Lauren’s List: Fixing First Aid Mistakes

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — As a mom to an almost 3-year-old boy with a knack for tripping over just about anything, I find myself treating all sorts of “boo boos” all the time.

Thankfully, it’s nothing too serious, but I often wind up Googling the best way to handle all the bumps and bruises.

In my research, I found there are a few common ailments we tend to treat the wrong way, so today’s “Lauren’s List” is all about correcting some common first aid mistakes.

1. Not enough water – I’m ashamed to admit I’ve been burned a few times while cooking, and each time my initial reaction is to put some sort of burn cream on the affected area. But doctors say that’s not the best course of action! You should run the burn under cool water, not just for a few seconds or a minute, but for 20 minutes or more! Experts with the American Red Cross say the heat from a burn can travel deep into your skin and destroy tissue, so it’s important to soak for a while to prevent further damage.

2. Heating a sprain – If you twist your ankle, reach for the ice first. Heat increases blood flow, which makes swelling worse. Use the heat for issues like back spasms and to relax tense muscles.

3. Touching injured eyes – When something gets in our eyes, our instinct is to rub them like crazy and try to fish the irritant out. Experts say trying to get it out can cause more harm, so it’s best to cover up the eye and seek professional help. The only exception is if you get a chemical in your eye. Flush it out immediately!

4. Tilting back – You see it all the time. Someone gets a nose bleed and immediately tilts their head back to keep the blood from dripping down their face and maybe on to their clothes. Stop doing this! Doctors say the blood can drain into your throat and potentially obstruct breathing. Instead, pinch your nose with your chin parallel to the ground.

What’s your favorite first aid tip?

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to lpastrana@cbs.com.

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