First Aid

Treating a Minor Cut or Scrape

Wash your hands to prevent an infection.

Stop the cut from bleeding. Most minor cuts and scrapes will clot on their own, but if needed, apply gentle pressure to the area and elevate the wound until the bleeding stops.

Clean the cut. Start by rinsing the wound with cold water to reduce the risk of infection. Try to wash around the cut and avoid getting soap in the wound. Limit the use of hydrogen peroxide as to not irritate the wound further. Use sterile tweezers to remove any dirt or debris in the wound.

Apply an ointment. Apply ointment in a thin layer to the affected area. If irritation or rash develops, stop using.

Cover the wound with a bandaid or rolled gauze. Covering a wound can prevent infection. If the wound is minor, you can leave it uncovered.

Watch for any obvious signs of infection: redness, swelling, pain, drainage, or warmth.

Treating a Minor Burn

Cool the burn by running it under cool water. Apply a cool compress to the area until the pain is gone.

Remove any items that might constrict the burn when it begins to swell: rings, jewelry, tight clothing, etc.

Do not break or pop the blisters. Blisters are a way of the skin protecting itself from infection. If a blister does form, do your best to refrain from touching it. If the blister breaks, clean the area with cool water and mild soap. Apply an ointment to the affected area.

Apply lotions. Aloe Vera is a great lotion that offers a cooling sensation when applied to the skin.

Cover the burn with a bandage. Bandaging a burn can protect blistered skin.

If necessary, take an anti-inflammatory to ease any pain or inflammation you may be feeling. Great anti-inflammatory medicines are Advil, Motrin, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen.

First Aid For Bug Bites and Stings

Bug bites come in various shapes and sizes. Since no bug is the same, the same is true for bug bites. Not every bug bite requires a medical examination, or antibiotics, but it is important to have a general checklist for the next time you encounter a bite or sting from a pesky insect.

Common symptoms:

  • Redness

  • Itching

  • Pain

  • Swelling

Contact a doctor or call 911 if you experience an allergic reaction with: hives, abdominal cramps, nausea, swelling of the mouth, throat, or face, difficulty breathing, or shock.

Treating Insect Bites

If you notice an insect stinger embedded in the skin, try to remove it by swiping a credit card or similar object over the skin. Don’t use tweezers, as squeezing them can cause more venom to excrete into the skin.

Wash the area of the bite or sting with mild soap and water.

Use a cold compress on the affected area for about 10 minutes. Wrap ice in a cloth before placing on the skin.

Apply calamine or Neosporin to the affected area and then wrap the area with a bandage.

Nonprescription Overdose

A non-prescription overdose occurs when an OTC medication is taken above a safe limit and can create a mild or life-threatening situation. OTCs are generally safe when taken as the bottle suggests, but taking more than the recommended dosing can mean trouble. Learn the signs of a non-prescription overdose.
Common OTC overdose medications include: acetaminophen, NSAIDS, Antihistamines, Antitussives, Decongestants, and Expectorants.

Signs & Symptoms of a Mild Overdose:

• Flushed skin or dry mouth
• Stomach pain or nausea
• Ringing in the ears

Signs & Symptoms of a Severe Overdose:

• Fast heart rate
• Vomiting, or vomit with blood
• Constipation or inability to urinate
• Hallucinating
• Dilated pupils
• Dizziness, drowsiness, trouble breathing, confusion

Prescription Overdose

When individuals overdose on prescription medication, it is always an emergency. Acting fast and without delay can help save someone’s life. In the event of an overdose, call 911 immediately.

Signs of a Prescription Overdose:

  • Central nervous system depressants (Xanax, Valium): shallow breathing, clammy skin, weak pulse, coma, death.

  • Hallucinogens (LSD, shrooms): agitation, delirium.

  • Inhalants (aerosols): loss of consciousness, coma, sudden death.

  • Marijuana: drowsiness, vomiting, tachycardia.

  • Opioids: respiratory arrest, cold skin, dilated pupils.

  • Stimulants: hyperthermia, tachycardia, hypertension, arrhythmia, agitations, hallucinations, cardiovascular emergencies.

Make sure to contact a doctor for mild overdoses, or Poison Control or 911 for any severe or life-threatening overdoses.