First Aid Guide for Illness & Emergencies

First Aid Guide for Illness & Emergencies

Cuts, Scrapes, Puncture Wounds, & Splinters

Cuts and Scrapes

  • Clean with hand soap and water. “Hand soap” means the bar of soap or liquid soap you use to wash your hands in the bathroom.
  • Gently dab with a clean wet cloth to get all the dirt out.
  • Remove any dirty particles or glass. Use tweezers that were cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Cover with clean dressing like a Band-Aid® or sterile gauze.
  • If objects or dirt are trapped in the wound, seek additional medical care.

Deep Cuts and Puncture Wounds

  • Wash with lots of hand soap and water.
  • Cover with a Band-Aid® or sterile gauze.
  • Control bleeding by applying firm hand pressure to a clean cloth over the wound.
  • If blood soaks through the dressing:
    • Do not remove it. Apply more clean cloth on top and apply pressure.
    • Lay the injured person down and raise the wound above the level of the person’s heart if possible.
  • For bleeding that will not stop, take the person to medical care immediately or call 911.


  • When a splinter tip sticks out of the skin, wash your hands and the splinter area with soap and water. Clean tweezers with rubbing alcohol. Grasp the splinter end with the tweezers and gently pull at the same angle the splinter went into the skin. Wash the skin again with soap and water and cover it with a bandage.
  • When a splinter tip is under the skin, clean tweezers and a sewing needle with rubbing alcohol. Using the needle, gently lift or break the skin over the splinter and lift the tip. Grasp the tip with the tweezers and pull it out. Clean the wound with soap and water and cover it with a bandage.