Summertime means sun and outdoor fun, but it also comes with bumps and bruises, bug bites and burns.
Many of these summer ailments can be treated at home, but at times, first aid is not enough, and professional medical attention is needed.
"First aid is recognizing the signs and symptoms of medical emergencies and knowing what to do before the EMTs arrive," said Guido Jannetti Jr., director of health / safety for the American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley.
Jannetti said first aid can be used to handle minor cuts and bruises and minor burns at the home where someone can simply scrub and clean the injury, put pressure to stop bleeding or cover with appropriate dressing.
''Your day-to-day scrapes, bumps and bruises can be handled by someone at home. We teach how to handle these situations in our first aid classes. Most of what people encounter at their homes does not require transport for more help if it is handled well,'' Jannetti said.
"First aid can be administered by anyone. It mostly deals with cleaning, dressing, bandaging and splintering," said Dr. Ruth Quarles, director of Elm Road Medical Park Immediate Care.
First aid includes any one-time treatment. It also includes follow up visits for the purpose of observation of minor injuries, cuts, scratches, first degree burns, and splinters.
Ointments, salves, antiseptics and dressings to minor injuries are considered to be first aid. Preventive procedures, like tetanus and flu shots, are also considered first aid.
Most first-degree burns are amendable to first aid treatment. "Elevate the area and dress it," said Quarles. "Use clean water or milk to cool it down." If someone has burns around the face, they should seek medical attention immediately, she added.
"The big thing about burns is to cool it and cover it to bring the temperature down, and to protect it from infection and exposure," said Jannetti.
Bumps and bruises can usually be treated at home.
"Rarely are bruises life threatening," said Jannetti.
Quarles agreed with Jannetti, but added that bruises around the head or in the back near the kidney need some special attention. Both said to apply cold compresses to the bruise.
For more serious injuries, receiving first aid as quickly as possible can often make a huge difference to the patient's chance of survival.
"For any type of trauma, the first thing we teach is to make sure the scene is safe, both for the victim, and the rescuer. Have the patient lie or sit down," said Jannetti.
If someone has flu-like symptoms or is sweating because of the severe heat, they can also be treated at home unless the situations become severe and do not improve.
In situations where someone is in respiratory distress, having chest pains or loss of consciousness, a trip to the hospital or doctor's office is imperative.
Jannetti said severe cuts or injuries where pressure does not work to stop the bleeding should receive attention from emergency personnel as well.
As for people with allergies to bee or wasp stings, they should have an EpiPen with them to help treat the sting.
An EpiPen is used to administer medicine to counteract the sting venom.
''There is a big concern here since some people with acute allergies to stings often can forget to bring their EpiPen with them which puts their life in danger." If someone with severe allergies is stung and does not have an EpiPen, "911 should be called immediately,'' he said.
He said people can always call the Red Cross or emergency personnel and ask for information if there is a medical situation and they are not sure what to do.
Bob Coupland contributed to this article.