For minor aches and pains, follow these simple at-home first aid tips for properly diagnosing and treating common injuries:
To treat a minor cut:
- Thoroughly wash the cut with soap and water. If you use hydrogen peroxide, dilute the solution 50 percent with water to prevent irritating the area.
- Once clean, place pressure on the cut to stop the bleeding.
- Once the bleeding has stopped, cover with a Band-Aid.
- For lacerations in which the skin is fully split, or if bleeding does not stop, visit a Baylor St. Luke’s Emergency Center for further treatment.
To treat burns:
- Remove any heat from the burn, then run the affected area under cold water or place a cold compress over it.
- Once cooled, rub antibiotic ointment on the area. Do not cover it with a Band-Aid; leave uncovered to breathe.
- If the burn is severe, covers a large surface area, is on the face or close to the mouth, or if it blisters, seek help by visiting a Baylor St. Luke’s Emergency Center.
In case of a bee or wasp sting:
- For all others, if there is no history of an allergy or if the individual is unknown to you:
- If the individual has a known allergy to bees or wasps, take them to a Baylor St. Luke’s Emergency Center immediately to seek medical care.
- Apply ice immediately to lessen swelling.
- If a stinger is visible, use tweezers to carefully remove the whole stinger.
- To prevent any type of allergic reaction, apply antihistamine cream to the site and take Benadryl (liquid or capsule).
- Monitor the individual for signs of extreme swelling, itching or difficulty breathing. If any of these symptoms are present, the individual could be having an allergic reaction and should be taken immediately to a Baylor St. Luke’s Emergency Center.
If a broken bone is suspected:
- Make a brace using household items to help alleviate the pain before taking them to an emergency clinic for an X-ray and proper diagnosis.
- Large popsicle sticks or a piece of hard cardboard are perfect for making an at-home brace. Place several Popsicle sticks on both sides of the area and wrap them together with an ace bandage or any long piece of cloth, such as a scarf.
- In children, it is typically less obvious that a bone has been broken; therefore, if the child complains of specific pain for several days and can pinpoint it to one area, it could mean a broken bone.
It's important to remember to always keep your personal first aid kit up-to-date and fully stocked in case of an emergency.
- An annual review is recommended to check for expired medicines or for restocking.
- For more information on what to stock in your first aid kit at home, visit our All-Purpose First-Aid Kit page.