Helpful First Aid Tips Everyone Should Know

We all know that accidents happen, and sometimes those accidents can lead to minor injuries that require immediate first aid. As such, it’s critical to equip yourself with basic first aid skills, especially if you are a parent.

We have compiled a list of some basic first aid tips to help you through minor incidents based on the latest procedures recommended by the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association

These first aid tips are not a substitute for proper and official first aid training; however, they can prepare you to treat minor accidents until you receive proper medical attention from your doctor or local ER Near Me.

First Aid for Cuts and Scrapes

Whether you tripped and scraped your knees, nicked your finger while cutting vegetables, or pricked your hand while cleaning up some broken glass, proper first aid can help alleviate your pain and mitigate an infection until you can see a doctor. 

Press firmly over the cut with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops (about three to 15 minutes). If bleeding cannot be controlled, visit your local ER Near Me immediately. 

Clean the site with lukewarm running water and pat dry. Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment, then cover with gauze, a bandage, or adhesive tape. Replace your bandage daily (or more often if necessary), keep the site clean, and reapply ointment until the cut or scrape heals.

If your cut becomes tender, swollen, red, or starts to drain pus, see your doctor immediately as it could be infected.

First Aid for Burns

From touching a hot bowl of soup straight out of the microwave to accidentally tapping your hand or neck with your curling iron, minor burns can be painful. The first and most important step is to stop the burn. Stopping the burn must happen first before treating the burn. Hold the injured area under cold running water until the pain subsides; do not use ice. 

The depth and size of the burn will help you determine its severity. Typically, burns larger than ¼ inch on any part of the body require immediate medical attention. For these serious burns, call 911 or visit your nearest ER Near Me

If you have any small blisters from the burn, do not pop them or attempt to break the skin. Cover them in loose gauze, bandages, or tape. Keep an eye out for swelling, tenderness, or discharge as these can be signs of an infection.

First Aid for Bee Stings and Insect Bites

The severity of insect bites and stings varies depending on the type and whether you are allergic or not. If you have a known allergy to the sting or bite you received, call 911. If you suspect it is a tick bite, contact your primary care doctor to receive proper removal and medical attention.

If you do not have any known allergies but experience any of the following symptoms, you should visit your nearest ER Near Me immediately or call 911:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Coughing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Swollen lips or tongue
  • Hives

If the insect left a stinger, gently use your fingernail to remove it without breaking the stinger. Refrain from using tweezers to remove the stinger as it can cause more venom to push out of the stinger.

To treat itching, ask your doctor about using a topical antihistamine or 1% hydrocortisone cream if your skin is not scabbed or broken.

First Aid for Sunburns

We all need a healthy dose of vitamin D, but too much sun can cause a serious and painful sunburn. Be proactive and take certain steps to protect your skin with an SPF 30+ sunscreen daily. If you experience a sunburn, immediately go indoors or see shade to stop the burn and avoid additional sun exposure.

If you feel sick, weak, dizzy, or spike a fever, visit your local ER Near Me. Additionally, if you develop oozing blisters within 48 hours or the burns cover a significant portion of your body, you need immediate medical care.

If you experience typical redness and discomfort, apply aloe vera lotion and cold compresses. Do not administer any other creams, especially those with petroleum, unless instructed by your doctor.

For more tips about first aid for sunburns and how to mitigate them, check out our blog How to Beat the Summer Heat: Staying Hydrated and Protected While Under the Sun.

First Aid for Nosebleeds

From sports injuries to a drastic change in climate, nosebleeds are relatively common. In fact, one out of every seven people in the U.S. will have a nosebleed at some point. They are most common in young kids (ages 2 to 10) and older adults (ages 50 to 60).

If you experience a nosebleed, remain upright and do not tilt your head back. Pinch the lower end of your nose to close your nostrils and apply pressure for 10 minutes. If bleeding persists or returns again later, call your primary care doctor or visit your local ER Near Me.

First Aid for Sprains, Strains, and Tears

Whether you have a sprain, strain, or tear, it is important to elevate the affected area and apply compression and ice to reduce the swelling. For minor injuries, ice, rest, and anti-inflammatory medication can help it heal. However, severe swelling, pain, or discoloration may require a trip to the emergency room.

Have a First Aid Kit at Home and On-the-Go

Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere, which is why you need to be prepared. Make sure you always have a well-stocked first-aid kit at home and on the go to help out with life’s many sticky situations. Are you not sure what to include in your first-aid kit? Download our free checklist to help you stock up on everything you might need.