First Aid Dos and Don’ts

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Here are some important first aid dos and don'ts. When you're cleaning a cut, don't apply hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol. These can damage or irritate healthy skin. Instead, rinse the cut under cool water, then clean around it with mild soap.

When you're dealing with a bloody nose, you might be tempted to lean back. Scratch that idea. Instead, lean forward 10 minutes, while you pinch the soft part of your nose just above the nostrils. If it's still bleeding after that, try again for another 10 minutes. Go to the ER if that doesn't help either.

Now, should you give someone in distress the Heimlich maneuver right away? No. First, quickly confirm that they're actually choking. If the person can't cough, speak, or breathe, that means yes, you should do the Heimlich. But if they're coughing, just encourage them to keep hacking away until they cough the food or object up.

Here's one more big don't. Don't try to induce vomiting right away if your child swallows something that may be poisonous. Throwing up could be dangerous, depending upon what they swallowed. Instead, call your doctor or poison control center immediately. They'll tell you exactly what to do to help your child quickly and safely.