Man dressed as a festive elf collapses unconscious on a bar

It’s officially ‘Mad Friday’ – the day many festive revellers hit the town. There will be a lot of drinking. There will be a lot of Christmas jumpers. And inevitably there will be some accidents and injuries.

According to the NHS, every year more than 80,000 people need hospital treatment for injuries such as falls, cuts and burns during the festive period.

So whether you’re going out or staying in, read these first aid tips. Who knows – two minutes reading this blog could save you from spending Christmas in A&E.

Here are some typical injuries – and how to treat them.

Unconscious and breathing

Unconscious and breathing 600

What to do

  1. If someone passes out, check they are breathing: tilt their head, then look and feel for breaths.
  2. If they are breathing, move them on to their side and tilt their head back.
  3. Call 999.

Questions? Find out more about helping someone who is unconscious and breathing.

Severe allergic reaction

The person may develop a rash, itchiness or swelling on their hands, feet or face. Their breathing may slow down.

If you observe these symptoms:

  1. Call 999.
  2. If you know the person has an allergy, help them to use their auto-injector. Follow the guidance on the packaging.
  3. Give constant reassurance until help arrives.

Questions? Find out more about treating a severe allergic reaction.

Sprain or strain

A woman treats a colleague for a sprained ankle by holding an ice pack on the injuryWhat to do

  1. Apply an ice pack to the injury (e.g. ice wrapped in a tea towel).
  2. Get the person to rest.

Questions? Find out more about treating strains and sprains.

Keep your friends and family safe with our free apps

Santa uses our free first aid app on his mobile

Download our free first aid app for Christmas and make sure you know what to do if a friend or relative is hurt.

There’s even a version designed for parents and carers on giving first aid to children and babies.

Both apps are free and teach you how to help in a whole range of first aid scenarios.

  • Follow us on Twitter for first aid tips every Friday @BritishRedCross #FridayFirstAid
  • If you’re out partying over the next few weeks look out for our first aid volunteers. They will be helping people stay safe and well in towns and cities across the UK, including on New Year’s Eve in Birmingham and at the Edinburgh Hogmanay.