First Aid Basics

  1. Never move an unconscious person. If you are not sure what's wrong, keep the injured party warm and still. Attempt to provide a modicum of comfort without adding to the injury.
  2. Fourteen states have passed a "Good Samaritan Law," which provides legal protection for persons who administer emergency first aid. In other words, if you try to help someone to the best of your ability, you can not be found guilty of negligence. Let the good works begin!
  3. CPR is short for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. When administered immediately to a patient suffering cardiac or respiratory distress, CPR can save a life. However, it's best to take a course to learn CPR. It's not safe to rely solely on the knowledge you gain from reading a book. You need to be certified in order to perform CPR correctly and save lives.
  4. The items in your first aid kit belong together and must be kept in one place. Remember to put back, or replace, any items found in the kit.
  5. Individualize your first aid kit to fit your family's needs. If someone is asthmatic, add an inhaler. If someone is allergic to bee stings, add an anphylaxis (bee sting antidote) kit. If someone is diabetic, make sure you have insulin at hand.
  6. A well-stocked medicine cabinet or first aid kit has, at the very least, aspirin, adhesive tape, a thermometer, sterile gauze bandages, tape, tweezers, anti-diarrhea medicine, rubbing alcohol, and an antibiotic cream.
  7. Keep a blanket and a (working) flashlight on hand.
  8. Read the labels. Make sure children and young teens are given correct dosages.
  9. Never forget the power of a soothing touch and a calm voice. It can help an injured person of any age.
  10. The pulse is the movement of blood through the arteries. When the heart beats, the walls of the arteries swell with blood. Between beats, as the blood moves along, the walls shrink back to normal size. The rhythmic swelling and shrinking is what you feel when you take a person's pulse.

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