What to do if Santa fell down the chimney

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Santa Chimney150

It’s unlikely, but if Santa fell down the chimney, he’d want to believe that families the world over would have the right level of first aid skills to be able to help.

 

We’re sure lots of people do, but if Santa really did take a tumble and hurt himself, could you help?

 

Brushing up on a few basics ahead of the festive season could come in handy should such a terrible incident occur. Even if you’ve had first training in the past we’ve put together our best tips.

 

And, and to help us all remember we’ve put them in an ‘A-Z of C H R I S T M A S’ style:

C: C is for Calm and keeping your Cool

If Santa really did fall down the chimney we’d hope it was simply because his boot slipped and not because of anything more sinister (like a cardiac arrest or a bang on the head rendering him unconscious).

 

Whatever the situation, the most valuable attribute of any first aider is the ability to keep calm... And to keep the patient calm.

 

So if Santa is conscious, keep talking to him and reassure him everything will be OK. If you’re not sure of the seriousness of the incident, dial 999 anyway and keep administering first aid until the medical team arrive.

H: H is for ‘Head Injury’

One of the first things to think about is did he bang his head on the way down?

 

Head injuries and concussion can be serious and lead to complications, but with all his beard and that big hat, it might be difficult to assess him. Carefully remove his hat if you have to, but don’t move his head.

 

Look for scrapes, scratches and potentially blood. Clean and dress wounds, and, if he’s conscious, ask him if he did actually bang his head. If he doesn’t remember the fall there is the potential that he did hit his head. Our A-Z article on head injuries could come in handy here.

R: R is for Recovery Position

 

Knowing how to put someone in the recovery position is a very simple yet life-saving skill.

 

This video courtesy of the Epilepsy Society is a really easy reminder of how to do it.

 

But remember, only put Santa in the recovery position if he is breathing normally. 

 

I: I is for Insulin

He could have fallen because he’s diabetic... Because he's been working so hard he could have forgotten to eat regularly and his blood sugar levels could have been low. This could have caused him to have a hypo or faint, and therefore loose his grip and fall.

 

Establishing quickly if Santa is diabetic is important as it could affect his treatment. Check his wrists and neck for a medical alert bracelet or necklace an, if he's conscious, just ask him. When an ambulance arrives any information you can give the medical team about his medical status will be very useful.

 

S: S is for Strains & Sprains (also Scrapes & Scratches)

Hopefully nothing too serious has been inflicted here and a simple plaster will do. For more serious strains and sprains a bandage might be required. Check our A-Z article on strains and sprains.

 

T: T is for Travel First Aid Kit

You don’t hear many reports of Santa getting hurt, so his health and safety record must be second to none. We can therefore assume he carries a first aid kit on the sleigh to attend minor scrapes and scratches.

 

With that in mind this may be a great time for you to review the contents of your own first aid kit (which maybe at this time of year could be temporarily located near the chimney - just in case).

 

We’ve got a great list of what you should have in yours here.

 

M: M is for ‘Mouth to Mouth’ (or resuscitation and CPR)

If Santa got knocked out on the way down, he could be unconscious and breathing or unconscious and not breathing. It’s critical to quickly establish which and follow the right protocols: either put him in the recovery position or administer CPR and call 999:

  • Open Santa’s airway with a head tilt chin lift
  • Look, listen and feel for normal breathing – for no longer than 10 seconds
  • If Santa is breathing normally put him in the recovery position
  • If he isn’t breathing or is taking occasional gasps start chest compressions. Continue with either 30 compressions to 2 breaths or continuous chest compressions until help arrives.

 

A: A is for ‘Ask Questions’

Find out as much as you can about what happened and why it might have happened. My previous blog on ‘Why being a paramedic is like being Inspector Morse’ explains exactly this and how different encounters (true or false) can affect a treatment or outcome.

 

S: S is for Shock

Whether immediately obvious or not, Santa may be in shock...

Mince pies and sherry aside, until you know whether Santa is really hurt or just shaken up don’t give him a drink or anything to eat. Sit or lie him down, keep him warm and comfortable while you use your history taking (above), his account of the event, and eye witness accounts to decide if you need to ring 999 or 111 for advice or treatment.

 

And finally...

Whether you believe in Santa or not, we’d just like to say this is a hypothetical scenario. We know that Santa and everyone at the North Pole take health and safety very seriously and Santa is in tip-top form health-wise, especially at this time of year.

 

But having a little first aid knowledge this Christmas could come in handy if anyone you know encounters a slip, trip or fall, or even a bump on the head.

And the morale of the story is..

 

KEEP CALM this Christmas and LEARN FIRST AID!

 

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone on the First Response team.

 

 

You might also like to download our free mobile ap for lots of first aid tips and advice on the go.

 

 

First Response. Training for life. Training to save a life.

Last modified on Friday, 11 October 2019
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Sheila Mitchard

Sheila Mitchard DET IQA MSET - Training & Development

Paramedic. Phlebotomist. PTLLS/CTLLS. South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. Member of the Society for Education and Training.

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