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Learn first aid

First aid means giving medical help to a sick or injured person until full medical help arrives. It can save lives.

Emergency response

If someone is injured, the NHS website recommends that you should:

  • first check that you and the casualty aren’t in any danger, and, if possible, make the situation safe
  • if necessary, dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance when it’s safe to do so
  • carry out basic first aid

First aid courses

A good first aid course is the best way of learning the proper skills and techniques.

Check to see whether you can do a first aid course via:

The two main charities offering first aid courses in the UK are the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance. You can do the Red Cross adult first aid course if you are at least 16, and the St John Ambulance courses if you are at least 12 and accompanied by an adult. You can search for a suitable course online.

Online first aid resources

If you can’t find a suitable first aid course near you, the British Red Cross has some excellent online material here. You can learn first aid for all sorts of different situations, test yourself, and even get a certificate. They also have an app which you can download for free.

St John Ambulance also has a free first app and first aid advice which you can access here.

The NHS First Aid pages are also useful and are found here.

First aid for skin

Find out how to deal with cuts, burns and other minor accidents on the skin first aid page in our health section.

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Skin first aid

You might also be interested in our page on which health service you should use in different situations:

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GP or A & E?