First Aid Myths That Do No Good

When an accident happens, your first reaction can do more harm than good—if you believe and follow through with an inaccurate first-aid myth, that is.

Photo by Robert S. Donovan

Web site HealthWatchCenter offers up 8 common first aid mistakes and myths that make things worse, such as putting butter on burns, placing an object between a seizuring person's teeth, sucking out snake poison, and tilting your head back during a nose bleed.

Putting butter, mayonnaise or ice on a burn is a myth, according to HealthWatchCenter who explains what you should really do and why:

Butter, mayo or other types of grease may cause even more damage to tender skin and pulling clothing or other materials stuck to the burn could damage the tissue or pull the skin off completely.

The correct action is to rinse gently with cool water and coat the burn with antibiotic ointment. If the burn is on a sensitive area of the body such as the face or if there are a lot of blisters, then go to the ER and do not pop the blisters.

You also want to seek medical assistance if a burn completely circles a limb or is larger than your hand.

Be sure to check out the full article for additional myths and mistakes as well as the explanations behind why you shouldn't follow them and what the right course of action is. Know of more first aid no-nos that people commonly believe to be the right course of action? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Common First Aid Mistakes and Myths That Make Things Worse [HealthWatchCenter]


    For babies or young children if a burn is really bad; as in you're going to ER it is better to keep the wound in cool running water for 20mins. Call an ambulance once child is in the water rather than going to ER as they will apply a cooling patch for the trip...if you go to ER instead of/ before treating under running water the burn can become more severe (deep tissue rather than partial or superficial). Also the paramedic told us NOT to apply ANYTHING except the cool water.

    Recently in my First Aid Course given by the QLD Ambo's the correct approach was to lean the person forward and give them five firm thump on the back to dislodge the item.

    The hiemlich maneuver if incorrectly performed can damage organs.

    Everyone should do a first aid course with st john or red cross AND keep it up to date. It's pretty cheap and you could save a life.

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