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Module 6: First Aid 

In this module, you will learn how to deal with different types of injuries: bleeding, sprains and strains, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), heat stroke, choking, asthma, burns, allergic reactions and how to perform CPR. If you have already had (or will have before the summer school starts) first aid training, either with SKOLA or with a different centre, you can skip this module and do the quiz directly:

All the injuries should be recorded in the Incident Report Form and reported to the DSL. Call the First Aider immediately if a student has a cut on their face, hits their head, or if it is a situation you are not 100% sure on how to handle. The parent of the student should always be informed of any injuries or knocks (no matter how 'small').

Body fluids such as blood, vomit and urine can carry infections. Before giving first aid, it is important to take steps to minimise the risk of cross-contamination between you and the casualty.


Before Performing First Aid:


PPE - Personal Protective Equipment
Where possible, you need to:

  • Wash your hands before and after giving first aid

  • Wear protective gloves 

  • Try not to cough or sneeze over a wound while you are treating a casualty

  • Dispose of all waste safely

NOTE: If you accidentally prick or cut your skin or splash your eyes, wash the area thoroughly and seek medical help immediately.

We have first aid kits at SKOLA. Learn how to put on Personal Protective Equipment.  

Your Safety First

Before doing anything, slow down and take a moment to focus on your basic plan of action in any emergency:
These include:
Assessing the situation -  finding out what happened will help you decide what action you need to take next
Making the area safe - is there any continuing danger? This could include danger from fire, traffic, chemicals, debris, or a dangerous person
Getting help from others - can other people nearby help you? You may want them to help make the area safe, call the emergency services, or bring equipment such as a first aid kit or AED
Finding out who needs help  - how many casualties are there and is anyone’s life in immediate danger?
Calling the emergency services - which emergency services do you need and do you know your exact location.

DO NOT attempt to be a hero in hazardous circumstances. In an emergency situation, YOU are the most important person; if you become a casualty you will not be able to help anyone else. 


At SKOLA, we have consent/permission to give first aid to students because we are their guardians when they are at SKOLA. 

DR.ABC - Primary Survey

In First Aid we use the Primary and Secondary survey to find out which problems are most urgent so that we can deal with these first.

By following each step you can identify each life-threatening injury or condition and deal with it in order of priority.

The letters DR. ABC are an easy way to remember the 5 steps of the Primary Survey.

D - Danger: Is there any danger to yourself, the casualty or anyone else at the scene? Remember YOU are the most important person. You cannot help anyone else if you become injured.

R - Response: Is the casualty conscious? Gently tap each shoulder (or foot if the casualty is an infant) and say loudly "Are you alright? Open your eyes." If they respond by answering or moving:

  • Leave them in the position in which you find them (provided they are not in further danger)

  • Check their condition and get help if needed

  • Reassess regularly

If there is no response SHOUT for help. DO NOT leave them at this stage. You can measure their level of consciousness using the AVPU scale:

  • A (Alert)- they are alert and responding to you normally

  • V (verbal) – they are not fully awake and only respond to verbal stimuli

  • P (Pressure or Pain) – they are difficult to rouse and only respond to physical stimuli

  • U (Unresponsive) – they are completely unconscious with no response

Important: If there is more than one injured casualty, any unconscious (silent) casualties take priority and need urgent treatment

A - Airway: Make sure there is a clear Airway. Carefully open the airway by gently tilting the head back with one hand on the child's forehead. Lift the chin by placing 2 fingers under the point of the chin. For an infant be careful not to over-extend the neck, as this will close the airway


B - Breathing: LOOK, LISTEN and FEEL for normal breathing for up to 10 seconds. Simultaneously look for signs of life (such as any movement or coughing).

NOTE: In the first few minutes after cardiac arrest, you may hear infrequent, noisy gasps. These are known as "agonal" gasps and are NOT the same as normal breathing.

If in doubt, start CPR immediately

If they ARE breathing normally:

  • Consider turning them onto their side into the recovery position (find out more about this in the Recovery Position lesson later in the course) or maintain an open airway with head tilt – chin lift

  • send or go for help – call 999 or 112 on your mobile phone where possible. Only leave them if no other way of obtaining help is possible

  • check for continued normal breathing

When to call for assistance: 
If more than one rescuer is present and they have a mobile phone, ensure that they have called 999 or 112 for emergency help. They should activate the speaker function, if possible.
If no mobile phone is available, one person should start CPR while another goes for assistance and brings an AED, if available

If you are alone and you have a mobile phone, call 999 or 112 and activate the speaker function immediately after giving initial 5 rescue breaths. Proceed to chest compressions while waiting for an answer
If you do not have a mobile phone with you, undertake resuscitation for about 1 minute before going for assistance. To minimise interruptions in CPR, it may be possible to carry an infant or small child whilst summoning help

C - Circulation: Identify and treat any life threatening circulation problems such as severe bleeding or anaphylaxis

For First Aid


If the person is unconscious and not breathing, or not breathing normally, start CPR. If there is someone with you, ask them to call 999 and find a defibrillator(AED).

Check out How to Child(over 1 year old) CPR 

You may break their ribs when performing CPR, remember, do not stop when you hear the ribs cracking because breathing takes priority over broken bones. You will also not be sued if you cause any physical injury when doing CPR to someone. 



Spinal Injury

If you think someone may have a spinal injury:

  • DO NOT attempt to move them (unless they are in immediate danger)

  • DO NOT put them in the recovery position(how to do recovery position) until the emergency services reach you (unless their airway is obstructed).

  • Call SKOLA First Aiders and 999 immediately

Someone may have spinal injury if they:

  • Has a head injury, especially one where there has been a large blow on the back of the head, and is or has been unconscious

  • Has fallen from a height (e.g from a horse/roof/ladder)

  • Has dived into shallow water

  • Has been involved in a high speed incident

  • Has been involved in a crush/collapse incident such as a rugby scrum

  • Complains of severe pain in their neck or back

  • Won’t move their neck

  • Feels weak, numb or paralysed

  • Has lost control of their limbs, bladder or bowels

  • Has a twisted neck or back


If you can see the object clearly at the front of the child's mouth, try to remove it.
Important: Don’t poke blindly with your fingers. You could make things worse by pushing the object in further.

If you cannot remove it, you should follow these steps:

1.  Encourage the child to cough

  • If the child is coughing effectively (fully responsive, loud cough, taking a breath before coughing, still crying, or speaking), there is no need to do anything

  • Encourage them to carry on coughing and don’t leave them

  • Try to stay calm and reassure the child

  • If the child’s coughing is becoming ineffective and their condition is deteriorating (signs of decreasing consciousness, a quiet cough, an inability to breathe or vocalise or cyanosis*), ask someone to call 999 or 112 for emergency help. If you are alone and have a mobile phone, use the speaker function if you can do this at the same time as giving treatment

  • If the obstruction is not cleared move to the next step

2.  Give up to 5 back blows​

3.  Give up to 5 to abdominal thrusts

4. Repeat the cycle of back blows and abdominal thrusts:

If the obstruction is not cleared:
Continue the cycle of 5 back blows and 5 abdominal thrusts whilst the child is still responsive

Important: If the child becomes unresponsive, start CPR Airway opening:

  • When you open the airway to give rescue breaths, look to see if there is anything in the mouth

  • If an object is seen, attempt to remove it with a single finger sweep

  • Do not attempt blind or repeated finger sweeps

Please watch this video to understand how to perform step 2 and 3 accurately: 


Allergies and Anaphylaxis

Some of the most common allergens include:

  • Grass and tree pollen (hay fever)

  • Dust mites

  • Animal dander (tiny flakes of skin or hair)

  • Food allergy (particularly fruits, seafood and nuts)

  • Medicines (including antibiotics such as penicillin)

Symptoms of an allergy are often mild and can include:

  • Sneezing

  • Wheezing

  • Itchy eyes

  • Skin rashes

  • Swelling

Anaphylaxis (or anaphylactic shock) is a severe allergic reaction.

The reaction can be very fast, happening within seconds or minutes of contact with the thing a person is allergic to.

When anaphylaxis occurs, a chemical called histamine is over-produced, causing one or more life-threatening Airway, Breathing or Circulation problems.

Treatment for Allergies

  • If possible, remove the allergen and flush the area of contact.

  • Give the child allergy medication such as an antihistamine.

Signs and Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

  • Blotchy skin rash or flushing

  • Swelling of the tongue and/or throat

  • Difficulty in swallowing or speaking

  • Vocal changes (hoarse voice)

  • Wheeze or persistent cough or severe asthma

  • Difficult or noisy breathing

  • Stomach cramps or vomiting after an insect sting

  • Dizziness / collapse / loss of consciousness

  • Sense of impending doom

Treatment of Anaphylaxis

  • Remember to stay as calm as possible so that you can reassure the child:

  • Lie the child down and administer an adrenaline injection(if the child carries one with them) immediately. (Assist the child to use their auto injector, if they are able to)

  • Call 999 for an ambulance and say ANAPHYLAXIS (if you mentioning "anaphylaxis", a ambulance will be dispatched faster)

  • Raise their legs if they feel dizzy or faint or appear pale and sweating

  • Raise their shoulders if they feel wheezy or short of breath

  • If the child becomes unconscious, check Airway and Breathing and start CPR if necessary

  • If the child has more than one auto-injector, the dose of adrenaline can be repeated at 5 minute intervals if there is no improvement

  • Important: DO NOT stand the child up once they are lying down

Learn how to use EPIPEN and JEXT (two common types of adrenaline injection)

Insect Bites and Stings

Bites and Stings
An insect bites by making a hole in your skin to feed. Most insects sting as a defence, injecting venom into your skin. In the UK:

  • Insects that bite include midges, mosquitoes, fleas and bedbugs

  • Spiders, mites and ticks can also bite

  • Insects that sting include bees, wasps and hornets

Signs and Symptoms of an insect bite or sting
Insect bites and stings can cause the skin around it to become red, swollen and itchy

  • This can be painful, but it’s harmless in most cases

  • The affected area will usually remain painful and itchy for a few days

  • The severity of bites and stings varies depending on the type of insect involved and the sensitivity of the child

  • In rare cases, some people can have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a bite or sting that requires immediate medical treatment.

NOTE: If there’s a lot of swelling and blistering, or if there’s pus, it’s advisable to seek medical advice.

Treating insect bites or stings
Most bites and stings can be treated by:

  • Washing the affected area with soap and water

  • Placing a cold compress (a flannel or cloth soaked in cold water) over the area to reduce swelling

If a child has been stung by a bee or a wasp:

  • Reassure the child

  • If the sting is visible, carefully scrape it off the skin with the edge of a credit card or the flat edge of a knife

  • DO NOT use tweezers as you may push the poison further into the skin

  • Elevate the injured area, if possible

  • Apply a cold compress / icepack (or a flannel or cloth cooled with cold water) for 10 minutes to reduce swelling

  • If the sting is in the mouth give an ice cube to suck on or sips of cool water

  • Try to stop the child from scratching the area as it can become infected

  • Check for severe allergic reaction

Check for severe allergic reaction
Dial 999 and ask for an ambulance if the child shows any of these symptoms after a bite or sting:

  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea

  • A fast heart rate

  • Dizziness or feeling faint

  • Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia)

  • Confusion, anxiety or agitation

External Bleeding

Sit or lie

  • Help the casualty to sit or lie down and reassure them


  • Examine the wound to look for embedded objects (do not remove an embedded object)

  • Note how the wound is bleeding, so that you can describe it to medical staff when it is covered with a dressing


  • Apply continuous direct pressure over the wound with your fingers or palm of your hand to stop the bleeding. If available, place a sterile wound dressing or non fluffy, clean cloth pad over the wound and apply pressure over it.

  • Once the bleeding is under control, secure the dressing or pad with a bandage. It needs to be tight enough to maintain pressure but not so tight that it restricts blood flow to the rest of the limb.

  • If the dressing gets saturated with blood, remove it and make sure you are applying direct pressure to the exact point of bleeding. Only redress the wound once bleeding is controlled.

Infection Control
Before giving first aid:

  • Wear gloves and aprons that are not thin, worn, or torn

  • Wear two pairs of gloves if possible

  • Wear a face mask, if possible

  • Do not cough or sneeze onto the casualty’s wounds

  • Use sterile bandages and dressings

After giving first aid:

  • If you are accidentally cut and there is blood from the casualty near or in your cut, wash immediately, cover the wound and seek medical advice

  • Gloves, aprons and soiled dressings should be double bagged and securely sealed before disposal, ideally in an orange clinical waste bag

Catastrophic Bleeding

If a casualty is losing blood so quickly that they are likely to die in minutes if nothing is done to stop it, you need to prioritise this above everything else.

Once the bleeding is under control you will be able to go back to your primary survey and check Airway, Breathing and Circulation (ABC).

Treatment of Catastrophic Bleeding – Wound Packing

Haemostatic Dressings:

  • If a wound is deep and bloody and bleeding cannot be stopped with direct pressure you need to pack it  - ideally with a haemostatic dressing.

  • These dressings are  treated with an agent or chemical that assists with the formation of blood clots and will stop the bleeding more quickly.

  • If you don't have a haemostsatic dressing, use any bandages, gauze or clean cloth available.

Note: Haemostatic dressings are not suitable for wounds to the  chest, airway, eyes or the head if brain tissue is exposed

Wound Packing - Step by Step:
Suitable for deep wounds to the shoulders, armpit, buttocks and groin

DO NOT pack wounds to the neck, chest or abdomen

  1. Move any clothing away to expose the wound

  2. Place your gloved fingers — with or without a dressing — into the wound to apply initial pressure to the exact point of bleeding (the vein, artery or both). You may need to mop away excess blood to locate the source of the bleeding.

  3. Keeping pressure on the bleed, use your other hand to tightly pack the wound with a haemostatic dressing, bandages or other clean cloth

  4. Ensure the dressing or cloth reaches as deep into the cavity as possible and stuff to capacity

  5. Apply very firm direct pressure with both hands directly on top of the bleeding wound for at least 10 minutes (approximately 3 minutes if you are using a haemoststaic dressing)

  6. If bleeding is under control, secure the wound packing with another dressing

  7. Maintain pressure until medical help arrives. Inform medical professionals about the materials you have used to pack the wound

Use tourniquet:

A tourniquet is a band or strap that is wrapped very tightly above a wound to an arm or leg to apply pressure and stop severe bleeding. It should only be used for life-threatening bleeding that cannot be stopped by applying direct pressure.


How to use a Manufactured Tourniquet 

How to use an Improvised Tourniquet:

To make an improvised tourniquet you will need:

  • A makeshift band long enough to go round the wound at least once and at least 4cm wide to prevent damage to nerve tissue. This could be a triangular bandage, scarf or other piece of clothing

  • A makeshift windlass to tighten the tourniquet and stop the bleeding such as a pair of strong scissors, a piece of cutlery or a stick

Embedded Objects/Splinter

If an object is embedded in a wound, do not remove it, as this could cause further damage. The object may also be stemming any bleeding.

What to do if a child has an object embedded in a wound:

  1. Use sterile dressings and bandages to apply padding on either side of the object. Build it up to avoid pressure on the foreign body

  2. Hold the padding firmly in place with a roller bandage or folded triangular bandage. Apply the bandage in a crisscross method to avoid pressure on the object

  3. Take the child to hospital so that the object can be safely removed


Removing splinters:

  1. Gently clean the area around the splinter with warm water and soap

  2. Use tweezers to grasp the splinter as close to the skin as possible

  3. Draw the splinter out in a straight line in the same direction it entered the skin, making sure it does not break off

  4. Carefully squeeze the wound to encourage a small drop of blood. This will help flush out remaining dirt

  5. Clean and dry the wound and cover with a plaster or other dressing

Important: Seek medical help if the splinter is too deeply embedded to remove or it lies over a joint

NOTE: If you are unsure if the child’s tetanus immunisation is up to date, you need to check with the GP.


Bruising is bleeding under the skin and is normal in active children and occurs as a result of a bump or a fall.

However, if someone has excessive bruising or starts to bruise for no obvious reason, they should see a GP, as it can sometimes be a symptom of illness.


  • Cool the area for about 10 minutes with cool running water or an ice pack wrapped in a towel

  • Do not put the ice pack straight on to the skin, as this will be too cold and may hurt

Puncture wounds

Puncture wounds can be caused by accidents like standing on a nail, or being stabbed.

NOTE: They can cause deep internal wounds that only look small on the surface

Internal organs like the heart or lungs may be damaged and cause severe internal bleeding.

Important: Call 999/112 for emergency help

  • Apply direct pressure at the exact point of bleeding

If direct pressure does not stem the bleeding:

  • Pack a deep wound with dressings*

  • Use a tourniquet for wounds to a limb*


  • If the casualty has been stabbed, do not approach unless you are sure it is safe to do so.

  • If the nail, knife or any other object is still in the wound, do not remove it as this could cause further bleeding. Follow the treatment for an embedded object.

Cuts and Grazes

If the cut or graze is bleeding heavily or is on a particularly delicate area of the child’s body, like the palm of the hand, you should stop the bleeding before applying any kind of dressing.

  • Put on protective gloves, if available

  • Clean the wound under running tap water. If this is not available, use saline or saline wipes from your first aid kit

  • Do not use antiseptic because it may damage the tissue and slow down healing

  • Apply a sterile adhesive dressing, such as a plaster

NOTE: The wound should heal by itself in a few days. Keep the dressing clean by changing it as often as necessary.

Eye Injuries

To treat a minor eye injury:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the eyelids to examine or wash the eye. NOTE: Put gloves on, if possible

  • Do not touch, press, or rub the eye itself, and try not to let the child touch their eye

  • Tilt the child’s head to the side with the affected eye down

  • Gently pour a steady stream of cool water from a jug or tap over the eye. If no running water is available, use clean bottled water or saline solution from your first aid kit. NOTE: Pour from the nose end of the eye to the outer corner

  • Wash for up to 15 minutes, checking the eye every 5 minutes to see if the foreign body has been flushed out

  • Take the child to see a doctor if irritation continues after washing, because a particle can scratch the cornea and cause an infection

To Treat Serious Eye Injuries

  • Reassure the child and keep them still

  • Gently place a sterile dressing over the injured eye and bandage in place if necessary

  • Tell the child to close the other eye to minimise movement of the injured eye

  • If there is embedded object in the eye, use sterile dressings and bandages around the object to keep it in place

  • Call for emergency medical help or take the child to the nearest hospital

Ear Injuries

Bleeding from within the ear:

  • Gently place a sterile gauze or pad over the ear, not inside the ear!

  • Lay the child on their side so that the affected ear is on the ground. This will allow blood and fluids to drain away from the body

  • Dial 999/112 immediately

Object in the ear:

  • Reassure the child so that they remain calm

  • Take them to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department or Walk in centre where the object can be safely removed.

DO NOT stick your finger or anything else in the ear​

Nose Bleeds

To stop a nosebleed: Ask the child to sit down, lean forward and firmly pinch the soft part of the nose, for at least 10 to 15 minutes(only do this for the child if they consent, otherwise explain and demonstrate how to do this). Tell the child to breathe through their mouth.

Seek medical help if the bleeding has not stopped after 20 minutes


Objects in Nose

Young children often put things like pebbles, beads, food, or small toys in their noses. Most objects don’t cause harm - however, button cell batteries and magnets can be very dangerous. If a child has swallowed one or has one stuck in their nose or ear, take them to the nearest Accident and Emergency department immediately.

Treatment for an embedded object in the nose:

  • Reassure the child so that they remain calm

  • NEVER try to remove the object yourself as this may cause further damage (or you could push it further in)

  • Do not stick your finger or anything else in the nose

  • Take the child to the nearest Accident and Emergency department, Walk-In Centre or minor injury unit where the object can be safely removed

  • If their nose is blocked, show the child how to breathe through their mouth

Sprains (ligament) and Strains (muscle/tendon)

How to treat a sprain or strain

  • Help the casualty to sit or lie down and support the injured area in a comfortable position

  • Cool the area with a cold compress for no more than 20 minutes at a time (you can use a bag of frozen peas or an ice packed wrapped in a towel to avoid it directly touching the skin and causing an ice burn).

  • Support the injured area in a raised position to minimise bruising and swelling

Always seek medical advice for the following:

  • Inability to put weight on the affected limb

  • Numbness around the injury

  • Signs of infection such as fever or red streaking around the injury

  • Intense pain or swelling

  • Pain right on top of a bone around the injury

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Signs and Symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Wheezy breath sounds, originating from the lungs

  • Difficulty speaking (may take additional breaths in the middle of sentences)

  • Pale, clammy skin

  • Grey or blue lips and skin, if the attack is severe

  • Using the muscles in their neck and chest to aid their breathing

NOTE: The child may become exhausted if the attack is severe – and may even become unconscious and stop breathing if the attack is prolonged.

Asthma relief

  • Most asthma casualties carry medication with them, usually an inhaler, to help relieve the condition.

  • Check the details with the child’s parents, if a child in your care has this condition.

NOTE: An asthma attack is a traumatic experience for any child, so it is important to keep the child calm and reassured.

Important: You should only lay down an asthma attack casualty if they are deeply unconscious.

Treatment for an asthma attack

  • Help the child to sit upright, even if they become too weak to sit up on their own

  • NOTE: It may help if they lean on a table or chair

  • If the child has an inhaler, help them to use it

  • They should take one puff of their reliever inhaler every 30 – 60 seconds for up to 10 puffs

  • Use a spacer device if available

  • Call 999 or 112 for emergency help if they feel worse at any point or if they don’t feel better after 10 puffs

  • If the ambulance has not arrived after 10 minutes and the symptoms are not improving, repeat up to 10 puffs of the inhaler

  • If the symptoms are still no better and the ambulance has not arrived, contact 999 or 112 again immediately

  • Try to distract the child with quiet conversation, keeping them calm and reassured

  • If the weather is cold, DO NOT take the child outside during an attack, as this could make the attack worse

  • Do not leave the child alone during an asthma attack

Learn how to use an inhaler and a spacer:

Call 999/112 if you notice that the child has:

  • Severe breathing difficulties

  • An increased breathing rate (they’re too breathless to feed or talk) or ‘silent chest’ (you’re unable to hear sounds of breathing)

  • A worsening cough or rasping sound (stridor)

  • Distress and agitation

  • Dark, blue-tinged or pale skin

  • Abnormal drowsiness and sleepiness

  • A very high temperature

  • An inability to drink fluids

Hypoglycaemia - Low Blood Sugar

Common causes of low blood sugar include:

  • Missing out a meal

  • Not enough carbohydrate

  • Over-exercising

  • Taking more insulin or other diabetes medication than needed

Signs and symptoms of low blood sugar

  • These vary from person to person but the most common ones are:

  • Trembling and feeling shaky

  • Sweating

  • Being anxious or irritable

  • Going pale

  • Palpitations and a fast pulse

  • Lips feeling tingly

  • Blurred sight

  • Being hungry

  • Feeling tearful

  • Tiredness

  • Having a headache

  • Lack of concentration

Treatment of low blood sugar

If the child is responsive, they need to eat or drink 15 to 20g of a fast-acting carbohydrate. - This could be 3 glucose or dextrose tablets, 5 jelly babies, a small glass of a sugary (non-diet) drink, a small carton of pure fruit juice or a tube of glucose gel

Important: If the child doesn’t respond to treatment within 10 minutes, or they become unmanageable, call 999/112 for emergency help

  • If they become unresponsive, check airway and breathing. If they are not breathing normally, start CPR

  • If they are breathing normally, put them in the recovery position and monitor airway and breathing until help arrives

  • Never give an unresponsive casualty anything to eat or drink



This is when the body is no longer able to cool itself and the core body temperature exceeds 40°C. 

Heatstroke is a medical emergency and can lead to severe organ damage and death if the core temperature is not reduced rapidly.

Recognition of Heatstroke:

  • A high temperature of 40C or above

  • Dry, hot, flushed skin

  • Vomiting

  • Confusion

  • Disorientation

  • Seizures (fits)

  • A loss of consciousness


  • Remove the casualty from the heat source

  • Call 999 or 112 for emergency help

  • Cool the casualty rapidly, using the fastest available method

This could be:

  • Whole body immersion from the neck down in cold water. Aim to achieve a target temperature of no less than 39°C. Stop cooling once this temperature is reached. 

  • A cold shower (or garden hose)

  • Large bags of ice placed on neck, armpits and groin

  • If these options are not possible use ice packs, wet sheets or towels, cooling vests or fanning

Call 999 or 112  if:

  • The casualty doesn’t respond to the above treatment within 30 minutes

  • The casualty has severe symptoms, such as a loss of consciousness, confusion or seizures

Electric Shock

What to do:

  • Turn off the power at the mains if possible, or unplug the appliance, if that has caused the shock.

  • Once you have safely disconnected the power, check the child’s airway and breathing.

  • If the child is breathing, treat any burns or injuries.

  • Take the child to hospital for a check-up, even if they have appeared to have recovered.


  • An electric shock causes muscles to contract, which may stop the child from being able to break contact with the electricity.

  • This means they might still be ‘live’, so you must be careful not to touch them until you are sure the power has been disconnected.

  • Do not touch anything metal or wet.

  • If the child has been unconscious, or has electrical burns, call 999/112 for emergency help.

Burns and Scalds

The skin has 3 layers and we define burns according to the layer of skin affected:

  • Superficial burns affect the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and are often caused by hot water

  • Partial thickness burns affect the top 2 layers of skin (the dermis and the epidermis)

  • Full thickness burns affect all layers of skin down to the subcutaneous fat layer and nerve endings. These are the most serious type of burns.


Treating Burns and Scalds

  • Immediately move the child away from the heat source to stop the burning

  • Remove any nappies, clothing or jewellery that is near the burnt area of skin, but do not move anything that is stuck to the skin

  • Cool the burn or scald with cool water for 20 minutes (if water is not available you can use any cold harmless liquid, such as milk).

  • Cover the cooled burn or scald with loose strips of cling film, placed lengthways  - discard the first couple of layers so that the cling film that comes into contact with the skin is clean

  • Keep the child warm to prevent hypothermia

  • For minor burns, keep the burn clean and do not burst any blisters that form

Other points to note

  • If you have the prior written permission from the child’s parent or guardian to give medication, relieve a high temperature and pain using over the counter medicine such as suspension paracetamol

  • DO NOT use ice or iced water to cool burns

  • DO NOT apply any lotions, ointments or fats

  • DO NOT touch the burn

  • DO NOT wrap cling film around limbs or other burned areas as this may cause swelling

  • DO NOT apply cling film to facial burns

NOTE: If the supply of running water (or other harmless liquid) is limited, apply a cool water compress using any clean wetted lint-free cloth such as a wet tea towel.

If no liquid is available in any form, cover burns with cling film and cool at the first available opportunity

When to get medical attention
More serious burns will require professional medical attention.

You should go to a hospital A&E department for:

  • All chemical and electrical burns

  • Large or deep burns – any burn bigger than 2.5cm2

  • Burns of all sizes that have caused white or charred skin

  • A burn that goes all the way round an arm or leg

  • Burns on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals that have caused blisters

  • If the child has breathed in smoke or fumes. Some symptoms may be delayed and can include: Coughing, a sore throat, difficulty breathing, facial burns

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