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Airbnb has partnered with the American Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent to provide our community with general safety resources. These resources, applicable in 191 countries, were developed by the Red Cross Red Crescent’s Global Disaster Preparedness Center, which is an international reference center created to build a global community for disaster preparedness innovation and learning.
In an emergency situation, contact local police or emergency services immediately.
Everybody wants to be safe, however unexpected accidents may occur and we want you to be prepared. This article offers some basic first aid tips prepared by the Red Cross that can help increase safety awareness. These tips are a great start, but we also strongly recommend that you to sign up for a first aid and CPR training course near you.
Prepare a first aid kit
We recommend that hosts and guests have first aid kits. As a host, make sure your guest knows where your kit is. Guests should ask their host if they have a kit and where it’s located.
Below is a list of recommended supplies to have on hand in case of emergency. These supplies may also be found 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 with different sizes
- Sterile gauze pads with different sizes
- One roll adhesive cloth tape
- Roller bandages with 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
It’s important that you know how to use your kit and the supplies in it. In an emergency, it can be difficult to remember every step. Check out the First Aid app offered by the Red Cross and Red Crescent Network in each country.
How to react in an emergency
In the event of an emergency, your actions can make a difference. Whether or not you have received basic training, it’s important to not put somebody’s life or yours at risk. Let emergency medical professionals take care of the emergency. However, quick action could save the life of a person if you activate the Check – Call – Care process:
- Check the scene and the person: Recognize if an emergency exists and check on the surroundings and if the person is in 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
Once called, emergency medical professionals might take some time to arrive, particularly if there is a lot of traffic or if you’re in a remote location. Below are some first steps to care for someone in specific types of emergencies before help arrives. The steps below assume that it's already been determined that help is needed and an emergency number has been called.
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).Follow these general recommendations from the American Red Cross on how to provide first aid for someone having an allergic reaction or allergy attack.
What to have on hand to help as a host:
- First aid kit
- First aid app for your country
What to bring with you as a guest:
- First aid kit
- Epinephrine auto-injector (if prescribed)
- First aid app for your country
How to take immediate action
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
Call the local emergency number if the person shows symptoms. People suffering from an allergy attack 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 use their own auto-injector. Don’t use auto-injectors from others or that were prescribed for different allergic reactions.
Help the person stay comfortable
Give the person constant reassurance while waiting for emergency services. Make them as comfortable as possible.
Inform emergency services what action was taken
Let the emergency services professional know the details of the situation and if 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 the person can raise both arms
- Confirm if the person can easily talk and you can understand
- 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 the person 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 the 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
In some cases, an emergency may not seem serious initially:
- 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. Find out more about making an emergency plan.
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 also have 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. ©2019 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