Children simply love to explore the environment but they have under-developed motor and sensory skills. Moreover, they simply do not have value for safety. These factors put children at increased risk for accidents and injuries.
For many first time parents, providing first aid for common injuries and emergencies at home is rather challenging. Aside from knowing the proper first aid techniques, you need to have composure and confidence in handling the situation.
Even a seemingly uneventful injury, such as bump on the child’s head or a cut, can lead to serious complications if the child does not receive appropriate first aid immediately or receives the wrong first aid. Taking a basic first aid course is one great way of avoiding panic and being prepared to handle emergency situations at home. First aid courses will equip you with lifesaving skills, at the same time increase your awareness on how to keep your child safe.
If you haven’t taken a first aid course yet, you should at least know how to respond in the following first aid situations and avoid the common first aid mistakes.
1. Head injury – Don’t move the child, unless it is absolutely necessary. Signs of possible head injury include obvious trauma to the head, loss of consciousness, headache, or stiff neck. Call 911 or your local emergency phone number.
2. Burns and scalds – Don’t apply anything on the affected site. Instead, place the burn under cool running water. Cover it with a clean piece of cloth or bandage. Call 911 or bring your child to the nearest emergency department for severe burns, otherwise you can call your GP for instructions.
3. Poisoning – If the child has ingested poison or you suspect ingestion of poison, don’t give anything by mouth including ipecac syrup, unless instructed by your local poison control or doctor to do so. Call your local poison control for instructions.
4. Knocked out tooth – Don’t force the tooth back into the socket. Instead, carefully rinse the tooth making sure not to severe its blood vessels. Keep the knocked-out tooth in a cup of milk and bring it with your child to dentist immediately.
5. Stuck objects – If foreign body gets stuck in the child’s nose or ears, don’t attempt to remove it. Never use hairpins or swabs to swipe away the stuck item as it can only push it deeper. Call your GP for instructions.
6. Nosebleeds – Don’t let the child stare upward or lean back in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Instead, instruct him to sit upright leaning forward and pinch the nasal bridge until the nosebleed stops. If bleeding persists for more than 10 minutes despite first aid, or if you think the child had swallowed a lot of blood, bring him to the emergency department.
7. Sprains – Don’t apply warm compress or heating pad on a sprain. Instead, use ice or cold compress to minimize swelling and help reduce pain. Make sure to wrap the ice with a cloth or towel. Never apply ice directly on the skin. If the joint appears broken or fractured, such as when it cannot be moved or can’t put weight on, bring the child to the ER.
8. Seizures – Don’t put anything in the child’s mouth. Assist the child to the floor and position him on his side. Protect the child’s head by placing a soft object beneath. Loosen tight clothing, especially around the neck. Call 911 if seizure does not stop or becomes recurrent.
9. Bee sting – Be sure to remove the stinger from the skin and cleanse the affected area with soap and water. Apply ice pack to minimize swelling and closely monitor the child for possible severe allergic reactions such as difficult breathing, hives, and itchiness. If any of these symptoms occur, bring the child to the emergency department immediately.
10. Eye problems – If dirt or debris gets to the eye of your child, don’t let him rub his eyes. Instead, run it under flowing water.