Trusted Provider
RTO: 40407

First Aid Guide to Making Arm Slings

injured man foam cervical collar arm sling trying to open envelope bill injured man foam cervical collar arm sling 154249116

Table of Contents

If you happen to injure your arm, you may need to wear a sling while it heals. A sling will keep the arm in a still position to relieve pain and prevent the injury from becoming worse.


What To Use for a Sling

A sling is made of a triangular bandage that is a staple for most first aid kits. If you do not have one in your kit, be creative and use a piece of cloth. In emergencies, use a shirt or sweater to make a sling. Whatever material you decide to use, make sure that it does not fully stretch.

A sling is used to immobilise and protect against an arm injury. Although broken arms are the most common reason for wearing a sling, you do not necessarily need to have a broken bone to wear one. Other injuries such as contusions, sprains, and dislocations may also require a sling.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create an arm sling.

  1. First, use a bandage or a piece of cloth that is about 5 feet wide at the base and at least 3 feet long on both sides. If the sling is made for a child, we recommend using a smaller size.
  2. Cut the bandage or cloth in a triangular shape. If no scissors are available, fold the material diagonally into a triangle.
  3. Place the elbow at the top point of the triangle. Make sure that the wrist is midway along the bottom edge of the triangle.
  4. Adjust the sling in a position where the arm can rest comfortably. Check if the hand is placed higher than the elbow. Ensure that the elbow is bent at a right angle.
  5. Tie the sling together at the side of the person’s neck. Add pads on the knot for extra comfort.
  6. The arm should rest comfortably against the person’s chest if the sling was placed correctly. Expose the fingertips if possible.

When making an arm sling, do not try to realign the injury unless the skin looks pale or blue or the person has no pulse. Seek emergency medical help if the injury involves a dislocation, broken bone, or severe bleeding. It is also best to get help if you are not trained in immobilising injury at the scene by yourself.


Check for cuts and bleeding.

Check the arm for serious cuts and bleeding before putting on a sling. Make sure any bleeding is under control. Clean the skin thoroughly before applying the sling.


Check the fit

Once the sling is in place, check if there is enough blood flow to the injury. You will need to loosen the sling if:

  • the skin appears pale, bluish in colour, or feels cool
  • the arm becomes numb, or there is a tingling sensation
  • the person suffers from a weak pulse

See a doctor if you suspect other injuries or symptoms become worse.


Prevention is key

Safety is the best way to avoid broken bones and dislocations. Use caution when doing physical activities or when helping a person with fragile bones.

Learn First Aid to know more about prevention and first aid treatment.

Popular Posts
Recent Posts
pexels daniel reche 3601094 scaled
5 Common Running Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Running is one of the best and popular ways to improve and maintain fitness, and to stay in shape. It has a long list of benefits but still, many runners will have to deal with running injuries at some point.

pexels designecologist 887349 scaled
Celebrating Restart a Heart Day 2021

Cardiac arrest can happen anytime, anywhere, and it has not stopped even during the worldwide health crisis COVID-19. We know the fact that survival rates from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are too low, but not impossible. In celebrating World Restart a Heart Day 2021, let us work together to create more difference makers with this illness.

pexels pixabay 266487 scaled
How Wildfire Smokes Affect Your Overall Health

Wildfire smoke that occurs during fire season can cause harm in multiple ways. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how wildfire smoke can affect your health and tips to protect yourself after exposure.

Available Locations: Perth CBD, Gosnell, Joondalup, Innalloo, Welshpool, Fremantle, Rockingham