First Aid Saves Lives

Welcome to the last in our summer series of Red Cross first aid tips.

Summer usually means lots of family picnics but outdoor fun can also result in sprains, strains and broken bones.

Red Cross first aid trainer, Anthony Cameron says “If you find yourself, or someone else injured remember the basic principles of R-I-C-E-R.”

Rest -Don’t walk on, or use the injured area.

Ice – Apply ice indirectly to the injured area to reduce swelling and pain. If you don’t have any ice you can use frozen veggies wrapped in a dish towel. Never place ice directly on skin as it can damage the skin tissue over time, and don’t apply ice for longer than 20 minutes with breaks of about an hour between each ice pack.

Compression – Apply a firm compression bandage if available to stabilise and help the injured area.

Elevate and Refer – Elevate the affected limb if it doesn’t cause the person more pain, and seek medical advice.

“If you believe someone has a broken bone or you’re not sure” says Anthony, “encourage and help the person support the injury with their hand, or some other cushioning item. Prevent unnecessary movement and make
sure the injured limb is supported until medical assistance arrives. Don’t place any pressure on what you think is the fracture site.

If a bone looks unnatural or dislocated, do not try to put it back in place as you may cause further damage. This is a job for trained medical professionals.

To find out more about treating strains and sprains, or to review any of our other first aid hints in this series download a Red Cross first aid app through Google Play or the App Store.

Always remember to take a Red Cross first aid kit in the car or caravan and better still, book into a Red Cross first aid training course. To purchase a Red Cross first aid kit online, or to book your first aid training course go online to or call 1300 367 428.