Teddy bear and a first aid kit

Your Guide to Basic First Aid for Parents

How to Keep the Whole Family Healthy in a Crisis

No one ever expects to be in a first aid situation. But if you're a parent, it's essential to be prepared for anything. (Crayon up the nose, anyone?) Here are some tips on how to handle common first aid situations.

The Most Common First Aid Situations

As a parent, you should know how to handle the most basic first aid situations. Here are a few of the most common you'll probably encounter:

Cuts and Scrapes

Clean the wound with soap and water. Apply pressure if the bleeding is constant. Apply a bandage if necessary.


Cool the burn with cool water for at least five minutes. Apply a sterile bandage or wrap. Do not apply ice.

Bee Stings

Remove the stinger by scraping it with a blunt object. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. Take an antihistamine if you have one.


Apply pressure to the soft part of the nose for five minutes. If the bleeding doesn't stop, seek medical attention. And, contrary to popular advice, do not tilt your head back—which can cause you to swallow blood and irritate the stomach lining.

Bumps and Bruises

Clean the area with soap and water. Apply ice for 15 minutes at a time. Monitor for swelling.

Sprains and Strains

Rest the injured area. Apply ice for 15 minutes at a time. Compress the area with an elastic bandage. Elevate the area if possible.

Foreign Objects

If your child gets a small object like a toy, crayon, or bead stuck in their nose or ear, try to remove it with tweezers. Call your doctor if you can't get it out or if your child is in pain.

When to Seek Medical Attention

In some cases, it's better to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention. If the person is bleeding heavily, has a deep cut, has ingested an unknown substance, or is in a lot of pain, call 911 or your local emergency number.

The same goes for burns—if the burn is larger than the person's palm, seek medical attention. And if the person shows signs of shock, such as pale skin, fainting, or difficulty breathing, call 911 right away.

Common First Aid Mistakes

There are a few common first aid mistakes that parents make. Here are a few to avoid:

  • Not seeking medical attention soon enough: If you're ever in doubt, it's better to call 911 or your local emergency number. It's better to be safe than sorry.
  • Trying to treat everything at home: First aid is only meant to be a temporary measure. If the person needs more than first aid, call 911 or take them to the hospital.
  • Not being prepared: Ensure you have a well-stocked first aid kit at home and in the car. That way, you'll be prepared for anything.

First Aid Kits

A well-stocked first aid kit is a must for any parent. Here are some of the essentials you should include:

  • Band-aids
  • Gauze pads
  • Medical tape
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Cotton balls
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Pain relievers (acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Burn cream
  • CPR mask

You can buy a pre-made first aid kit or put one together yourself. Just keep it in a convenient spot and check it regularly to ensure the supplies haven't expired.

Proud to Be Your Trusted Urgent Care Center

By following these tips, you'll be prepared for anything. First aid is an important part of being a parent. But it's only one part of keeping your family healthy. Make sure to also practice good hand-washing habits, clean surfaces often, and stay up-to-date on vaccines.

And if you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us. At Pinnacle HealthCare, we're always here to help.