First Aid Myths Exposed

first-aidWith summer here and kids active, the risk of injury and accident can increase. Over at the Health Watch Center there is information about some common first aid mistakes that can be made when treating people with medical conditions or in accidents. Here are just a few to think about.

1. A child pulls a pot of boiling water off the stove or sticks their hand on a hot burner:

Do you put butter or mayonnaise on the burn? Hurriedly remove the child’s clothing because it is stuck to the burn? Get out the ice?

Those are the common reactions in the case of a burn, but all of them are myths.

Butter, mayo or other types of grease may cause even more damage to tender skin and pulling clothing or other materials stuck to the burn could damage the tissue or pull the skin off completely.

The correct action is to rinse gently with cool water and coat the burn with antibiotic ointment. If the burn is on a sensitive area of the body such as the face or if there are a lot of blisters, then go to the ER and do not pop the blisters.

You also want to seek medical assistance if a burn completely circles a limb or is larger than your hand.

2. You step in a hole in the yard and sprain your ankle

Is it ice or heat you use? Do you prop it up? Rush to the ER?

This is a very common injury that many people blow off without seeking medical attention.

In most cases that is okay, but you do need to know how to treat it and when to seek help.

The biggest problem is remembering when to use ice and when to apply heat.

For an ankle sprain you want to apply ice. Heat will actually increase the swelling and could slow down the healing process. If it is painful to put any weight down on the foot then it may be a fracture and you should see a doctor.

3. You are walking through the woods and someone is bitten by a snake.

o you rip off your shirt and wrap the wound? Suck out the poison and spit it on the ground? Get out your pocket knife and carefully cut the wound open so the poison can drain?

You guessed it! These are all myths that can actually be quite dangerous and lead to more injury than is actually necessary. If you cut the wound even slightly you may slice tendons or nerves that cause more damage. Tourniquets often lead to the blood circulation being cut off and could lead to the loss of a limb.

The safest response is to immediately splint the wound or wrap it in something clean and get to the ER right away.

You can find other first aid myths exposed here.

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