Home -- YW ideas -- My Favorite Links

Fruity First-Aid


1 rock
1 apple
1 overripe tomato
1 sharpened pencil
1 needle
1 toothpick
1 fish hook
1 tube of first aid cream
a 3x3" section of moleskin
several Band-aids
several matches (or a lighter)
1 knife
1 pair of scissors
1 pair of pliers
1 quarter ($.25).

Prior to starting the demonstration, strike the apple on a hard surface to produce a bruise.


Method:  Scrape the apple on the rock to produce an abrasion similar to the kind that a Scout might experience
while hiking or participating in a field activity.

Treatment:  Clean the abrasion with soap and water, apply first aid cream, and cover with a sterile dresing,
such as a Band-aid.  Actually apply the first aid cream, and cover the abrasion with a Band-aid.  Explain that a
sterile dressing should be used if the injured area cannot be covered by a Band-aid.

Method:  Make a superficial cut into the apple.  Explain that this type of wound is similar to the injury a person
might receive while using a pocket knife.

Treatment:  Clean the cut with soap and water, apply first aid cream, and cover with a sterile dressing, such as
a Band-aid. Explain that a sterile dressing can be used, depending on the length of the cut.

Jagged Wound
Method:  Place a knife blade at a right angle to the apple's surface, and draw the blade across the surface.
This motion should produce a jagged wound similar to what a person might receive from an ax or hatchet.

Treatment:  Clean the wound with soap and water, apply first aid cream, and cover with a sterile dressing in the
form of a pressure bandage.  This type of wound may require surgical attention, depending on the wound's
depth and length.

Puncture Wound
Method:  Insert the pointed end of the pencil into the apple so that the point comes to rest near the core.  With
the pencil remaining in place, slice the apple immediately next to, and along the axis of the pencil.  This reveals
the alignment of the apple fibers, which is similar to an injured person's skin tissue alignment.  Explain that
tetanus germs can be carried into this type of wound.

Treatment:  DO NOT remove the puncturing missile, (pencil, nail, pointed stick, etc.)  Seek immediate medical
attention. Removing the missile results in the reversal of the aligned tissue and possible further injury.  The
apple's core can represent a vital organ in this demonstration.  A tetanus antitoxin shot may be required.

Splinter or Fish Hook
Method:  Insert a toothpick at an angle under the apple's surface and break it off near the surface.  This
simulates a splinter wound.  Alternatively, insert the fish hook into the apple, but do not let the hook's barb
protrude out of the skin.

Treatment:  Wood Splinters and fish hooks are similar to the puncture wound explained above, but they are
treated differently. Remove the splinter with a sterilized needle or tweezers, clean the area with soap and water,
apply first aid cream, and cover with a sterile dressing.

Do not remove the fish hook; seek medical attention.  If the hook must be removed, gently push the hook
through the skin until the barb appears.  Using the pair of pliers, cut the barb off, and carefully remove the hook
by backing it out of the skin.  Clean the wound with soap and water, apply first aid cream, cover with a sterile
dressing, and seek medical attention.  A tetanus antitoxin shot may be required.

Method:  By this time, the bruise created before the start of the demonstration should be fully ripened.  Slice
through the bruise to reveal a cross section of the fiber, which is similar to the condition of bruised human

Treatment:  Normally, there is no external treatment for a bruise.  The area surrounding the bruise is tender to
the touch, and the injured person tends to favor the area to prevent further injury.  If the bruise is massive and
has a yellowish tint, this may indicate muscle damage requiring medical attention.

Method:  Hold the overripe tomato in an upright position, strike a match, and bring it close to the tomato's
surface. The heat from the match will cause a blister to develop. (This technique requires some practice to
develop to do it right.)  Do not allow the blister to develop to the point where it breaks.  The blister should look
like one that could develop on the heel of a foot during a hike.

Treatment:  DO NO allow a blister to develop.  When an area of the skin is sore and reddened, cover with a
sterile dressing to protect the area.

If a blister does develop, carefully clean it with soap and water.  Do not break a blister or use any ointments or
antiseptics. Using scissors, cut a piece of moleskin about 3/4" larger than the blister. Then cut a "doughnut"
hole in the moleskin slightly larger than the blister.  Remove the backing covering the adhesive surface of the
moleskin and carefully press the doughnut into the place around the blister. Add additional layers of moleskin
doughnuts, one on top of the other, until the moleskin is thicker than the top of the blister.  Cover the top of the
blister with a sterile dressing.

If it appears that a blister may break, sterilize a needle by passing it through the flame of a match.  Push the
needle into the blister near the blister's base.  Remove the needle, and gently press on the blister to squeeze
out the fluid. When the fluid has been removed, apply a sterile dressing.

Calling for Help
Method:  As part of the equipment list, a quarter is included, but is not mentioned in the demonstration.  It is to
be used to contact a doctor in case an injury occurs.

What you do FIRST in first aid is what really