Having a good first aid kit at home is essential, but without the proper knowledge, those supplies won’t do you very much good. One needs to know how to treat common problems, illnesses and accidents in order to keep their loved ones safe in a time of emergency. So in addition to having the necessary supplies to hand, one also needs to know some basic procedures.
Below, you’ll find some basic procedures for treating common conditions.
For minor burns:
- Cool the burn to help soothe the pain. Hold the burned area under cool (not cold) running water for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pain eases. Or apply a clean towel dampened with cool tap water.
- Remove rings or other tight items from the burned area. Try to do this quickly and gently, before the area swells.
- Don’t break small blisters (no bigger than your little fingernail). If blisters break, gently clean the area with mild soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and cover it with a nonstick gauze bandage.
- Apply moisturizer or aloe vera lotion or gel, which may provide relief in some cases.
- If needed, take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others).
- Consider a tetanus shot. Make sure that your tetanus booster is up to date. Doctors recommend people get a tetanus shot at least every 10 years.
See your doctor if you develop large blisters. Large blisters are best removed, as they rarely will remain intact on their own. Also seek medical help if the burn covers a large area of the body or if you notice signs of infection, such as oozing from the wound and increased pain, redness and swelling.
Call 911 or emergency medical help for major burns. Until an emergency unit arrives, take these actions:
- Protect the burned person from further harm. If you can do so safely, make sure the person you’re helping is not in contact with smoldering materials or exposed to smoke or heat. But don’t remove burned clothing stuck to the skin.
- Check for signs of circulation. Look for breathing, coughing or movement. Begin CPR if needed.
- Remove jewelry, belts and other restrictive items, especially from around burned areas and the neck. Burned areas swell rapidly.
- Don’t immerse large severe burns in cold water. Doing so could cause a serious loss of body heat (hypothermia) or a drop in blood pressure and decreased blood flow (shock).
- Elevate the burned area. Raise the wound above heart level, if possible.
- Cover the area of the burn. Use a cool, moist, bandage or a clean cloth.
Is it a minor burn or a major burn?
If it’s not clear what level of care is needed, try to judge the extent of tissue damage, based on the following burn categories:
A first-degree burn is the least serious type, involving only the outer layer of skin. It may cause:
You can usually treat a first-degree burn as a minor burn. If it involves much of the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint, seek emergency medical attention.
A second-degree burn is more serious. It may cause:
- Red, white or splotchy skin
If the second-degree burn is no larger than 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in diameter, treat it as a minor burn. If the burned area is larger or covers the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint, treat it as a major burn and get medical help immediately.
The most serious burns involve all layers of the skin and underlying fat. Muscle and even bone may be affected. Burned areas may be charred black or white. The person may experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Other toxic effects, if smoke inhalation also occurred
Part 1 of 3: Overview
First Aid: Broken Bones
A broken bone, or a fracture, can occur during an athletic competition, accident, or some kind of trauma. Broken bones are usually not life threatening, but they do require immediate medical care.
Part 2 of 3: Symptoms
Symptoms of a Broken Bone
Signs of a broken bone include one or more of the following:
intense pain at the site of the injury that worsens with movement
swelling, numbness, or bluish color of the injured area
deformity of the limb or joint if the injury occurred in the arm or leg
bone protruding through the skin
heavy bleeding at the injury site
Part 3 of 3: First Aid Care
First Aid Care
If the person is unconscious and/or not breathing or moving, call 911 for medical help and begin CPR.
Stop any bleeding. Apply pressure to the wound with a sterile bandage, a clean cloth, or a clean piece of clothing.
While waiting for medical care, give first aid treatment for shock if the victim has symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, pale and clammy skin, shortness of breath, and increased heart rate. The person should lie quietly with the feet elevated about 12 inches. Cover him or her with a blanket to maintain body warmth.
Immobilize the injured area if you will be moving the victim. Do not move them if there is a back or neck injury. Make a splint by folding a piece of cardboard or newspaper or a magazine, then placing it gently under the limb. Carefully tie the splint to the injured area with pieces of cloth.
Apply a cold compress or ice in a plastic bag to the injured area. Make sure to place a cloth between the skin and the ice so you don’t damage the skin.
- Fever is higher-than-normal body temperature (Normal temparature-370C or 98.60F)
- Indicates an abnormal process in the body
- Fever is a symptom and not disease
- Also called ‘pyrexia’
- Low fever:98.80F to 100.80F
- Mild to moderate:1010F to 1030F
- High fever:1040F and above
- Hot weather
- Childhood immunization
- Bacterial/viral infection
- Spending much time in sun
- Allergy to medication / food
- Hot flushed face
- Lack of interest in food
- Head and body ache
High fever maybe associated with –
- Monitor temperature using a thermometer
- Remove the excess clothing
- Keep the person in a cool place
- Give a sponge bath in lukewarm water
- Give plenty of fluids
- Give prescribed doses of acetaminophen /paracetamol
- Do not give aspirin to a person with fever
- Do not wrap the person in blankets / warm clothing
Consult a Doctor in case of –
- Irregular breathing
- Stiff neck
- Persistent sore throat
- Painful urination