First Aid Tips

Five household first aid items

By the British Red Cross

Did you know that many everyday items can be used in first aid emergencies? The British Red Cross has been delivering workplace first aid training for over 35 years and have shared with us five common household items you can use in a first aid situation.

5 household first aid items British Red Cross
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1. Tea Towel

A tea towel can be used to help stop a heavy bleed. If blood is flowing from a wound and it is too big or there is too much for a plaster, then it is bleeding heavily.

Put pressure on to the wound with whatever is available to stop or slow down the flow of blood. This will act as a ‘plug’ to stop the blood escaping. The pressure you apply will help the blood clot and stop the bleeding.

Remember to call 999 (or get someone else to call) and keep applying the pressure until help arrives.

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2. Pillow

If you suspect someone has a broken bone, you can support the injury with a pillow or items of clothing to prevent unnecessary movement.

Supporting the injury may help relieve pain and prevent further damage. You should support the limb above and below the injury if possible.

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3. Frozen Peas

If someone has a head injury, you can apply something cold to the injury – for example, frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel.

Applying something cold to the injury for up to 20 minutes will reduce swelling and pain.

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4. Fruit Juice

If someone has been burnt, the best way to treat a burn is to cool it under cold, running water for a least twenty minutes.

However, you can use any harmless liquid to cool a burn, like fruit juice, to start the cooling process as soon as possible.

Cooling the burn will help to reduce pain, swelling and the risk of scaring. The sooner and longer a burn is cooled with cold running water, the less the impact of the injury.

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5. Clingfilm

After a burn has been cooled, you can cover it with a clean plastic bag or clingfilm. This will help prevent infection by keeping the area clean. Cling film or plastic won’t stick to the burn and will reduce pain by keeping air from the skin’s surface.

Always get medical advice if you think the burn is serious or a baby or child has been burned.

For more first aid tips and advice, you can visit their website or download their free first aid app.