Although minor injuries don’t threaten lives, it’s still important to react to them properly to reduce the risk of complications like infection. Everyone should know how to properly clean wounds and apply bandaging to keep them protected. Here are some other first aid tips:
Before bandaging a minor wound, clean it thoroughly. Remove dirt and debris, and use clear water. You might need to remove debris with tweezers. Once the wound is clean, stop the bleeding by applying pressure with a sterile cloth. Apply antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin, and cover the wound securely with a bandage. You can leave minor scrapes and cuts uncovered, but if the wound looks deeper than the surface, don’t take chances.
Splinters are painful but relatively easy to treat. If the splinter is sticking out, you can pull it out of the skin with tweezers at the same angle it went in. Wash the splintered area first, and clean your tweezers with an alcohol-dipped cotton swab. If the splinter is under the skin, you’ll need a sterilized needle as well as tweezers. Gently scrape the skin with the needle until you see the splinter’s top. Then grab the end of the splinter with the tweezers, remove it, and clean the skin again.
Nosebleeds usually look worse than they are and stop within about 20 minutes. To treat one, tilt your head slightly forward to prevent blood from running down the throat. Press your nostrils together with a tissue or washcloth, and hold for five minutes. If the bleeding hasn’t stopped after that, gently squeeze the nostrils again and repeat the process. If a nosebleed lasts longer than 20 minutes or if bleeding is profuse and fast, call the doctor.
Treating Animal and Insect Bites
Clean the bite area thoroughly. If the wound is bleeding, staunch it with a sterile cloth and pressure. Cover the bite with a gauze pad or bandage. For itching insect bites, use ointment or calamine lotion. If a bite is large or caused by an unknown animal, or if bleeding hasn’t stopped after 15 minutes, seek medical treatment.