I frequently tell parents that I have two qualifications for giving advice on first aid for injuries that occur around the home: I have worked for many years in large hospital Emergency Departments (ED), and—perhaps equally as significant—I am the father of typically active children.
The old phrase “accidents happen” is as true today as ever. Accident data from organizations such as the National Safety Council (NSC), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) show the four leading causes of death and serious injury in the United States in the one- to four-year age group are automobile trauma, drowning, smoke inhalation, and airway obstruction.
Realistically, most accidents that occur around the home are relatively mild in comparison. CDC data show leading causes of injury as unintentional falls, being struck by someone/something, bites/stings, cuts/piercing, and poisoning(s). And while these accidents are frequently non-life threatening, we are still faced with how to handle the unexpected, particularly in the home setting.
Getting a grip on the fundamentals of first aid does not require extensive training, but does mean we should pay attention to the causes of these accidents and what is required to provide a first response to reduce pain, maintain bodily integrity, and keep things from worsening. The following guide reviews the basics of first aid response for these most common injuries seen in and around the home.