FIRST AID 101
THE PEDAL IQ FIRST AID GUIDE FOR CYCLISTS
It could be argued the world needs another first aid guide like we need another ice age. For the most part, we agree. There is a ton of information on the web and in books about first aid. Most of the resources are generic in nature. And, while the advice is basically good, it doesn’t take into account the nature of riding bikes and the circumstances under which riders get injured. So here it goes: first aid in a nutshell, for people who ride bikes, according to PEDAL IQ. When a fall, crash, or accident occurs, do the following:
- GET OUT OF THE WAY
Falling is bad enough. Getting hit or run over after you’ve fallen is worse. Assuming you are conscious, and aren’t immobilized by your injuries, try to get yourself and your bike out of the way of traffic so you can further access your injuries. If you’re riding on the street, pull all the way to the shoulder or hop up on the sidewalk. If you are on a bikepath, pull all the way to the right so passing cyclists can pass (or, if they are considerate, stop and help).
- CHECK YOURSELF OUT (YOU’RE A LOOKER)
See where you’re hurt. Assess your injuries. Are you bleeding, are you bruising, do you think anything is broken? Any signs of swelling? Do you remember the accident and everything leading up to it? Try to be honest with yourself about how you are doing. You don’t get extra points for being tough.
- CALL SOMEBODY
If you lost consciousness call 911. If you have a compound fracture call 911. If you are bleeding heavily and don’t think you will be able to stop it call 911. Bike accidents can be minor, but they can also be emergencies. The 911 operator can help you figure out which one it is. If you determine that your injuries aren’t serious enough to warrant a 911 call, consider calling a friend or family member to tell them what happened. Adrenalin is probably still pumping through your veins and you may not be thinking straight. Talking to a calmer person can help.
- GRAB YOUR FIRST AID KIT AND GET TO WORK
After you’ve assessed the situation and called to alert a first responder, friend, or relative, it’s time to clean yourself off, bandage yourself up, and get back on your bike if you can (walk it if you can’t). Abrasions and lacerations should be cleaned and covered as soon as possible to minimize the chance of infection. Fractures should be splinted or put in a sling to keep them from becoming any more serious.
- REASSESS AFTER YOU GET BACK HOME
Take a shower, clean your wounds again and make sure you didn’t miss any. Apply fresh bandages and go take a nap. No really, have a protein shake and go to sleep. Sleeping gives your body time to repair itself and is perhaps the most important factor determining how well, and how quickly, you recover.
LEARN MORE ABOUT FIRST AID
To learn more about First Aid or to sign up for a class, direct your browser to the American Red Cross website.
If you already know about first aid and just need a kit for your bike, we’ve made one for you.
MED IQ by PEDAL IQ is a first aid kit designed to fit on your bike or in a jersey pocket.