Wellness - Safety/First Aid | 0-18 yrs

Dispelling 10 First Aid Myths

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First aid myths are prevalent all across the world. Some call them traditional healing techniques; others, grandma’s healing remedies. While some first aid remedies are genuine, there are many myths that are quite dangerous and can hurt the injured person in the long run. The claim that butter heals a burn is a myth. Do not neglect a minor burn injury or try to heal it with butter. Seek medical help for any burn injury. It is important to separate first aid myths from home treatments that actually work.

Covering a wound with a bandage may impede healing is also not true. Bandages are extremely important to heal cuts and abrasions and to prevent infections in the wound area. Using hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound is also quite common. However, it actually delays the healing rather than help it. Ice baths to bring down a fever is also old-school healing myth. Ice packs can actually raise the fever helped by shivering from the cold. Shivering causes friction, which produces heat. From an article in New York Times, "Many parents soothe their feverish children by rubbing it on the skin or adding a little to a sponge bath. But using it this way can cause serious harm. Isopropyl alcohol is quickly absorbed through the skin, and large amounts applied topically can be inhaled, which can lead to alcohol poisoning and other problems."

For more first aid myths, read our selection of articles in this clipbook.


Myth 1: Soothe A Burn By Applying Butter

While it may be a popular remedy, there's no scientific evidence to prove butter helps in the healing process. Butter may contain bacteria that could lead to an infection. Running cold water from the tap on a burn for 20 minutes significantly im...

Myth 2: Do Not Bandage The Wound

Your child’s injury should be covered until healed. Not only do dressings keep it clean, they keep it moist and help maintain the temperature needed for healing. The moisture provides the cells with nutrients and also contains enzymes that help fi...

Myth 3: Rubbing Alcohol Can Help Cool A Fever

On rubbing, isopropyl alcohol evaporates from skin soothing it like a fresh breeze and potentially reducing body temperature. However, repeated usage can cause serious harm.

Myth 4: Rub With Ice Pack Or Take An Ice Bath To Treat Fever

Ice packs, or ice baths, are an old-school approach to bring down the temperature. Icing your infant does the opposite of what you would expect. Exposing an infant to ice packs may raise the temperature even further when the baby starts to shiver.

Myth 5: Tilt Your Head Back To Treat A Nose Bleed

No, tilting your head back allows the blood to run down the back of your throat instead of out of your nose. Complications that arise from the blood running down the back of your throat include coughing, choking, and vomiting.

Myth 6: Suck The Venom Of A Snake Bite

Experts say that this approach to snakebite treatment is based more on fiction than fact.

Myth 7: You Should Put A Bite Block In The Mouth Of Someone Having A Seizure

Bite block helps to keep the person from either “swallowing” their tongue (not possible), or biting it. But, the truth is that you should never put anything in the mouth of someone who is having a seizure.

Myth 8 : If You’Re Hyperventilating, Breathe Into A Paper Bag

Grabbing a bag and breathing into it repeatedly, known in medical literature as “rebreathing,” has long been recommended to ease rapid, uncontrolled breathing. But most medical studies and experts suggest that the method, though accepted, is dange...

Myth 9: Clean The Wound With Hydrogen Peroxide Or Alcohol

Most people aren't afraid to use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to disinfect a wound when they are cut. However, using peroxide on a wound can actually harm the tissue around it and delay the healing process.

Myth 10: Alcohol Prevents Hypothermia By Keeping You Warm

Drinking alcohol warms your body and can be used to prevent hypothermia. But in fact, drinking alcohol may lower the core temperature of your body and cause severe hypothermia.

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