Common First Aid Misconceptions

  • Burns “Put butter/antiseptic cream on it”.
    Never put butter/antiseptic cream on a burn. Instead, cool the burn under cool running water for at least ten minutes to stop the burning and relieve the pain. If cold water is not available, use another cold, harmless liquid such as milk. Apply a non-fluffy dressing.
  • Nose bleeds “Hold the child’s head back and pinch the bridge of the nose“.
    Treat nose bleeds by sitting the child down with the head tilted forward and pinch the fleshy part of the nostrils together for 10 minutes. Remember to tell the child to breathe through the mouth and spit any blood into a bowl or tissue.
  • Poisoning “Make the child vomit”.
    Never induce vomiting – it could burn or block the airway. Try to find out what has been swallowed and how much and seek professional medical advice.
  • Choking Stick your fingers down the child’s throat”.
    Never stick your fingers down a child’s throat – you could cause further obstruction or cause the airway to swell. Start by bending the child forward from the waist and give 5 sharp back blows between the shoulder blades, using the heel of your hand.*
  • Epilepsy “Put something in the child’s mouth for them to bite on”.
    Never put anything in the mouth of a child during a seizure. Your priority is to keep the child safe until professional medical help arrives. Move furniture or any other obstructions out of the way. Keep calm, so that you can reassure and comfort the child.
Nothing in this site should be construed as personal advice or diagnosis, and must not be used in this manner. The information provided about conditions is general in nature. This information does not cover all possible uses, actions, precautions, side-effects, or interactions of medicines, or medical procedures. The information in this site should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment.