Understanding first aid can be a very important life skill to have and it could potentially save a life if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation. However, there is a lot of misinformation and myth that is perpetuated about first aid and how it works.
Some of these first aid myths can actually be dangerous, because if you do the wrong thing in an emergency situation you could actually hinder the person you are trying to help. Here are a few of the most common first aid myths as well as the real first aid techniques that you should perform instead.
Applying Butter to a Burn
When someone burns themselves badly, the last thing you want to do is apply butter or oil to the area. This is because these substances actually hold in heat, which is why they are great for frying food in but not good on burnt skin. Instead, you should be concentrating on cooling down the skin. Place the burn under cool running water before you apply an antiseptic cooling gel, which will ease the inflammation and protect it from getting infected.
If the burn starts to blister or it is larger than a postage stamp, it is a good idea to take the person to the doctor.
Putting a Raw Steak on a Black Eye
You’ve probably seen this first aid technique in movies or cartoons when someone receives a black eye, as it is thought to reduce the swelling. However, this is not a good idea because putting raw meat against your injured skin could potentially put you at risk of contaminating your eye with E.coli or other germs that are alive within the meat. Also, you will completely waste a delicious steak that you could have eaten for dinner!
Instead, try placing some ice in a sandwich bag, wrap it in a tea towel and gently hold it against the area to reduce the swelling. Never put the ice directly on your skin, as it can be too cold and damage the skin.
Lying Down During a Heart Attack
If someone is having a heart attack, the common belief is that they should lie down. However, this can often make it more difficult for them to breathe. Instead, they should get into a half seated position with bent knees and their back supported. Call an ambulance right away and keep them as calm as possible.
Putting Objects in the Mouth When Someone is Having a Seizure
You might have been told to place an object such as a spoon in the mouth of a person who is having a seizure. This is meant to stop the person from swallowing or biting their tongue while they are seizing. However, this could actually be more harmful than helpful. They could damage their teeth or break the object, then choke on it. Instead, it better to put a blanket, pillow, coat or something else soft under their head and remove any hazards from their immediate area.
These are just a few of the common first aid myths that are perpetuated by popular culture, so make sure that you know the correct techniques to use in these situations.