3 First Aid Standbys You Should Never Use

We’ve all done it. Someone’s hurt themselves and we’ve said “I always used to use …”

There are a lot of first aid standbys that people have been using for a long time. Some, like Aloe Vera on a burn, can help. Others, like the ones below can harm.

One of the key principles of first aid is Prevent the situation from becoming worse. That means it’s important to know the ones that don’t work!

It’s also important to know what is the best thing to do in each situation. Let’s look at three standbys that you should never use.

Iodine on cuts and grazes

Why?
Using iodine on a wound may kill the bacteria on the surface, but it doesn’t clean the wound itself. Iodine won’t protect the healthy tissue underneath from infection or other damage.

The better option?
Gently clean the wound by scrubbing with mild soapy water and then rinse with lots of clean water. Clean the skin around the wound too and then cover with a sterile dressing.

Butter on burns

Why?
Butter can cause infection in the burnt area and create an environment for bacteria to grow. It also does not draw the heat out of the burn.

The better option?
Run the burnt area under cool running water to draw out the heat. This will also clean the burn and decrease the likelihood of infection. Another good option is a purpose made burn gel, such as Burn Aid

Tourniquet to control excessive bleeding

Why?
A tourniquet increases the risk of tissue damage and of the casualty losing a limb.

The better option?
Apply direct pressure to the wound and elevate the affected area above the level of the casualty’s heart. If needed you can apply a constrictive bandage, using a technique taught in all first aid courses.

The best way to learn how to help and injured or ill person is to learn the BEST FIRST AID SKILLS. Our first aid courses give you the chance to find out if those old standbys really work.

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