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Knowing what to do if something goes wrong

Guidance for managing incidents, including advice on first aid

As face-to-face Scouts resumes we'll need to consider how any possible incidents are managed. Given that Scouts will be operating differently, this will need to be considered and appropriate plans put in place and clearly communicated to those involved. In all circumstances, the What to do in an emergency (purple card) should be followed.

There's nothing to stop anyone from giving first aid when it's required during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a few simple precautions you can take which will reduce the risk of cross infection between both the injured/ill person, and the first aider. Everyone should remember that the priority is to preserve life, and the risk of infection is relatively small compared to the certainty of death if an individual requires CPR and doesn't receive it.

Also apply these principles if someone becomes ill whilst involved in a Scouts activity. Make sure you have contact details to arrange collection as soon as possible by a parent or carer, and if they display symptoms of coronavirus, be sure to use PPE.

Things to consider

The key considerations will include:

  • What first aid provision is in place? Have leaders got up to date training? Has equipment been checked? Have leaders reviewed the current guidance on how to administer first aid during COVID-19?
  • Is the space being used accessible by emergency services in the event of an incident?
  • Do you have sufficient contact information and means to make calls if needed?
  • Have you got sufficient adults to manage an incident?
  • What happens once an adult has provided first aid treatment?


  • Share the What to do in an emergency (Purple card) with all adults
  • Develop a plan for the management of incidents in your activity locations
  • Check all first aid kits are current and well stocked
  • Ensure enough first aid kits for each group to access
  • Make sure leaders are up to date with first aid training (remembering the extension issued to cover the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Refresh adults on current CPR practice – don’t use mouth to mouth, only chest compressions
  • Ensure adequate access points for emergency services to activity locations
  • Consider adult ratios and what happens when an adult has to administer first aid