As a parent of two small children, it always surprises me when I hear that a parent has never taken a CPR or FIRST AID course, let alone have a first aid kit. When I was a child in upstate New York, we had lots of accidents, and I was very happy that my mother had a well stocked first aid kit, and some basic knowledge. Moving forward, I will try to relate some of our family “accidents” and how we handled them along with some tips for basic first aid.
When I was about 8 years old, I was climbing up to the hay loft to help throw down bales of hay to feed the animals. I didn’t warn my brother, however, that I was coming up the ladder, and he threw a bale of hay down, landing squarely on my wrist, and causing me to fall about 20 feet to the ground. I started crying and my father told my brother to stay up in the mow if he knew what was good for him. I was then sent into the house holding my arm against my chest (also known as an anatomical splint), where my mother made me take a bath and change into clean underwear before taking me to the hospital. My wrist, of course was broken, and I was given a plaster cast.
What did we do right? I kept the arm in the position that it was found, without causing further pain.
What did we do wrong? No one gives a rip about whether you have clean underwear at the hospital, and I could have applied a triangular bandage and/or splint and sling to help keep the arm immobile.
Tips for today:
1. If you think a bone is broken, do NOT move it. If possible, call an ambulance for safer transport to the hospital.
2. If you MUST move someone, take steps to keep the broken part from moving. Do NOT try to put it back into place.
3. If bone is sticking out of the skin, control bleeding above and below the wound.
Want a free resource for your smart phone? Check out and download the American Red Cross First Aid App:
Check out some free CPR and Choking information, including games, videos and printable posters from University of Washington:
Call or email us today to request a FREE CPR and FIRST AID training for your community organization in the Philadelphia area.