September 14 is World First Aid Day. Read on to know how you could be there for someone who needs help.

First Aid is quick and correct help that can be given when anyone is sick or hurt. In an emergency the first few minutes are crucial and hence the basic knowhow of what to do and what not to do can make a huge difference in saving a life. The role of the person providing First Aid is to preserve life until the doctor or a paramedic arrives.

In class

This is one area where you have to be alert and take charge immediately.

In case no adult is around, make sure you attend on the injured person and get help as soon as possible.

Remain calm. It is your responsibility to ensure that the victim doesn’t panic.

Everyone in class must know where the First Aid box is located.

Do not surround the victim.

While playing

While playing sprains, bleeding and limb injuries are common.

Do not pull or move the injured person, instead wait for the stretcher to be brought.

In a case of bleeding get help immediately. Use the gauze rolls and cotton in the First Aid box to stop the bleeding. Do not give the injured person too much water to drink. In case he/she is thirsty allow them to take a sip. Allow the injured person to sip some water.

At home

A well-equipped First Aid kit is an essential in every house.

Burns and cuts are among the most common injuries at home.

In case of a sprain, never apply ice directly. Instead put the ice in a poly bag and apply gently.

Apply cream only when the degree of burn is minor.

In case of natural disaster try to take shelter under a desk.

Always keep your doctor’s phone number and address well displayed so that it is easy to find in case of an emergency.

On the road

Make sure there is always a First Aid box in the family car.

Road accidents are ugly. A basic First Aid kit may help you stop the bleeding. With a little bit of training you could also learn how to give first aid to someone who has had a fracture. Always remember to call for help before you begin to do anything.

Few areas you cannot help

In a case of drowning you have to raise the alarm and then stay out of the way of the rescuers so as not to hamper operations.

In case a person is suffering from pain or some form of injury do not administer any medication.

First Aid box

1. Gauze swabs to clean wound

2. Gauze roll for Bandaging

3. Antiseptic lotion to clean the wound

4. Adhesive tapes

5. Triangular bandage

6. Scissor to cut clothes and cut the plasters.

7. Burn relief cream

8. Splin

9. Thermometer

10. Paper and pencil

Keep safe

On the First Aid box make a red plus sign

Write your doctor's name and contact number.

Keep the box in an accessible place in the house

Do not keep it in a in a locked cupboard.

Mark the first Sunday of every month as Inspection Day and check your First Aid box, and refill all the items as necessary. Also check items for Date of Expiry.

With inputs from: Sumit Shah, THINK HEALTH SOLUTION PVT LTD, and The Rashtriya Life Saving Society (India)

For teachers and parents

In class

All teachers must be trained in first aid.

On a regular basis drills must be conducted

Teachers have to learn basic Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation.

Emergencies concerning ear, nose and eye, choking, fractures and head injuries are common in children. Be aware of the basic skills needed to help a person in distress.

In the case of a nose bleed do not look up as there is a risk of blood flowing into the airway causing the person to choke. Look down, pinch the soft part of the nose, open your mouth and breathe.

At home

In case of a cut where there is profuse bleeding use a simple technique called the 3 Ps

Local pressure: Apply pressure on the spot using a bandage

Arterial pressure: In case of profuse bleeding on the hand or leg, pressure needs to be placed on arterial pressure points

Lift the limb above the level of the heart and create pressure against gravity

While playing

In case of a fall from a height you suspect the victim may have had a head, neck and back injury (spinal injury), do not move the person. Hold the neck from the sides and stabilise so as to immobilise the neck.