First Aid for Emergency Situations
Naturally, taking preventative steps to avoid injury is far better than trying to mend the problem afterward. In many cases, a few common sense practices can go a long way. Follow the same simple safety rules you were taught as a child, and teach them to any children you might have, as well. For example, every child learns to look both ways before crossing the road, but many grow up to be inveterate jaywalkers as adults. When driving, abstain from imbibing any alcohol,instead, use a “designated driver” system or plan to take a taxi when appropriate. Finally, learn to trust your gut. If you’re walking down a dark street in a shady part of town and you begin to question your safety, follow your instinct and find a better means of getting wherever you need to go.
Emergency Action Steps
In emergency situations, it is important to respond quickly. A clear emergency action plan is a good way to streamline your responses. If you break down your plan into steps, you’ll be sure to know exactly what to do. For example, your family might draw up an emergency action plan in case of a house fire. First, each family member would find the safest route out of the house. Next, everyone would gather at a certain point, a good distance from the house.
In many emergency cases, the best thing you can do is to stay calm and collected. Heightened emotions tend to hamper your critical thinking skills and your ability to think quickly. In addition to staying “cool under pressure”, several concrete skills can make the difference in life-and-death situations. For example, any adult and even older children should be able to apply pressure to a wound, administer CPR, check for signs of obstructed breathing and perform a few other basic measures. Just knowing what to do is often the hardest part. In addition, though, it’s a good idea to put together a first aid kit, so you’ll have any item you need on hand. Depending on the circumstances, the kit may include bandages, clean water, an antiseptic, and other critical supplies. A first aid kit for your car might include a blanket, while a home first aid kit may include more medical supplies.
Last reviewed by David Patterson on Aug 24, 2016
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- Mayo Clinic: First Aid
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- University of Maryland: Emergency Preparedness
- ReadyNH: Emergency Plan
- National Preparedness Month: Family/Personal Preparedness
- Pacific Disaster Center: Family Disaster Plan