We’ve just launched our new forest schools outdoor first aid course specifically focused on those working with young people in the outdoors. So this quiz focuses on a few scenarios to get you thinking about first aid and field safety planning for outdoor activities with young people – for all you first aiders, outdoor instructors and parents – get swotting up…
You are running a forest schools session when an 8 year old trips and falls, putting his arm into a fire. There are no obvious blisters but the arm is red and clearly very sore – what do you do?
The simple and easy treatment for burns is cold water, cold water, cold water. Ideally you want to get it under a running tap and keep running cool water over it until is stops hurting. If you are in the woods and not immediately by a tap, tipping water over it and catching the water in a bucket and then repeating can be a good way of keeping water running over the area with a limited supply. Does it need to go to hospital? Obviously if in any doubt, get checked out, but as a rough guide a blister the size of your hand should be checked out, a superficial burn (red, with no blister) should go to hospital if it is the area of five hand palms (of the casualty!).
You are running a rock climbing session with a group of teenagers. One of the students knocks a loose rock about the size of an apple from the crag. It hits another student in the head. She was wearing a helmet and is conscious and insists she is fine. Half an hour later one of their friends tells you they’ve been feeling sick and dizzy though the student herself insists to you she feels fine. What do you do?
The simple rule with head injuries is better safe than sorry. Any change in conscious level, related to a bang on the hand should be checked out in hospital. In this case, it says the student was conscious, but with symptoms deteriorating (feeling sick and dizzy after the event) this is cause for concern and certainly a reason to get it checked out.
Obviously aside from the medical issue there is the matter of how you handle the fact that the student is saying they are fine. This comes down to soft skills which can be every bit as important as the first aid skills in getting across gently but firmly the potential risks and the need to be checked out.
There are also the practical considerations which will depend on the circumstances of the age of the students, the number of staff or other responsible people available etc. These factors will determine how you handle the logistics of getting that person to the hospital whilst ensuring the safety of other participants.