First Aid Tips

Listed below you will find first aid tips to either perform or not perform depending on the situation and severity of the condition.


1st degree - skin red & swollen:

  • DO immerse in cold water or apply cold compress until pain subsides.
  • DO see physician if pain persists or if injury does not begin to heal.
  • DON'T apply ointments, fats or butter.

2nd degree - skin blistered or white:

  • DO remove or cut away clothing, immerse injured area in cold water or apply cold compress.
  • DO cover with wet dressing under plastic.
  • DO seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • DON'T break blisters and do not use antiseptic ointments, sprays or home remedies.

3rd degree - skin white or charred with damage to underlying tissue:

  • DO cover with thick sterile dressing, clean sheet or other clean household linen.
  • DO call ambulance immediately.
  • DO elevate hands and feet if they are involved.
  • DON'T remove particles of burned clothing.


  • DO begin Heimlich maneuver to dislodge object if necessary.
  • DO see physician immediately for follow-up exam.
  • DON'T interfere if person can cough, speak or breathe.

Cold Exposure

Frostbite - skin is hard, pale and has no feeling:

  • DO (if outdoors) shelter victim from wind, tuck hands into armpits under coat, cover face with dry gloved hands elevate feet.
  • DO get person inside as soon as possible and immerse affected areas in warm water (101 - 103 F).
  • DO seek medical help immediately.
  • DON'T rub affected areas and don't use direct heat.

Hypothermia - victim is clumsy, confused, irritable and sleepy

  • DO shelter victim from cold, if outdoors, cover head and insulate from ground.
  • DO change victim into warm, dry clothes, if possible, and re-warm gradually in heated room or warm bath.
  • DO seek medical help immediately.
  • DON'T give alcohol.


  • DO apply pressure to stop bleeding.
  • DO wash abrasions and lacerations with warm, soapy water and soak puncture wounds. DO cover wound with a sterile bandage and change whenever it gets dirty or wet.
  • DO seek medical attention if bleeding won't stop, if stitches are needed or if wound becomes infected.

Eye Injury (object in eye)

  • DO try to locate object on white of eye or inside the upper or lower lid.
  • DO try to gentle remove object with moist cotton swab or moistened corner of handkerchief.
  • DO seek immediate medical aid if object cannot be easily removed or if eye has been penetrated or injured by strong light or chemicals.
  • DON'T use a dry cotton swab or handkerchief, don't probe or rub eye.


  • DO keep a thermometer in your home first aid kit to accurately check for fever.
  • DO encourage frequent amounts of cool liquids and remove extra clothing.
  • DO consult a physician when fever is higher than 101 F or child won't take fluids.
  • DON'T give aspirin to a child under 15 years of age. Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) per label directions.

Head Injuries

  • DO apply a clean pad or handkerchief to wound with steady pressure to control bleeding (almost all head wounds bleed profusely, even superficial ones).
  • DO seek immediate medical attention.
  • DON'T give alcohol, stimulants, sedatives or narcotics.


  • DO sit in a chair with head tipped forward.
  • DO tie a clean pad lightly over the wound-without pressure-if you suspect a serious head injury.
  • DO place ice pack on nape of neck for 15-20 minutes.
  • DO seek medical help if bleeding does not stop in 20 minutes.
  • DON'T lie down or pack nose with any type of dressing.


  • DO call for poison treatment information 1-800-942-5969.
  • DO follow instructions and keep patient at rest.
  • DO take the victim to a hospital as soon as possible.
  • DON'T induce vomiting unless told to do so... never induce vomiting if patient is drowsy or unconscious.


  • DO elevate joint as much as possible and apply ice packs 20 minutes each hour for 1st 24 hours (put crushed ice in plastic bag, cover skin with cloth).
  • DO apply warm packs after 24 hours.
  • DO use an elastic bandage, being careful not to wrap too tightly.
  • DO report to doctor if pain becomes more severe or injury does not improve within a few days.


  • DO stay out of sun or protect skin by wearing clothing or applying a sunscreen or sun block lotion.
  • DO apply cool wet compresses.
  • DO consult a physician if the sunburn is very painful.
  • DON'T puncture blisters-if a blister breaks, remove the dead skin.