Are you prepared for emergency situations? Yes, most of us know to at least call 911, but even the police can’t arrive on the scene instantaneously. This is why it’s important to have a set of first aid skills. After all, you never know when you’ll need to help yourself, a friend, or a fellow human being. Here are 5 important first aid skills everyone should know.
You saw this one coming, right? CPR is still one of the one of the most useful first response skills to learn. Surprisingly, best practices have been updated in the last 5 years: the mouth-to-mouth portion has been replaced by hands-only chest compression; therefore, if you learned CPR 5 years ago, we recommend taking a new course.
The Heimlich Maneuver
Have you ever seen someone who is choking? It can be scary if you don’t know how to help them. Most people will try patting them on the back, but that’s not going to work if something is lodged. Instead, you need to exercise the Heimlich maneuver: this is done by standing behind the person and wrapping your arms around their stomach. With quick upward jabs, you can force the lodged item out of their airways.
To stop bleeding, pressure must be applied to the affected area. That means you must literally cover and press on it with force. While the concept is simple, it’s a skill that requires persistence. You can’t just press for 10 seconds; on the contrary, it can take hours of pressure to stop some cases of bleeding.
Cleaning & Dressing A Wound
Most of us know that wounds need to be covered. The question is, do you know how to do it properly? Improperly dressing a wound can mean the difference between healing and infection; therefore, do yourself a favor and learn how to wrap a wound with a bandage now.
Making a Splint
Splints make broken or sprained bones heal properly. The splint puts the bone in a “rested” and immobilized position, which promotes comfort. Splints allow the person to move around without agitating the broken bone, which can make it worse. It doesn’t matter if you’re out camping or at home in your living room–if someone breaks a bone, a quickly fashioned splint can help them immensely.