Festive first aid
Tis’ the season of Christmas parties, dinners, and drinking and
we want you to stay safe during the holiday period.
Here’s some useful first aid advice to make sure that you have
all the information you need, just in case you or somebody else
runs into a medical emergency.
Cuts and grazes
With all the excitement in the air and all the presents to
unwrap and open, it’s a common injury to get a cut or a graze,
which can usually be treated at home. All you need to do is clean
the cut or graze to reduce infection and apply pressure and raise
the injury to stop the bleeding.
What to do
- 1. Clean it under running cold water or with alcohol-free
- 2. Pat it dry, cover with a sterile gauze or a clean,
- 3. Raise and support the injury. Apply pressure to stop
- 4. Remove the cloth or gauze and apply a sterile dressing or
- 5. If there’s high risk of an infection or something in it,
tell them to see a healthcare professional.
Children can get excited opening their gifts and may want to
immediately play with their new toys. Young children are more
likely to choke than adults because they often put small objects in
What to do
Cough it out - Encourage them to cough it out.
If that doesn't work, try to slap it out.
Slap it out - If coughing doesn't work:
- • Help the child bend forward and use the heel of your hand to
give up to five sharp back blows between their shoulder
- • Check their mouth to see if there’s anything in there. If
there is, get them to pick it out themselves.
Squeeze it out - If the back blows don't work,
try giving them up to five abdominal thrusts:
- • To do this, stand behind the child, making sure they are
bending well forward.
- • Link your hands between their tummy button and the bottom of
their chest, with your lower hand clenched in a fist.
- • Then pull sharply inwards and upwards.
If they are still choking call 999 or 112 for an
Burns and scalds
Whilst keeping an eye on the Christmas dinner in the kitchen and
entertaining friends and family, you need to be extra careful that
you don’t burn yourself on a hot dish. But if you happen to get a
burn or a scald, you need to be extra careful when treating
What to do
- 1. Move the person away from the heat
- 2. Place the burn or scald under cool running water for 10
- 3. If the burn is to a child, larger than your hand, on the
face, hands or feet, or is a deep burn, call 999.
- 4. Remove jewellery and clothing around the area, unless stuck
to the burn.
- 5. Cover the burn loosely, lengthways with kitchen film to
- 6. Don’t burst blisters.
- 7. Monitor and treat for shock if necessary.
- 8. Tell them to seek medical advice.
Strains and sprains
If you and your family like to go on a post-Christmas dinner
walk you need to be careful if the ground is icy and slippery.
Strains and sprains are common injuries, which affect the soft
tissues around joints. If someone does happen to slip over think
What to do
- 1. Rest - help them to sit and support their injury in a
comfortable raised position.
- 2. Ice - apply something cold. Don’t leave it on for more than
- 3. Comfortable support - wrap a soft layer of padding around
the area. Tie a support bandage around it which goes up as far as
the next joint on each side.
- 4. Elevation – keep the injury raised on something soft.
- 5. If the pain is severe send them to hospital. Otherwise, tell
them to rest the injury.
The recovery positon
If someone is unresponsive and breathing then you need to turn
them onto their side and into the recovery position, to keep their
airway open so they can still breathe.
What you need to do
- 1. Kneel down next to them on the floor.
- 2. Place their arm nearest you at a right angle to their body,
with their palm facing upwards.
- 3. Take their other arm and place it across their chest so the
back of their hand is against their cheek nearest you, and hold it
- 4. With your other hand, lift their far knee and pull it up
until their foot is flat on the floor. Carefully pull on their bent
knee and roll them towards you.
- 5. Tilt their head back, gently tilt their chin forward and
make sure that their airway will stay open and clear.
- 6. If you think they could have a spinal injury, you must try
to keep their neck straight and only move them if you have to, to
keep their airway open. If you have a helper, one person should
keep the head steady while the other person turns the casualty on
to their side.