First aid tips
Accidents happen, and we want you to be prepared. That’s why we’ve partnered with the American Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to provide general safety guidelines. Developed by the Red Cross Red Crescent’s Global Disaster Preparedness Center, these guidelines are applicable in 191 countries. While they're a great start, we strongly recommend signing up for a first aid and CPR training course near you.
Prepare or buy a first aid kit
Hosts and guests should have first aid kits. Make sure your guests know where it is, and guests should ask, if they don’t.
Supplies to have on hand
Find these items in a Red Cross-approved first aid kit at your local pharmacy or medical clinic:
- 2 pairs of latex-free gloves
- Latex-free adhesive bandages of different sizes
- Sterile gauze pads of different sizes
- One roll adhesive cloth tape
- Roller bandages of different sizes
- One elastic bandage
- 3 or 4 triangular bandages
- One 36" malleable radiolucent splint
- One unit of antibiotic ointment, cream, or wound gel
- 4 sealable plastic bags
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of chewable aspirin
- One space blanket
- One CPR breathing barrier (with a one-way valve)
- One pair of utility shears or scissors
- Oral thermometer
Knowing how to use these items is important, but remembering every step in an emergency can be tough. For help, download the First Aid app, offered by the Red Cross and Red Crescent network in each country.
How to react in an emergency: Check – Call – Care
Even if you have basic training, do not put your or someone else’s life at risk—let emergency medical professionals handle it. However, quick action using the Check – Call – Care process could save a life:
- Check: Identify whether an emergency exists—check the person and the surroundings to see if they’re experiencing real risk or distress
- Call: If the emergency seems critical, do not hesitate to call the designated emergency number in your country
- Care: Stay with the person, monitoring their vital signals and providing information to the medical team
How to provide first aid
Emergency medical professionals might take time to arrive, particularly if there’s traffic or if you’re in a remote location. Assuming you’ve already determined that help is needed and called an emergency number, here are some first steps you can take while you wait.
Allergic reaction or allergy attack
Pollen, stings and bites, latex, some food items such as nuts, shellfish, eggs, or dairy products, and certain medications could cause a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
What Hosts and guests should have on hand:
- First aid kit
- First Aid app for your country
- Epinephrine auto-injector (guests only, if prescribed)
How to take immediate action
- Identify symptoms. Notice if the person develops a rash, itchiness, or swelling on their face, hands, or feet. Their breathing may also slow down—this is caused by the swelling of their airway. Vomiting and diarrhea can also occur.
- Call local emergency services. If the person shows symptoms, call the designated emergency number. Allergy attacks require urgent medical assistance.
- Use an epinephrine auto-injector. If the person has a known allergy, they may have been prescribed an auto-injector. You can help them to use it—follow the guidance on the packaging if necessary. The person should only use their own auto-injector, not auto-injectors from others or ones prescribed for different allergic reactions.
- Help the person stay as comfortable as possible. Give them constant reassurance while waiting for emergency services.
- Inform emergency services what action was taken. Relay the details of the situation and whether an auto-injector was used.
- Protect them from injury
- Do not restrain them
- After the seizure, move them onto their side
- Tilt their head back and check for breathing
- Give them a sweet, sugary drink or food
- Reassure them—most people will gradually improve
- Identify if there’s weakness on one side
- Check if they can raise both arms
- Confirm they can easily talk in an understandable way
- Check for breathing by tilting their head backward
- Clear the airway if it’s blocked
- Give 5 back blows between the shoulder blades to dislodge the object
- Give 5 abdominal thrusts
- Continue to monitor the person until help arrives
- Establish what they have taken, when, and how much
- DO NOT make them vomit or give them anything to drink
- Help them sit down
- Give them aspirin (not ibuprofen or acetaminophen)
- Give constant reassurance
- Put pressure on the wound
- Keep pressure on the wound until help arrives
Fractures, dislocations, sprains, and strains
- Support the injury to prevent movement
- Make sure it’s supported until help arrives
Neck, head, and spinal injuries
- Tell emergency services if the person is drowsy, confused, or vomiting, or if the injury occurred from a fall two times their height or greater
- Ask them to rest and hold still
- Apply a cold compress to the injury—20 minutes on, 10 minutes off
Emergencies that may not seem serious at first
- Cool the burn under cool running water for at least 10 minutes
- Cover the burn with plastic wrap or a clean plastic bag
- If a child is burned or if the burn is serious, call the designated emergency number
- Help the person sit in a comfortable position and take their medication if they have it
- Reassure them
- If the attack becomes severe or does not improve with medication, call the designated emergency number
- Move the person to a cool place
- Rehydrate the person with sports water (carbohydrate electrolytes), coconut water, milk, or plain water only when the other options are not available
- Loosen or remove as much clothing as possible
- Apply cool wet cloths
- Fan and mist the person
- If the person is not responsive, call the designated emergency number
- Check for signs of hypothermia (reduced body temperature)
- Warm the person with water no more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit/37 Celsius degrees
- Cover the person or the area with a blanket or jacket without putting pressure
- Provide warm liquids without alcohol or caffeine
- If the person doesn’t respond, call the designated emergency number
We recommend that all guests and Hosts engaging in an experience prepare an emergency plan in case of a natural disaster or any other kind of emergency that could occur during an experience.
Airbnb-provided trip protections
All experiences include 24/7 community support. We also maintain $1,000,000 USD of liability insurance under our Experience Protection Insurance program, in order to provide Hosts and guests with peace of mind (certain exclusions apply). Additionally, in the event of a life-threatening injury, we’ve also partnered with an emergency medevac provider that may be activated to reach an injured party to support a medically necessary evacuation.
Courtesy of the American Red Cross. ©2021 The American National Red Cross ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
The American Red Cross and International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent name and emblem are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. The American Red Cross logo is a registered trademark owned by The American National Red Cross. For more information about the American Red Cross, please visit redcross.org.
In an emergency, contact local police or emergency services immediately.