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First aid for a
head injury

Watch the video, in which Kirsty is treated for a head injury.

Use the information below the video to remind yourself how to help someone who has a head injury.


Ask them to rest and apply something cold to the injury (e.g. frozen vegetables wrapped in a tea towel).

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Applying something cold to the injury will reduce external swelling and pain. In addition to external swelling, when a person suffers a blow to the head, the brain can be shaken inside the skull. This may result in a more serious head injury (e.g. concussion), which may make them feel sick or drowsy.


If they become drowsy or vomit, call 999 or get someone else to do it.

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This could be a sign of a serious injury to the head.


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Send us your stories

We love to hear from people who have stepped forward to help in a first aid emergency. If you have a first aid story that you'd be happy to share, please email including your name, telephone number and some brief details about what happened. The British Red Cross will only use your information to contact you about your first aid story.

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Young woman checks for breathing on a baby

Learn online what you should do in a range of baby and children first aid emergencies.