Your husband just fell off the ladder while changing a light bulb. What do you do?
Your neighbor’s dog just bit your child. What do you do?
Your co-worker is choking on his sandwich. What do you do?
Situations such as these may arise any time. Emergencies and accidents are just a part of life. But you don’t have to be the effect of them. You can be prepared by knowing some basic first aid techniques and having an emergency kit to hand.
What Is First Aid?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, first aid is “emergency care or treatment given to an ill or injured person before regular medical aid can be obtained.” This is the care you can provide immediately following the accident or emergency in order to minimize the damage. This care follows the main aims, also known as the “Three Ps”, of first aid.
What are the Three Ps of first aid?
- Preserve life. This is the overriding goal - to save life and minimize the threat of death.
- Prevent further harm. This means ensuring that the condition does not worsen or to avoid further injury. It covers everything from moving a patient away from the cause of the injury, such as a biting dog, as well as applying basic first aid techniques, such as putting pressure on a wound to stop excessive bleeding.
- Promote recovery. This involves implementing first aid techniques that would assist in the recovery process, such as covering a small wound with a bandage or giving pain-relief medication.
How can I be prepared?
The best way to be prepared is to take a first aid class. Contact your local hospital or community center for programs or suggestions. You can also find classes through the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association and the National Safety Council.
There are many kinds of courses available. Choose one based on your needs, your budget and your time availability.
In addition to knowing basic first aid techniques, have a fully-stocked first aid kit in key places, such as your home, your car, and at work. This way you will have any supplies you might need to hand. The American Red Cross even offers a basic outline of emergency procedure which you can print out and keep handy with your first aid kit.
By doing these things you can be confident that you can calmly handle the situation should an emergency or accident occur.