attention.
- Call 9-1-1 or local emergency number if there are signals of
a serious condition.