First aid is the process of offering initial help to a person who is injured or sick and in need of immediate medical assistance. The key to successful basic first aid is subscribing to the old Boy Scout adage, “Always be prepared”. The first step of becoming prepared for an emergency is to learn how to give basic first aid if the need ever arises.
Fortunately, there are an abundant number of opportunities to learn basic first aid in most communities. Basic first aid courses will include how to stop a wound from bleeding, immobilizing a limb that might be broken, and giving CPR to a person who is unconscious. Choking, poisoning and when to call for help are also included in these courses. Once you have made your way through a basic first aid class, a manual should be kept in your first aid kit to refer to when necessary.
When In Doubt, Call For Help
While basic first aid training will help you to assess situations and determine what type of help is necessary, if you are ever in doubt about the severity of a person’s condition, call 9-1-1. It is far better to err on the side of caution in these instances than to attempt to administer basic first aid to a person with a life-threatening emergency. Once you have called for help, you can discern what you can do to make the victim more comfortable by applying your basic first aid techniques. It is always a good idea to keep a basic first aid kit in your home, and in your car, so that you are always prepared to help someone who is in trouble.
Your basic first aid kit should include medications such as pain relievers, antihistamines and stomach medications. Bandages of assorted sizes are an essential, along with other wound treatment like antibiotic ointment and hot/cold compresses. Outdoor kits should include supplies to treat insect stings, sunburn, poison ivy and heat exhaustion. Items to treat accidental poisoning, such as Syrup of Ipecac can also be included. Basic tools to have on hand are tweezers, scissors and a thermometer. With a good basic first aid kit, you will be equipped to handle emergencies from a minor cut or abrasion to a broken limb or possible concussion. For more serious matters, you should keep phone numbers for your doctor, pharmacy and poison control center in your basic first aid kit as well.