Everybody should know some basic first aid tips. This will keep you and others around you safer in everyday life and also in emergencies. Basic CPR is an important skill to have in case somebody stops breathing in your presence. Chocking is also a major risk that can happen at any time. Therefore, knowing how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver can be life-saving. You should also have a basic understanding of how to prevent and react to spinal injuries. And finally, everybody should know how to treat minor injuries like scrapes, cuts, and sprains. Hopefully, you won’t need to use many of these skills, but it’s best to at least know them so that you’re prepared for any emergency.
Basic First Aid that Everyone Should Know: Keep Yourself and Others Safe
CPR is a part of basic first aid that can save a person’s life if they are having a cardiac or breathing emergency. It’s a way of manually pumping the heart to force blood throughout the body, and also breathing for another person. You really should take a class to learn proper CPR. However, if this is not feasible, then you should know the basics of how to do chest compression. The American Heart Association recommends that untrained people do uninterrupted chest compression at a rate of 100-120 a minute (the beat of Stayin’ Alive) until help arrives. There are variations for children, newborns, and adults.
The Heimlich Maneuver is another basic first aid tip you should know in case someone chokes near you. If there is a non-pregnant adult choking, have them stand up and slightly bend over while you give five blows to their back with the heel of your hand. If this doesn’t work, stand behind them with your arms hugging them just above their belly button. Make a fist with one hand, grab it with the other and bring your hand inward and upward quickly five times to dislodge the choking hazard. The American Red Cross teaches this with CPR classes and will also teach Heimlich for babies, pregnant women, and yourself.
Spinal injuries can be especially dangerous and can happen in many ways. Knowing how to prevent and care for spinal injuries is a basic first aid tip everybody should know. Often, back injuries can be a result of lifting heavy objects incorrectly. Before lifting something, plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean down by bending at the knees to pick the object up and carry it close to your chest. Place it back down again by bending at the knees and not the back. If you encounter a more serious spinal injury, call an ambulance and do not ever try to move the person. You can do damage by moving them if their spine is hurt.
Finally, you should also know the basic first aid of treating minor injuries. Minor injuries are probably what you’ll encounter most often. Things like scrapes, cuts, and sprains. To treat a scrape or cut, apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Next, clean the injury with soapy water. Apply antibiotic cream and wrap the injury in gauze or a bandage. Check the wound periodically to look out for infection. For sprains, remember RICE. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Rest the injury, then ice it for 20 minutes four to eight times a day. Wrap it in a compression bandage for 2 days, and elevate the injury to heart level.
Basic first aid is so important in case of an emergency. The most important thing to remember if you’re ever faced with a choking, cardiac, breathing, or spinal incident is to call for help. You or somebody nearby should call an ambulance immediately. It’s a great idea to take a CPR and Heimlich class through an organization like the American Red Cross. If you encounter a spinal injury, don’t ever move the person and call for help. Finally, minor injuries can usually be treated easily if you just know the steps. Hopefully, you won’t ever encounter any sort of emergency injury situation. But if you do, remembering these tips will help you stay calm so you can be helpful or even save a life.