When it comes to first aid, we’ve all heard the tales growing up about how to treat various ailments. Unfortunately, sometimes these old wives’ tales can end up doing more harm than good, which is why it is incredibly important to separate fact from fiction. Here are some of the most common first aid myths dispelled.
Myth 1 – You can suck the venom out of a snack bite
Attempting to suck the venom out of a wound can damage the tissue around it and make the venom spread further, faster. Instead, apply pressure to the bite and immobilise the area. Try to encourage the person who has the bite to stay as still and calm as possible to help slow the spread of the venom. Of course, call for an ambulance as quickly as possible and be sure to give them as much information as possible (such as if you know the type of snake that bit them).
Myth 2 – Urinate on a jellyfish sting
It is said that the acid in urine can help stop the sting from a jellyfish, but it can definitely end up doing more harm. There are two treatments to try: for tropical jellyfish stings, pour vinegar over the sting for at least 30 seconds if there is any nearby. Then rinse tentacles off with seawater or pull them off. Use a cold pack on the sting until an ambulance arrives.
In the event of a non-tropical fish sting (such as a Portuguese man-o-war or bluebottle), rinse tentacles off with seawater. Alternatively, remove them with tweezers or with a thick glove. Put the affected area in very hot water (as hot as it can be without burning).
Myth 3 – Tilt your head back to stop a bloody nose
It is far too common to see people tilting their head back to stop a nosebleed. Truth is, the nose will still bleed, but it will just go down your throat if you tilt your head back. Try sitting straight up and tilting your head forward slightly and pinching the fleshy part of your nose (just below the bridge where glasses sit) for ten minutes. Apply ice packs to the cheeks and nose as this may help slow down bleeding by constricting blood vessels.
Myth 4 – Put butter on a burn
Butter is grease, and any contact with a burn will conduct heat, making the burn even worse. Simply run the burn under cold water as quickly as possible for 20 minutes. Then cover it with a clean cloth or wrap in cling film. If the burn is severe, get to a hospital for treatment.
Myth 5 – Raw meat can help a black eye
This myth may have come about thanks to the coldness of the meat helping the black eye. However there is a good chance that bacteria from the meat can make its way to the eye, so avoid doing it. Use a cold compress over the area, whether it be ice or even a pack of frozen peas in a clean cloth, to help the swelling. If any vision problems occur, seek medical attention.
To gain an even greater understanding of first aid and how to administer it, consider enrolling in a first aid course in Perth with Warp Training Australia. We’ll give you all the facts when it comes to first aid, so you can confidently treat someone in the event of an emergency safely. Find out more about our comprehensive course and book your place today.