Holiday Safety Hazards

Yes, it may be considered the most wonderful time of the year but Christmas tops the health hazards list, too.  Whilst this time of the year is the peak period for cold, flu (and in some cases hangovers), not all of the seasonal dangers are immediately obvious.  Many Christmas customs bring unexpected risks that can become serious health hazards during this yuletide season.

For some, the Christmas fun of completing age-old family traditions can become a minefield of dangers.  Read on to discover some of the most common seasonal dangers to be aware of this festive period.

  1. Decorating Dangers

A staggering 80,000 people seek hospital treatment every year for Christmas-related injuries.  Christmas mishaps come in all shapes and sizes, from cuts opening presents to falls putting up Christmas decorations, or even electrocutions from fairy lights.  Christmas poses some very real health risks so be sure to take extra care and precautions when assembling toys or putting up decorations.

  1. House Fires

The Christmas tradition of hanging stocking by the fireplace is only safe if you don’t have a fire going.  During the festive season, the percentages of fires in and around the chimney increased dramatically.  Plus, other classic Christmas decorations such as fairy lights or festive candles are both fire hazards.  Whilst it may not be Christmas without these classic decorations, you need to ensure that they are safe to use.  Make sure your Christmas lights carry the British Safety standard logo and remember to unplug them before going to bed!

  1. Snow and Sledging

If you’re lucky enough to wake up to a white Christmas, you’re sure to want to go out sledging to celebrate.  Whilst sledging is great fun and a classic Christmas tradition, it poses some major health risks.  When sledging you must ensure that you are in areas with plenty of open space where there is lots of room to stop safely at the bottom of a gently sloping hill.

  1. Drink Driving

Drinking too much at Christmas time is a pretty common occurrence during the holidays, whether it’s schmoozing with colleagues at the ill-planned work Christmas party or spending Boxing Day with extended family.  The number of fatalities associated with excessive drinking increases over the holiday season.  Make sure you don’t drink and drive this holiday season.

  1. The Christmas Coronary

The “Merry Christmas Coronary” is becoming a regular health hazard over the festive period.  Thanks to the over-rich and indulgent diets many adopt over the Christmas period and high levels of holiday-related stress, there is a rise in heart attacks over the festive season.  Make sure you stay safe and don’t over-do-it this Christmas!

With so many health hazards and dangers associated with Christmas, it’s important to recognise how a basic understanding of first aid can ensure peace of mind this holiday.  Gaining first aid certification could help you to save a life this Christmas.  Contact us today to start your first aid training.


Basic First Aid: The Myths That Cost Lives

In an ideal world, everyone would attain at least basic first aid certification – and be able to remember it in an emergency situation.  But according to recent statistics, up to 150,000 people in Britain die in an emergency situation every year through a lack of first aid training; from the 2,500 victims of asphyxiation to the 75,000 killed by cardiac arrests.  Read on to discover some common widespread misconceptions that often stop us doing what we can in an emergency situation.

Myth 1 – The Ambulance Will Be Here Any Minute Now

This is a common misconception.  In Scotland, the target-response-time for any life threatening emergency in urban areas is eight minutes, meaning if you’ve just called an ambulance it won’t magically appear.  Rural areas can take far longer.

Myth 2 – Tilting Your Head Back During a Nosebleed

Tilting the head back during a nosebleed can cause blood to run down the throat and lead to nausea and vomiting.  Instead, tilting your head forward whilst pinching your nose shut and breathing through your mouth should stop the flow of blood.  If the bleeding continues for 30 minutes or longer, go to the hospital.

Myth 3 – Heart Attack Victims Should Lie Down, Rather Than Sit Up

Making a heart attack victim lie down can actually make it more difficult for them to breathe.  Placing the victim in a half-sitting position, with their knees bent will help them to breathe deeper and you should support their head and shoulders.

Myth 4 – You Must Make A Child Vomit After Drinking Bleach

Whilst some believe this is the correct way to help in this emergency situation, this can actually cause more damage to the body.  The best way to help is to call 999 and let your child sip cold milk or water if their lips are burnt from the corrosive substance.

Myth 5 – You Must Always Tie a Tourniquet around a Bleeding Limb

Whilst many people believe this is the best way to treat a patient who is bleeding heavily, it could stop all blood flow and cause potential tissue damage.  In most cases, it is better to place strong pressure on the wound and raise the affected limb. Tourniquets require additional training beyond traditional first aid course types.

Myth 6 – Place Your Head between Your Legs if Someone Feels Faint

This could cause them to fall forward.  You should lie them down, whilst raising their legs to increase blood flow to the brain.

Whilst this is just a brief overview of some of the common misconceptions associated with emergency situations, gaining an awareness of basic first aid by attending a first aid course could help you to save a life.










Recognising Signs of Hypothermia in Colder Weather

It’s that time of year again, the nights are drawing in and temperatures are plummeting.  Although the winter weather and snow can be fun for all the family, it can also greatly increase your chances of illness and injury.  Cold and wintry conditions are a leading cause of hypothermia, so we thought we would put together some handy tips and tricks below for recognising the signs of hypothermia in colder weather conditions according to NHS.

Signs of hypothermia?

These are the five key things to look for:

  1. Cold body temperature, pale and dry skin
  2. Excessive shivering symptoms or no shivering at all; stiffness in arms/legs
  3. Tiredness, confusion or changes in behaviour
  4. Slurred, slowed speech or shallow breathing
  5. Slow and weakening pulse

If a friend or relative is suffering from any of these signs of hypothermia it is important to know how to help. Firstly, you must warm the person with layers of dry clothing – if they are outside bring them indoors and cover with blankets, get them something warm to drink, such as soup or a food high in energy like chocolate.  If they become unresponsive at any point, you must open the airway and check they are breathing still – call 999/112 and prepare to treat someone who is unresponsive.  Whilst you wait for help to arrive, it is essential to keep checking their pulse, breathing and level of responsiveness.

Staying Warm Inside

We are often warned of the dangers of hypothermia whilst outside, but many people fail to realise the importance of staying warm inside as well.  Cold weather can become a particular worry for the elderly or those more susceptible to cold weather conditions. These people must ensure houses are kept warm and cosy during winter months.  The Department of Health recommends heating to at least 18C and advocate purchasing a room thermometer to help keep track of temperatures.

Staying Warm Outside 

In these cold winter months, wearing warm, dry clothing and wrapping up in cosy layers whilst outside is essential.  Wearing multiple thin layers trap air which keeps you warmer more effectively and wearing a hat can prevent major heat loss.  Whilst outside eating and drinking regularly is just as important as keeping active!

There we have it! There are plenty of handy tips and tricks listed above to keep you safe in cold, wintry months and remember to watch out for stumbles, mumbles or fumbles and make sure you are up to speed on signs of hypothermia.


Paediatric First Aid Tips for New Parents

Becoming a new parent (especially for the first time) – can be incredibly daunting.  There’s so much to think about!  That’s why we have paediatric first aid courses – to keep your mind at ease at this already stressful time.  We have put together some handy first aid for kids tips below, in case you want to give yourself a head start.

Is your Baby Choking?

Because babies explore using their mouths – it does mean that there is a likelihood that they could choke.  When your baby is newborn it is most likely that this could be from milk that has curdled – but as they get older, things can definitely be a little more hazardous.

If your baby is choking and is not breathing – here are some steps to follow:

  1. Give your baby up to 5 back blows. Your baby should be held face down along your thigh, and their head should be lower than their bottom. You can then hit them on their back with firm pressure up to 5 times in-between their shoulder blades.
  2. If this doesn’t dislodge what they are choking on – it’s advised to give them chest thrusts up to 5 times. To do this, your baby should be facing upwards – and you should be placing 2 fingers on their chest between the arms and sharply press down 1/3 depth of chest.
  3. If those 2 steps fail, and they are unresponsive call EMS and begin CPR.

What is a Febrile Seizure?

Around 2 thirds of parents have stated that they don’t know what a febrile seizure is, and wouldn’t know how to treat one. These are fairly common in babies, and can be caused by fevers or high temperatures.  It usually occurs in babies and infants as the part of their brain that controls temperature is still developing.  There are some signs to look out for which can include; clenched fists, red face, arched back, hot when you touch them, and a stiffened body.  If you do suspect your baby is having a febrile seizure – here are some steps to follow:

  1. Make sure their head is protected from harm.
  2. Make sure there is some cool, fresh air in the room and take off their outer clothing to cool them down.
  3. Once the seizure is over, place your baby into the infant recovery position. If you are still concerned, or if your baby continues to have what you suspect as seizures – seek medical advice.

These are just a couple of the things that we cover in our paediatric first aid courses to make sure that anything we have suggested above is administered correctly, but you can expect to learn lots more including what to do with burns and scalds, poisoning, managing bleeding and other effective techniques. Although it’s easy for us to say of course – an important part of administering first aid on children is keeping calm.  If you are wary at all about having a little one when it comes to any of these things, make sure you book our next paediatric first aid course online, or feel free to contact us with any queries.


Firework Safety Tips for a Successful Bonfire Night

One of the most important reasons to discuss firework safety is the simple fact that fireworks are explosives! Under controlled conditions, they can be fun for all the family so we thought we would come up with some top tips so that you and your family can enjoy fireworks night with ultimate peace of mind!

Fireworks are exceptionally dangerous and the UK Government have a number of laws and regulations in place that are designed primarily to keep people safe at all times. This has resulted in a fine of £5000 being imposed for individuals that misuse fireworks and you could even receive a criminal record or a spell in prison.

First of all, if you are planning to light a bonfire we have a few things that you need to know. Bonfires must be 18 metres away from any building and they can’t exceed a height of 2.5 metres. It is also illegal to light and set off a firework between the hours of 11pm-7am. Additionally, it is illegal to tamper with fireworks in any way and a minor (under the age of 18) should never be sold a firework or have one in a public place.

The above are all factors that could land you in trouble with the law but we have also compiled a number of handy tips to ensure you have good firework safety standards:

Firework Safety Tips

  1. Sparklers – Sparklers are loads of fun but to ensure maximum safety only light one at a time and always wear gloves. This may seem like common sense but you would be surprised at how many people don’t even think on wearing gloves when they light sparklers.
  2. Kids & Sparklers – Sparklers can be good options to keep the kids entertained and they are safe enough for children but in general, the child should be over 5 years old before they handle them on their own.
  1. Fireworks Storage – Another one that may just seem like common sense. Always store your fireworks out of the reach of children and keep the box closed and secure at all times. Simple stuff.
  1. Following Instructions – Don’t just assume that all fireworks are the same. Some have more complex lighting instructions than others and some require you to hold them in a specific way before igniting them. Always read the instructions!
  1. Stand Well Back – This is self-explanatory and never ever go back to a lit firework. Another thing we have seen over the years is people throwing fireworks or keeping them in their pockets. This is just asking to be injured so don’t do it folks!
  1. Pets – A lot of pets will be scared of the loud bangs and bright colours of fireworks so it is best to just keep them indoors until you have finished launching your display. Easy stuff!

There we have it! There are plenty of things to consider when setting up your bonfire or fireworks display. Just follow these tips for ultimate firework safety and we hope everyone has a great evening!




baby loss

Baby Loss Awareness Week: The Importance of Speaking Out

This week is Baby Loss Awareness Week. It is hosted every year by the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS). The aim of the awareness week is help remove the taboo which surrounds discussing the loss of a child. By creating a discussion, not only do we bring baby loss parents out of isolation but we can also learn. This week is a time to learn how we can stop more parents from suffering the heartache. We can also learn how we can better support those who have been bereaved.

Raising Awareness

Today, Thursday 13th October, a House of Commons Chamber debate will take place on baby loss. Two MPs who have been personally affected asked fellow baby loss parents to share their thoughts and experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #babylossdebate. The digital debate was originally scheduled for Monday 10th October. However, it is still on-going. The topics raised in the digital debate will also be raised in today’s HOC debate.

A Time to Share and Learn

One of the main issues that has been raised in the digital debate is that more awareness is needed of the signs that a baby is in distress. A greater level of awareness can help flag potential problems before it is too late. Whilst charities such as Kicks Count, give parents-to-be lots of important pregnancy information, not everyone is aware of their existence. There has to be a greater drive by the Government to put systems in place which allows this information to be easily obtained by expectant families.

Another key issue is surrounding support for baby loss parents. Recently on our social channels, we have been highlighting the importance of a greater level of training in mental health first aid. A greater level of awareness of how to aid another in times of mental ill-health ultimately leads to better support.   We believe it to be no less important that healthcare professionals receive bereavement training, to give bereaved parents the same support that they need.

A horrific experience can be made so much worse by an ill-advised comment or a lack of understanding by those who should be there to support. Neonatal loss is sadly not a myth. It is a tragedy which happens all too often, so healthcare staff should be briefed.

This awareness week is a time to remember, to share, to listen and to learn. It is imperative that Parliament listens to the digital debate and uses its time on Thursday to make positive changes. Talking about the loss of a baby should not be a taboo subject. Affected parents should not suffer in isolation. By bringing the subject out into the open, we can learn how to do things better; how to better help a baby loss parents and how to stop preventable losses.


First Aid for Motorcyclists – Essential Biker training

Motorcycle first aid pic

With the riding ‘season’ now well and truly upon us thousands of motorcyclists up and down the UK will now be enjoying the freedom and pleasure that getting on two wheels in the summer months gives us. Unfortunately, however, accidents can and do occur, but help is at hand with our First Aid for Motorcyclists course.

Our ‘First Aid for Motorcyclists’ courses will take approximately 6 hours to complete in a classroom environment and will cover topics, including:

Motorcycle first aid pic 3

  • Initial care of the scene and patient
    • Fears of first aid
    • Road safety
    • Barriers – gloves and face shields
    • Initial assessment
    • Unconscious breathing patient and recovery position
  • Cardiac problems
    • One rescuer CPR
    • Chest only compressions
    • Handing over to a second rescuer
  • Other primary care first aid problems
    • Adult choking
    • Serious bleeding and types of wounds
    • Shock
    • Spinal injury management
    • Snatch rescue (removing someone from a dangerous situation)
    • Helmet Removal – Open and Full Face
  • Specific injury management
    • Breaks and fractures
    • Embedded objects
    • Eye injuries
    • Head injuries and helmet removal
    • Chest injuries


Investing in your skills as a biker doesn’t stop at riding lessons or advanced training. Knowing what to do in the event of a motorcycle incident, and, more importantly, doing what needs done with confidence, is an essential part of the responsible biker’s skills.

Attending this course with your mates will also help to make it a more enjoyable and rewarding experience. Therefore we actively encourage interest from groups and clubs!

The price for this course will be £85pp +VAT with discounts available for group bookings. This price will cover course tuition, materials, certificate and 6 hrs worth of certified CPD credits.

Refreshments (teas, coffees and biscuits) and lunch will be provided when the course takes place within our training centre in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire.

If you’re interested in this course, or require further information, please phone us on 01698 421 444, or email us at info@firstpasstraining.com

Ride safe.

Motorcycle first aid pic 4

Come and meet us at New Start Exhibition!

FIRST PASS Training will be among the exhibitors at this year’s ‘New Start Exhibition’ in Glasgow’s SECC between Thursday 12th November & Friday 13th November. Doors open at 10am and close at 4pm.

This exhibition can provide invaluable information to anyone looking to start a business or expand one, and there will be seminars and workshops available over the two days, held by distinguished Scots business leaders such as Sir Tom Farmer and Ajmal Mustaq.

For our part, we’ll be available to discuss your business’ current First Aid provisions and training requirements to help you stay compliant with workplace legislation. We’ll have some of our training materials available for you handle and experience, and we’ll even challenge you to see if you can perform two minutes of CPR on of our manikins.

Entry is free. So why not come along and say hello?