Everyone should know basic first aid and CPR. However, you probably shouldn’t attempt first aid techniques if you’ve never actually been trained on how to do them properly. If you make a mistake, you could accidentally make a person’s injuries even worse! There are a variety of options for taking a certified, safe first aid course.
The Red Cross commonly offers several different courses, and there is probably at least first aid and a CPR course available in your area. You could also check with your local hospital or fire department. Why take first aid and CPR? Because someone you know, sometime in your life, will probably hurt themselves, maybe even seriously, and you should be able to help! You may even save someone’s life.
Neat Trick: One ‘tool of the trade’ you may learn about in a basic first aid course is a technique to determine whether a splint is too tight: you give a toenail or fingernail of the splinted limb a little squeeze. If the pink/red color (which is blood flowing back to the area) comes back quickly, that means you are probably getting enough blood flow in that area. If the color stays white or light pink and doesn’t darken again, then blood isn’t flowing as quickly as it should, and you may need to loosen the ties on the splint, in order to prevent even more damage to the wounded area. But remember, this book is not a first aid course and I’m not a doctor – go take a real course with your local Red Cross!
Here is where you can find American Red Cross class information: http://www.redcross.org/en/takeaclass.