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Halloween trick or treating first aid tips

Make sure you're ready to act in a worst case scenario

A wonderful festive period

Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year, and it’s no wonder children get giddy with anticipation. There are sweets, tricks, games and even the opportunity to dress up as a spooky character to scare your friends and family.

While big Halloween parties this year might have to be postponed, there will no doubt be plenty of in-house celebrations for children during this special time of year. And what would Halloween be without trick or treating?

Going trick or treating might be a slightly different experience this year. Because of COVID-19, there’ll be plenty of breaks for hand sanitisation and it’s likely that there won’t be any hand-to-hand interactions. But for the little ones, the raw excitement will still be there.

The importance of paediatric first aid

Children are often susceptible to different types of injuries than adults are. Because they’re at their own individual stages of physical and emotional development, even two children in the same age group might require different treatment.

Being able to provide paediatric first aid at Halloween is essential because there will be so many excitable young children out and about. Of course, we all hope it won’t ever be needed. As some older children are allowed to go trick or treating without adult supervision if they’re in groups, you never know when you might hear the cries of an injured child and have to deliver some emergency first aid.

So whether you want to keep your own children safe or also want to keep an eye out for others, knowing how to do first aid on children is always going to be a valuable skill.

How to handle common injuries

It’s important to make sure that first aid treatment or care is on hand to help your cheeky little monsters should they hurt themselves. Trips, stumbles and little falls will be even more common at a time when children are likely to be more animated than usual.

Broken bone

If a child is running eagerly towards the next house or perhaps racing their friend to see who can gather the most chocolates, tripping and landing awkwardly on an arm or hand could easily happen.

As children’s bones are more fragile than adults, they might break even if it didn’t look like they took a heavy fall. If a bone is broken, there may be swelling, tenderness and bruising. In this scenario, support the injury with clothing or a soft cushion and keep it still.

Call for an ambulance and while you wait, continue to provide support to the injured area and make sure the afflicted individual stays as still as possible.

Head injury

A bang or a knock on the head is something that should always be taken seriously. Even if the child insists that it didn’t hurt or that they’re OK once the pain has eventually subsided, they might actually be concussed without knowing it.

Although they won’t like to be dragged away from the fun, it’s an absolute necessity to make sure you provide the child with the correct treatment. Get them to rest and apply something cold to the afflicted area.

If your child goes on to feel sick, drowsy or busy, call for help immediately.


Choking is always a threat, but never more so than at a time where children will be trying to catch bobbing apples in their mouths or excitedly wolfing down sweets of all shapes and sizes.

If a child is choking, hit them firmly on their back between their shoulder blades up to five times. If this doesn’t dislodge the object, hold the child around their waist and pull upwards and inwards above their belly button.

Call for help if this doesn’t work, and while you wait, continue to perform back blows and abdominal thrusts.


After taking a fall, a nasty graze or scratch could begin to bleed. While this may not be an emergency, children can easily become nauseous or anxious at the sight of blood. For this reason, it’s worth knowing how to calmly treat a bleeding wound in the correct way.

If a child is bleeding and needs treatment, put pressure on the wound with clothing or a tea towel. Keep pressure on the wound until the bleeding stops and if the wound is small enough, apply a plaster.

If the wound is large and bleeding heavily, call for an ambulance and keep applying pressure until help arrives.

Stay safe this Halloween

While we all hope that no one suffers any of these injuries, we must be prepared to act in light of a worst-case scenario. Learning first aid is never a skill you will regret having. While it is one of those things we hope never to have to put into practice, at least if something happens you will know what to do and have the confidence to do it. To find out more about providing emergency treatment, take a look at our ultimate guide to first aid.

Here at Vital Workplace Training, we have particular expertise in providing first aid training courses for people of all ages. Whether you need training for first aid in the workplace or general first aid training, we can supply you with a customised session that will teach you everything you need to know.

After Halloween, comes bonfire night. On the 5th of November, lots of people go outside to see the sky light up with fireworks. Safety is also paramount when watching them. If you are concerned, take a look at our firework safety article that we have written.

Contact us to find out more about how we can help you.

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