3 Common Mistakes when Rendering First Aid

You should always have a first aid kit on hand, whether it is at the workplace, your home, or in your vehicle. You never know when an incident may occur where you’ll need to administer first aid. You do not necessarily need to have professional training in order to utilize your kit, but you should at least avoid the common mistakes that beginners tend to make.

A Guide to Common First Aid Mistakes

1. Direct Contact Icing

Applying an ice pack is ideal for injuries such as sprains and bruising when you want to keep the swelling down. However, you should not apply the ice directly to the skin, as this can freeze and damage it. Instead, wrap the ice or pack it in a towel. Hold it onto the affected area for 20 minutes, then remove the cold treatment for 20 minutes, and reapply for another 20 minutes.

2. Giving Caffeine or Sugar

first aid

When someone is dehydrated or has fainted, do not give them soda, coffee, or any other similar type of beverage. Alcohol, caffeine, and sugar only further dehydrate people. They can make the issue worse or cause the individual to faint again. Instead, give them water or a drink designed to restore electrolytes (coconut water, sports drinks, or Pedialyte®).

3. Administering the Heimlich Immediately

When someone begins to choke, use the “five and five” method as recommended by the Red Cross®. This incorporates a new step into the standard Heimlich. Lean the individual forward and stand behind them. 

Using the heel of your hand, hit them between the shoulder blades five times. Stand them up, place your fist above the belly button, and thrust inward and upward five times (the Heimlich movement). Repeat as needed.


Think Trauma Kits has an expansive selection of ready-made first aid kits for every situation. Their trauma kits are made by veteran-owned companies, and all proceeds support rehabilitation therapy for children affected by cancer and brain tumors. Drop them an email for any questions or customization.