Scouts learn how to handle a variety of emergency situations while working on the First Aid merit badge: shock, heart attack, cuts, broken bones, hypothermia, bee stings, heatstroke, convulsions, dehydration, pains, cramps, and more. They learn to “be prepared” for many types of illnesses and injuries.
The First Aid merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout.
Answers and Helps
Help with Answers for First Aid Merit Badge Requirements
Find specific helps for some of the First Aid merit badge requirements listed below. Some of these resources will just give the answers. Others will provide engaging ways for older Scouts to introduce these concepts to new Scouts.
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 1: Early Rank Requirements
Demonstrate to your counselor that you have current knowledge of all first-aid requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks.
Requirement 1 Helps and Answers
For Tenderfoot, Scouts learn how to treat simple cuts and scrapes, blisters, minor burns and scalds, insect bites and stings, snake bites, nosebleeds, frostbite, sunburn, and choking. See the answers and resources.
For Second Class, Scouts learn how to treat an object in the eye, animal bites, puncture wounds, serious burns, heat exhaustion, shock, heatstroke, dehydration, hypothermia, hyperventilation, stopped breathing, severe bleeding, and ingested poisoning. They also learn how to reduce risk and respond to injuries. See the answers and resources.
For First Class, Scouts learn to treat sprains and how to carry an injured person. They also learn how to recognize the signs of a heart attack and the steps for CPR. They prepare for emergencies by learning about emergency services, developing an emergency action plan, and knowing how to obtain potable water. See the answers and resources.
Turn some of these requirements into a game with this combination of baseball and first aid knowledge. Players advance when they answer questions correctly.
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 2: Locations
Explain how you would obtain emergency medical assistance from:
(a) Your home
(b) A remote location on a wilderness camping trip
(c) An activity on open water
Requirement 2 Helps and Answers
In All Cases
- Assess the scene.
- Determine the cause of the injury.
- Determine if the situation remains dangerous. Don’t put yourself or bystanders in harm’s way.
- Determine the number of victims.
- Enlist the help of bystanders in calling for help.
Obtaining Medical Assistance at Home
- Call 911.
- Stay on the line until emergency responders arrive and follow the instructions.
Obtaining Medical Assistance in the Wilderness
- Determine if the victim can walk with assistance.
- Build a stretcher to carry them if necessary.
- If the victim cannot be moved, write down your location, the nature of the injuries, the time of the incident, the skill level of those assisting, and what treatment has been given. Send the note with a runner to contact emergency responders.
Obtaining Medical Assistance on the Water
- If the watercraft has a radio, use it to call for assistance.
- If not, send someone to the nearest phone to call for help and instructions.
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 3: Triage
Define the term triage. Explain the steps necessary to assess and handle a medical emergency until help arrives.
Requirement 3 Helps and Answers
What Is Triage?
Triage is a method to check the urgency of a medical situation. This is used when there are multiple victims to decide the order of treatment.
- Is the victim conscious and breathing? If the victim is not breathing they need immediate treatment.
- Is there severe bleeding?
- Are there other factors, such as allergies or medical conditions?
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 4: Universal Precautions
Explain the universal precautions as applied to the transmission of infections. Discuss the ways you should protect yourself and the victim while administering first aid.
Requirement 4 Helps and Answers
What Are Universal Precautions?
Universal precautions are a standard set of guidelines to prevent the transmission of pathogens from exposure to blood and other potentially infectious materials.
List of Universal Precautions
- Hand washing
- Personal protective equipment such as gloves, masks, and eyewear
- Cleaning of contaminated surfaces
- Safe handling and disposal of contaminated material
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 5: First Aid Kit
Do the following:
(a) Prepare a first-aid kit for your home. Display and discuss its contents with your counselor.
(b) With an adult leader, inspect your troop’s first-aid kit. Evaluate it for completeness. Report your findings to your counselor and Scout leader.
Requirement 5 Helps and Answers
This article from Scout Life Magazine provides lists of what items should be in your personal first aid kit, your troop first aid kit, and your home first aid kit.
Kim’s Game is a traditional Scouting game. This variation will help youth remember what should be in their first aid kit.
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 6: Shock, Heart Attack, and Stroke
Describe the early signs and symptoms of each of the following and explain what actions you should take:
(b) Heart attack
Requirement 6 Helps and Answers
Signs and Symptoms of Shock
- Restlessness or irritability
- Confusion, fear, or dizziness
- Clammy, moist, cool, or pale skin
- Rapid weak pulse
- Shallow, irregular, or rapid breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Extreme thirst
A person experiencing shock might not show any symptoms. Treat every accident victim for shock even if no symptoms appear.
Treatment for Shock
- Call for emergency responders
- Treat the injury and pain which lead to the shock
- Monitor the victim’s breathing and keep the airway open
- Have the injured person lie down
- Elevate the feet about 12 inches (unless you suspect head, back, or neck trauma)
- Cover the victim with a blanket or coat to keep them warm
Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
- Persistent and uncomfortable tightness or pain in the center of the chest
- Unusual sweating
- Shortness of breath
Treatment for a Heart Attack
- Call for emergency responders
- Begin CPR if qualified
Warning Signals of a Stroke
- Sudden weakness of the face, arm, or leg – especially if it is only on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking, or trouble understanding speech
- Sudden difficulty seeing
- Sudden dizziness, trouble walking, or loss of balance and motor control
- Sudden and severe headache
FAST Thinking for a Stroke
- Face – Ask the person to smile. If one side is droopy, this is a warning sign.
- Arm – Ask the person to raise both arms. Weakness or numbness is a warning sign.
- Speech – Have the person say a simple sentence such as “May I have a drink of water”. Slurred speech is a warning sign.
- Time – It is time to call 911 if you see one or more of these warning signs.
Treatment for a Stroke
Time is of the essence for the treatment of stroke victims. The sooner treatment begins, the better the possible outcome. Call 911 immediately if you suspect a stroke.
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 7: CPR and AED
Do the following:
(a) Describe the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Then demonstrate proper CPR technique using a training device approved by your counselor.
(b) Explain the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Identify the location of the AED at your school, place of worship, and troop meeting place, if one is present.
Requirement 7 Helps and Answers
- Not breathing
- Occasional gasping breaths
- Heart is not beating
- Unconscious or unresponsive
An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is used to help those experiencing a heart attack. It is an automated medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 8: Large Open Wounds and Cuts
Do the following:
(a) Show the steps that need to be taken for someone who has a large open wound or cut that is not bleeding severely.
(b) Show the steps that need to be taken for someone who has a large open wound or cut that is severely bleeding.
(c) Tell the dangers in the use of a tourniquet and the conditions under which its use is justified
Requirement 8 Helps and Answers
- Wash your hands. This helps avoid infection.
- Stop the bleeding.
- Clean the wound.
- Apply an antibiotic.
- Cover the wound.
- Change the dressing.
- Get a tetanus shot.
- Watch for signs of infection.
For Open Wounds with Severe Bleeding
- Put on gloves and goggles
- Apply pressure with a clean cloth or sterile pad
- When the bleeding stops, bind a pad firmly but not so tightly that the circulation is cut off
- Replace the pad when it becomes soaked
Tourniquets have proven immensely valuable in saving life and limb. This method is used only when all other efforts have failed and advanced professional medical care is either delayed by at least 30 minutes or not available.
Add some fake wounds to your first aid instruction for a more realistic effect.
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 9: Bee Stings
Explain when a bee sting could be life threatening and what action should be taken for prevention and for first aid.
Requirement 9 Helps and Answers
Bee stings can cause severe reactions in some people. When they happen, they’re emergencies. Seek immediate emergency treatment.
About 2 million Americans have allergies to the venom of stinging bugs. If a person is allergic to bee stings, they may also be allergic to yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets. Many of these people are at risk for life-threatening allergic reactions. A person who knows they have a severe allergy should carry an epipen with them and ensure that other people know about the allergy.
Symptoms of a Severe Allergic Reaction
Symptoms can include:
- Trouble breathing
- Hives that appear as a red, itchy rash and spread to areas beyond the sting
- Swelling of the face, throat, or any part of the mouth or tongue
- Wheezing or trouble swallowing
- Restlessness and anxiety
- Rapid pulse
- Dizziness or a sharp drop in blood pressure
- Stomach cramps, nausea, or diarrhea
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 10: Fractures and Dislocations
Describe the signs and symptoms and demonstrate the proper procedures for handling and immobilizing suspected closed and open fractures or dislocations of the
(c) Upper leg
(d) Lower leg
Requirement 10 Helps and Answers
- Call 911 for serious injuries
- Stop the bleeding if necessary
- Splint the area
- Reduce swelling and prevent further injury by elevating the area and applying an ice pack
- Manage pain
- Treat for shock
A fracture where the bone has broken through the skin is an open fracture
- Use a gauze pad to control the bleeding, but do not attempt to move the bone.
- Apply splints above and below the fracture sites
- Apply ice packs wrapped in a towel
- Treat for shock
This video shows how to splint the injury and make a sling in the wilderness.
This shows how to make a splint to immobilize the upper leg or knee.
This is for non-weight bearing injuries.
This is if you can still walk on the injury.
This video shows how to support a dislocated shoulder.
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 11: Head, Neck, and Back Injuries
Describe the signs, symptoms, and possible complications and demonstrate care for someone with a suspected injury to the head, neck, or back.
Requirement 11 Helps and Answers
An injury to these areas can result in permanent disability, especially if not handled correctly. Read more about how to respond to these injuries.
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 12: First Aid Cases
Describe the symptoms, proper first-aid procedures, and possible prevention measures for the following conditions:117
(a) Anaphylaxis/allergic reactions
(c) Sprains or strains
(f) Burns—first, second, and third degree
(i) Muscle cramps
(j) Heat exhaustion
(k) Heat stroke
(l) Abdominal pain
(m) Broken, chipped, or loosened tooth
Requirement 12 Helps and Answers
In case of an allergic reaction, call 911 immediately. If you are trained to administer an epipen and the victim has one, use it immediately.
How to Treat Bruises
- If a fracture is suspected, consult a doctor.
- Otherwise, place an ice pack in a damp cloth.
- Place a clean towel over the bruise and apply the ice pack on top of that for up to 20 minutes at a time. Try not to move the affected area.
Sprains and Strains
- Don’t put weight or pressure on the injured area
- Try not to move the affected area
- Place a clean towel over the area and apply an ice pack on top of that for up to 20 minutes at a time.
- Seek medical attention if the pain persists
Learn how to avoid and treat hypothermia.
- Remove wet clothing
- Insulate the injured area with a dry blanket
- Seek medical help immediately
- Do not attempt to warm up the injured area on your own.
- Clear the space
- Protect the head and neck
- Don’t restrain them
- Call 911
- When the seizure is over, put them in the recovery position
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids and eat foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables.
You can usually reverse mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment.
A muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles.
Muscle cramps are a common condition, especially among athletes. Common causes are dehydration, lack of proper warmup, mineral deficiencies, and over-exertion.
If you get a cramp, stretch and apply an ice pack.
You can prevent heat problems, using these tips:
- Avoid hard exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- If you’re not in shape, slow down and let your body adjust.
- Make sure you acclimate to the environment and get in shape before the event.
- Dress in layers and wear clothing that breathes and wicks moisture away from you.
- Eat snacks that contain a little salt.
- Drink water and keep drinking it.
If you or someone else has heat exhaustion, treat symptoms in the following ways.
- Get out of the heat quickly and into a cool place, or at least shade.
- Lie down and elevate your legs to get blood flowing to your heart.
- Take off any tight or extra clothing.
- Apply cool towels to your skin or take a cool bath. This will help regulate and lower your internal body temperature.
- Drink fluids, such as water or a sports drink. Do not guzzle them, but take sips. Do not drink fluids with caffeine or alcohol.
Abdominal pain can have many causes. Most are minor, but appendicitis can be life threatening so abdominal pain should be monitored.
The symptoms of appendicitis in the order they usually appear are
- loss of appetite
- increasing pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen
- nausea and vomiting
If you suspect appendicitis, seek medical treatment immediately.
How to Treat Dental Injuries
For a broken, chipped, or loosened tooth
- gently rinse the mouth with warm water
- place a cold, wet cloth or pad in the area of the injury, to minimize swelling.
- see a dentist immediately
- if you were able to find and save the broken or chipped piece of tooth take it with you to the dentist
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 13: Moving an Injured Person
Do the following:
(a) Describe the conditions under which an injured person should be moved.
(b) If a sick or an injured person must be moved, tell how you would determine the best method. Demonstrate this method.
(c) With helpers under your supervision, improvise a stretcher and move a presumably unconscious person.
Requirement 13 Helps and Answers
First Aid Merit Badge Requirement 14: Teach a Skill
Teach another Scout a first-aid skill selected by your counselor.
Requirement 14 Helps and Answers
This is a four step method for teaching a skill. It is sometimes called Scouting’s Teaching EDGE.
Related Resources for Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge
Be prepared for all types of first aid situations with these ideas and related achievements:
Take a break from the instruction with a game of tag with a healthcare twist.
Troop Program Features
Troop program features can be used by youth leaders to plan a month of activities around a theme. Several of them overlap with the requirements for this merit badge:
This award recognizes youth who are well prepared for any emergency situation.
The First Aid merit badge may be used to fulfill one of the requirements for the Camping segment for the National Outdoor Badges. This set recognizes youth who spend a lot of time on outdoor adventures.
Older Scouts who participate in the Venturing program may also work on the prestigious Ranger award. There is a first aid requirement for this award.