Looking after bruises

Everyone has suffered from bruising to some degree during their life. A simple bang to the skin can cause bruising. We don’t need to be overly concerned about a bruise unless it’s very big with lots of swelling and pain. Using common sense is best, if it looks big, horrible and continues to swell  so that the skin looks tight or is in a concerning place like the head,  neck or spine. It needs further assessment. Remember it is very difficult to bruise the stomach, bum cheeks or throat area, bruising here should be assessed quickly by a health care professional.

Bruises are bluish or purple-coloured patches that appear on the skin when tiny blood vessels, called capillaries, break or burst underneath. The blood from the capillaries leaks into the soft tissue under your skin, causing the discolouration. Gradually this fades and changes to shades of yellow or green.

Some people are naturally more likely to bruise than others – for example, elderly people may bruise more easily because their skin is thinner and the tissue underneath is more fragile.

How should I treat bruises?

Use R.I.C.E treatment

  • REST – place the injured part in a comfortable position
  • ICE – To make an ice pack, place ice cubes or a packet of frozen vegetables in a plastic bag and wrap them in a towel. Hold this over the area for at least 10 minutes. Do not put the ice pack straight onto your skin as this will be too cold and could hurt.
  • COMPRESSION- consider applying a compressing bandage, Use a good-quality crepe roller bandage on an injured limb. Ensure that firm and even pressure is applied to the injured part without slowing the circulation of blood to the fingers or toes of the affected limb. A compressing bandage is not always necessary. However it may be useful if there is visible bruising.


If the bandage increases the pain, DO NOT persist with it.

  • Keep the injured area elevated when appropriate, useful for leg bruises
  • Use simple pain relief such as Paracetamol during the first 24 to 48 hours, following directions on the package. If symptoms are not improving within two days the casualty should seek further advice, earlier if symptoms are worsening.
  • Most bruises will disappear after around two weeks. If the bruise is still there after two weeks, see your GP.





The Children’s and Families Act 2014 requires governing bodies of English schools to make arrangements for supporting pupils at school with medical conditions. This duty came into force on 1st September 2014 and is supported by the statutory guidance supporting pupils at school with medical conditions.

This guidance includes the provision of Salbutamol inhalers kept specifically for emergency situations where children diagnosed with asthma do not have access to their own inhaler for the treatment of an asthma attack in school.

The document prepared by the Department for Health gives guidance and support to Head Teachers/Governors about Planning, Training, Supply, Storage, Care, Use and Disposal of the inhaler.

→  The emergency salbutamol inhaler should only be use by children:

→  Who have been diagnosed with asthma, and prescribed a reliever inhaler;

→  OR who have been prescribed a reliever inhaler;

→  AND for whom written parental consent for the use of the emergency inhaler has been given.

This guidance considers that the use of the emergency inhaler may be lifesaving and prevent unnecessary transportation to hospital or the child being sent home from school

Schools should ensure staff have appropriate training and support, relevant to their level of responsibility, Supporting Pupils requires governing bodies to ensure that staff supporting children with a medical condition should have appropriate knowledge, and where necessary, support.

It would be reasonable for ALL staff to be:

  • →  Trained to recognise the symptoms of an asthma attack, and ideally, how to distinguish them from other conditions with similar symptoms


The guidance is non-statutory; Schools are not required to hold an inhaler but it is part of Good Practice and should form part of schools medical conditions policy.


For more information or to arrange training on the usage of inhalers in schools, please contact us on 01254 790 296 or using the contact us page here