The Triangular Bandage

The triangular bandage is the most useful bandage for first-aid work. It is strong and can be used for a variety of purposes. The first way to try it is to fold it so that it looks something like a necktie. This is called a cravat bandage. If you have a triangular bandage handy you can try this. Spread it out on a table with the long side near you. Now take the point and fold it over until it touches the base. Fold in half again and still a third time.

You have now formed the “cravat which will be about three inches wide and about a yard long. The cravat can be used for holding dressings in place. It is much easier to use than the roller bandage. For example, if a friend scratched his leg, you could keep a dressing in place over the scratch by tying the folded cravat bandage around the dressing and the leg, and tying the ends in a square knot. You could tie this cravat around your own head while playing, to stop the sweat from getting in your eyes. Or you could soak the bandage in cold water and then tie it around your forehead to keep you cool. The cravat can be used to support a sprained ankle. Place the middle of the cravat under the heel of the foot.

Then bring the bandage up in back of the heel and around to the front of the ankle. Now criss-cross it in a sort of figure-eight form around the ankle. Tie it firmly in front of the ankle. The cravat is also easier to use than a roller bandage in keeping a moist compress on the eye. The cravat is simply placed over the compress and then tied around the head. The cravat can be used as a pressure bandage. This is called a tourniquet. When a person has a cut artery, so that the blood spurts out strongly, you must act at once to stop the bleeding. Tie a cravat around the limb, close to the wound, but not touching it. Tighten the bandage until the bleeding stops. Get the injured person to a doctor as quickly as possible.

A tourniquet is a very dangerous kind of bandage. It should be used only in cases of extreme emergency. The triangular bandage makes a good sling to support the arm. You can make this readily by placing the triangle under the arm, with the point of the triangle extending away from the body. One end of the bandage is placed over the opposite shoulder. Then the other end is brought up over the shoulder of the injured man. It is tied in back of the neck to the first end. The point can now be tucked in and pinned at the elbow.