Head Injuries

The single most useful indicator of a head injury is that the casualty suffers an altered state of consciousness. Head injury is a fairly broad term that covers any injury to the head and may involve impairment to the casualty's level of consciousness.

All casualties suffering a head injury need to be seen by a doctor and often if a period of unconsciousness has occurred, the casualty may be detained in hospital for observation.Scalp wounds, if present, will bleed profusely, and indicate the possibility of underlying damage.

Altered state of consciousness


Fever is a raise in temperature beyond the normal body level of 98.4oF most commonly, it is caused by an infection such as chicken pox, measles, flu, etc. it can also be due to overheating through sunstroke.


A raised temperature.

The child complains of feeling hot/or cold.

Flushed skin that is hot to touch.

Sweating or dry skin.

General aches and pains.

Signs of illness e.g. rash. 


The child's temperature is (100.4oF) and the child is unwell.


The most common cause is a very high temperature (fever), due to the young child's brain being less tolerant of variations in body temperature so that a fit (febrile convulsions) results. These fits should not be confused with temper tantrums.Young children and infants can suffer from fits (convulsions) for a number of reasons 

Febrile convulsions 


That the child has a fever.

That the child is very hot, has flushed skin and may be sweating.


A faint is a brief collapse involving loss of consciousness. It is caused by a reduction in the blood flow to the brain. Fainting can be a reaction to shock, pain or lack of food. Most commonly, however, it occurs when someone is inactive for a prolonged period, such as through standing still, and a significant amount of blood pools in the legs, thus reducing the flow to the brain. 

A faint is a minor event, but on occasions, the casualty may injure him/herself when falling. 

You will notice

The casualty collapses and is unconscious.

Eye Problem

The eye is a very delicate organ. If scarring occurs, on the surface of the eye, blindness may result. The eye can become sore for a number of reasons, and it is important for the first aider to be able to recognise when it is necessary to seek medical aid.


When there is a cut to the surface of the eye.

When the eye has been burned.

When the eye has a discharge.

If you suspect an infection.

When an object is embedded in the eye.

Eye infection 

You will notice


The back of the throat is a very sensitive area that, if stimulated by a first aider trying to remove an object with the fingers, may cause the top of the windpipe to close completely through muscle spasm. Anything that lodges at the back of the throat, or within the windpipe, will cause the casualty to choke.The treatment for choking has been recently revised and the methods used for small children and babies vary from those used for adults. 

You will notice

Difficulty in speaking and crying.

Difficulty in breathing.

Acute anxiety. 

Child Birth

Childbirth is usually prolonged process that gives time for help to arrive. Very rarely, a woman will have a rapid labour and deliver a baby before professional help is at hand. Often, a sense of panic sets in when a woman starts to experience her labour pains. If the waters should break, then the delivery is expected to be imminent and panic increases.

It is worth remembering that women have been giving birth for thousands of years and for much of that time there was no midwifery or medical care. 

The Rapid Birth


Sunburn is a burn caused by the sun . Over-exposure can cause severe burns and considerable discomfort. Sunburn can also be caused by sunlamps and sunbeds. Certain prescribed drugs can make the skin more sensitive to the sun and cause earlier and more rapid sunburn.For sunburn to occur, it is not always necessary for it to be a bright and sunny day. 'skyshine can cause serious burning. Many skiers have become sunburned due to the reflection of the sun off the snow. 

You will notice

Burns and Scalds

Burns are due to dry heat (including friction) whereas scalds are due to wet heat. It is most important that burns and scalds are treated promptly and correctly so as to limit the effects of injury and to prevent possible long-term scarring. 

Assessing a burn/scald 

There are two factors in assessing the severity of burns and scalds;depth and extent of the injury. 

Depth of burns/scalds


The skin is reddened and may be swollen. This type of burn/scald is painful. 

Breathing Problem

Causes of Breathing problems can be due to illness such as asthma from infection, abdominal pain, stress (hyperventilation) or as a result of injury. Whatever the cause, problems occur when someone cannot breathe properly and their body's oxygen level becomes lowered. 


If the problem is severe, the casualty will become extremely unwell due to the effects of a severly lowered oxygen level (hypoxia). 

You will notice