Minor Injuries

  • Scolds and burns: if you have burnt yourself or you have come across someone that has been burnt or scolded, take off any jewellery and place the affected body part under cold running water. If you have been burnt through clothing, do not try to remove the clothing as this will damage the skin further. Raise the limb to prevent inflammation. If the burn is serious, call 999; if you are attending to somebody else with a major burn try to comfort them and stay with them until the emergency services arrive. In the case of a chemical burn, alert the emergency services as quickly as possible and try to douse the affected area with cold water.
  • Choking: choking is common but it can be really dangerous so it’s important to know what to do if you see someone choking. Check the casualty’s mouth first; if you can get hold of the obstruction, try to pull it out as this will clear the airway. In the case of severe choking, hit the person’s back 5 times and encourage them to cough. If that doesn’t work, carry out 5 abdominal thrusts by standing behind the person and putting your arms around them; then, with one fist below their ribs, pull inwards and upwards firmly; if this doesn’t work, call 999. If a baby is choking you should act in a similar way but the thrusts should be much gentler and should be in the chest, rather than the abdomen; place the baby on their back and use just two fingers to carry out the chest thrust. Place your fingers against the baby’s breastbone and push upwards and inwards.
  • Fainting: if you see somebody fainting, check their airways, breathing and circulation. If they are breathing, try to lay them on their back and raise their legs in the air; this will stimulate blood flow. If they have been sick, roll them onto their side into the recovery position so that they don’t choke on their own vomit. If they have stopped breathing, prepare to give CPR and call 999.
  • Cuts and grazes: minor cuts and grazes are very common; they can usually be treated with plasters and dressings and they should be wiped with an antiseptic cloth first. If the cut is severe, it may require stitching or gluing; place a cloth or tissue on the wound to try and stem bleeding and call 999.
  • Fractures: fractures are one of the most common injuries in the UK. If you have come across a casualty with a suspected fracture and they are conscious and alert, support the affected limb (with anything you can find nearby such a pillow, rolled up blanket or towel for example) and encourage the casualty to keep still. If the fracture has occurred as a result of a serious accident or injury call 999 and tend to more serious symptoms than the fracture first; check their airways, breathing and circulation first. If they are breathing, place them in the recovery position to keep their airways open. If they are not breathing, prepare to give CPR while you wait for the emergency services to arrive. If you suspect the casualty has suffered a spinal injury, do not try and move the casualty but keep their airways open by gently raising their jaw upwards.

First Aid Articles

First Aid Intro

Anaphylactic shock


First aid kit

First aid treatment

Head injuries

Minor injuries

Preventing accidents

Whiplash injuries

First aid for injuries and accidents

Natural Disasters