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First aid - bleeding - info for kids

blood; bleed; bleeding; wound; first; aid; bandage. ;


Dealing with bleeding

road accident If you need to give first aid to someone who is bleeding check through D.R.A.B.C.D. (see the topic "First aid - what to do - info for kids".)

If you are in a safe place and your friend is breathing then the next thing you look for is bleeding.

Blood can carry diseases in it so be careful.

  • Try to wash your hands before and after helping someone.
  • Use plastic gloves if you have them.
  • Cover cuts and scratches on your hands if you don’t have gloves.
  • Help your friend to deal with the bleeding if she can.

Heavy or major bleeding

If your friend is bleeding a lot, the first step for a first-aider is to stop the bleeding.

  1. Get your friend to press hard on that place with her hand.first aid - bleeding 1
  2. Press hard with your hand on the wound if your friend is not able to stop the bleeding herself.
    Cover your hand if you can (with a glove or clean plastic bag), and press hard on the wound with your hand. If you can’t find anything to cover your hand, still try to stop the bleeding by pressing hard with your hand on the wound. Get a clean pad of material like paper towels, clean tissues, a clean hanky (ironing will have killed any germs), scarf, tea towel, clean rolled-up sock or even your jumper. Take away the hand which is stopping the bleeding and use the pad to press hard on the wound.
  3. Try to lift up the part of the body that is bleeding to slow down the bleeding.
    first aid - bleeding 2[Don’t lift it up if it hurts too much. If there are broken bones this could really hurt your friend.] You can get your friend to hold up the injured arm or if it’s her leg you could lift her feet and rest them on your knees.
  4. Put another pad on top of the first if the blood is coming through.
    (Don’t take the first pad away.)
  5. When bleeding stops, keep the pad on and use a bandage to hold it in place.  A scarf, hanky, sock or jumper will do if you don't have a bandage.
  6. GET HELP.
    Send one of the people around you to get help, so that you can stay with your friend. Use a mobile phone if you have one (call 000 in Australia).
  7. Talk to your friend all the time telling her what you are doing. Then she won’t be scared.
  8. Keep your friend warm.
  9. If she seems to go to sleep she may be unconscious - call for help..

Light or minor bleeding

With a small cut or a wound that is not bleeding much there are two important steps for you to take.

first aid - bleeding 3 1 Wash the wound with water, (putting it under a running tap can be a good way of cleaning it).
2 Cover the wound with a clean dressing.

If you cannot get dirt out, you will need to see a doctor as dirt inside a wound can cause an infection.

See our topics on "Cuts and grazes" and "Bruises" for more information

Some kids feel really scared when they see their own blood so keep telling your friend what you are doing and not to be afraid.

Objects in wounds

Sometimes kids can hurt themselves by falling onto something that sticks into them.

Like a piece of broken glass.

Don’t pull out the glass or whatever else that is stuck in the wound.

You can stop heavy bleeding by:

  • Pressing around the wound but not on it.
  • Putting a pad of clean material around the object and bandaging it to support the object in place.
  • Elevating (lifting up) the injured part and keeping it still (immobilised) to reduce bleeding
  • Getting help from a doctor or nurse.

Always talk to an injured friend and ask her to move her body by herself if she can. How would you like someone to grab your sore arm or leg and hold it up in the air without any warning? OUCH!


Some people often have nosebleeds and they know how to deal with them.

If you don't know what to do - have a look at the topic 'Uh-oh, my nose is bleeding'

Dr Kim says:

Dr KimSeeing blood, especially your own, can be a bit scary. So, if you are helping a friend who is bleeding try to stay calm so that she doesn’t get scared. Talk to your friend while you are giving first aid and remember to keep yourself safe by washing your hands carefully with soap after you have finished helping her. If you get someone else’s blood onto your hands DO NOT PANIC! It is very unlikely that this will cause you to be sick, but talk to your doctor if this is worrying you.

See the topic "Cuts and grazes" for some more information about blood.

Answering your questions

Why is it important to look after your hands when you are helping someone who is hurt?

  • Answer
    Washing your hands before you help is so that dirt on your hands does not get into the wound. Washing after helping is to clean off any blood that has gotten onto your hands.

    Wearing plastic gloves or putting a plastic bag over your hands can protect them too.

    If you have a cut, cover it with a waterproof dressing if you can.

What if there is no one to send for help and you don’t have a mobile phone?

  • Answer
    If there is no one else around, try to stop the bleeding, and go for help when the bleeding stops. If you cannot stop the bleeding and you cannot get help unless you leave your friend, go for help, but get back to your friend as soon as you can.

The 'Blood Rule'

I have heard that there is a 'blood rule' in sport. What is it and what does it mean?

Most sports have adopted a 'rule', which must be followed if a player is wounded during a game, because of concerns about spread of blood borne infections. The following is the 'Blood Rule' from the Australian Rules Football Rules of the Game (point 1.13).

playing sport'A player who is bleeding or who has blood on himself or his uniform is required to leave the ground, at the request of the umpire and have the problem seen to. The player will not be allowed to return until the bleeding has ceased and any blood has been completely removed. This player can be inter-changed off the ground, or the umpire can call a halt to play while the player is seen to. The first option is that most commonly used.'

first aid - bleeding 7As well as removing all blood, a waterproof dressing should be applied so that if bleeding starts again, it cannot get onto any other player.

If the injury is serious, it would be best for the player not to return to the game. The health of the injured player should come first.

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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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