9 First Aid Tips You'll Actually Use

First aid tips—especially when shared by paramedics—focus on emergency situations and procedures. It's all about how to react when blood is spurting, parts are missing, or breathing has stopped. That's all good information, but the best first aid tips are for the mundane injuries that are most likely to happen at the company picnic or a child's birthday party.

You shouldn't ignore the advice on calling 911 or learning CPR. But it's good to know what first aid you can do for the little things.


Stop a Bloody Nose

young man with bloody nose looking mirror
MAURO FERMARIELLO/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

Bloody noses can happen without warning (and probably should be reported to your healthcare provider), but the majority of bloody noses have help, usually in the form of digital trauma. That simply means nose-picking. If your nose starts bleeding and you didn't do something to traumatize it, tell the healthcare provider. Otherwise, keep your fingers out of your nostrils.


Treat a Cut Finger

Finger with a bead of blood

 Jonathan Knowles/Stone/Getty Images

There's nothing special about ​how to treat cut finger. You could use this first aid tip on a sliced nose, a split earlobe or a torn toe just as easily as a pinky finger. But when you do have blood dripping on the floor of your house it's most likely coming from your digits. Thumbs, of course, are also included.


Treat a Sprain

sprained ankle
pixelfit/E+/Getty Images

Even if you're not sliding into second base or crawling on rocks, everybody eventually gets a twisted ankle. You can sprain a wrist playing the Wii or taking out the garbage. As a normal adult, you need to know how to treat a sprain.


Remove a Splinter

What You’ll Need to Remove a Splinter

Verywell / Gary Ferster

As far back as kindergarten, you had to know how to remove a splinter. From playground equipment to trees and debris, splinters are ubiquitous with growing up. But in case you missed some of the fine points, review how to do it right and help prevent an infection.


Stop Diarrhea

woman with abdominal pain
coloroftime / Getty Images

Even the most astute first aid instructor forgot to put first aid tips on how to stop diarrhea in the class. If you plan to travel outside your zip code, you might want to know how to battle the inevitable gastric somersaults you're gonna feel. Not all rumbly tummies come from bad bugs, so you'll likely need these tips at home, as well.


Treat Nausea

Sick woman leaning on toilet

Photodisc / Getty Images

It stands to reason that if it's coming out one end, it's coming out the other. There's not too much you can do for throwing up that isn't fixed by finding the cause of nausea. However, every little bit helps. You really should know how to treat nausea.


Kill Head Lice

head lice inspection
vgajic/Getty Images

You bathe and you shampoo your hair. There's absolutely no chance you could get head lice, right? Wrong. Head lice love a clean head of hair—it's where they live. The good news is that it's not the end of the world. Head lice aren't particularly dangerous—they're just really gross. You need to know how to kill head lice.


Treat Bug Bites

girl with a big mosquito bite
dorioconnell Getty Images

Head lice aren't the only critters that bite. There are millions of little biting bugs out there. Lots of them are in your house right now. Besides cut fingers, the most used first aid tip of all will be how to treat bug bites.


Treat a Burn

Skin Burn


Touching the rack of a hot oven can really ruin the cookies. Luckily, you can pretty much handle the injury all by yourself. First, get off the computer and go put your finger under cold water. In 10 minutes, come back and check how to treat a burn.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Beck R, Sorge M, Schneider A, Dietz A. Current Approaches to Epistaxis Treatment in Primary and Secondary CareDtsch Arztebl Int. 2018;115(1-02):12–22. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2018.0012

  2. Head lice infestations: A clinical update. Paediatr Child Health. 2008;13(8):692–704. doi:10.1093/pch/13.8.692

By Rod Brouhard, EMT-P
Rod Brouhard is an emergency medical technician paramedic (EMT-P), journalist, educator, and advocate for emergency medical service providers and patients.