World First Aid Day

10 September 2016

The IFRC is the largest first aid educator and provider in the world. In 2014, over 15 million people were trained, and for more than 150 years, first aid has provided by Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers.

We recognize children as important first aid providers and they also represent a large portion of the population that may need support in emergencies. We believe that providing them with life-saving skills can help build a resilient future generation.

Test yourself – Question 1

When you’re out cycling, what equipment is vital to stay safe?

Bright clothing and/or reflective strips.

Almost! Remember that you should also protect your head with a helmet and have working lights.

Wear bright clothing and/or reflective strips, wear a helmet and make sure your lights are working for night riding.

Correct! The best way to stay safe is to stay seen and protect your head.

Have mirrors on your handlebars.

Sorry, you’ll need a bit more. Think about bright clothing, lights and – of course – a helmet.

First aid in action

26% of the world's population

in 2015 was under the age of 15 years old. By 2050, this age group will account for 2.6 billion people.

15 million people

were trained in first aid by 116 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in 2014.

180,000 first aid educators

provide training around with world, and 76 National Societies have programmes for children.

First on the scene around the world

Test yourself – Question 2

Your car breaks down, while you’re driving with your children. What is the safest course of action?

All stay with the car and wait for assistance.

That’s not right. Staying inside may seem safe, but you’re near a potentially busy road. Try again.

Get everyone out and wait beside the vehicle.

No, sorry. If a passing vehicle were to hit your car, you would be in a very bad position.

Leave the car and wait behind a guard rail or at some distance from the road.

Good answer! The more protection you can put between you and a busy road, the better. Carry a hi-viz jacket in your car too, to ensure you’re seen by passing traffic.

What to do if…

Test yourself – Question 3

You come across the scene of an accident involving a group of children. What should you do?

Call the emergency services.

Calling for help is, of course, a good thing to do, but you should find out if anyone requires medical attention first.

Continue on your journey; someone has probably already called for help.

It is easy to assume someone has already called emergency services, but it’s better to make too many calls for help than none at all!

Find out what happened, assess the number of injured, then call for help.

When calling emergency services, the more information you can provide, the better. Someone in the group may also need immediate first aid. Don’t delay!

Test yourself – Question 4

A child you are with has an accident and is bleeding profusely. What should you do?

Take the child to hospital straight away.

It is vital to get medical help, but there are some things you can do before going to hospital, such as stopping the bleeding.

Stop the bleeding, lie the child down and then call for help.

You should apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth. If the cloth becomes soaked in blood, don’t remove it, but use a second (or third cloth) to continue applying pressure. If the wound is on an arm or leg, raising the limb will help slow the bleeding too.

Stop the bleeding, and try to find the child's parents.

First aid should be first. Once you have the bleeding under control, and emergency services are on their way, then you can try to find the parents. Though never leave an injured child alone.

International first aid and resuscitation guidelines 2016

“A young volunteer treats an injured soldier as a battle rages around them. A volunteer bandages a young girl’s head in the aftermath of an earthquake. A team of volunteers tend to the survivors of a building collapse.

“First aid is central to our identity around the world. For many people, when they think of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, they think of our volunteers on the frontline of humanitarian crises, treating the wounded and sick, or of the training that we provide in schools, community centres, and places of work.

“The members of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) are some of the leading providers of first aid in the world. For more than 150 years, first aid has been one of the principal services provided by Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers to injured people.”

Elhadj As Sy
IFRC Secretary General

Over 100 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are involved in training and promoting first aid activities around the world.

Tell us your first aid story

Have you been saved by an everyday first aid hero? Have you been the right person at the right time when someone was in trouble? Share your Red Cross Red Crescent story with the rest of the world, or catch up on some of the inspirational first aid stories we’ve already collected.

Test yourself – Question 5

A child you are with has a chest injury. What should you do?

Take him to the hospital immediately.

When a child has a serious injury, calling for help may be a better course of action than attempting to get to a hospital yourself.

Lie him down and call for help

Lying a child down may cause further problems with the chest wound. A half-sitting position would be a better option.

Put him in a half-sitting position and call for help?

A serious chest wound can be life-threatening, so calling for help as soon as possible is vital, but try to ensure the child is half-sitting.

Test yourself – Question 6

A child you are with has a back injury. What should you do?

Leave him in the position you found him and call emergency services.

It’s important not to start moving a child with a back injury around. You could do more damage. Call for help!

Lie him on his back and call for help.

No. Moving a patient with a back (or neck) injury could cause more damage. Call for help and wait for the paramedics.

Put him in a half-sitting position and call for help.

You should never attempt to move a patient with a back injury. Call for help and wait for the experts.

About the IFRC

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world's largest humanitarian network and is guided by seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, universality and unity.

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