Almost every parent I know has pored over numerous books trying to learn the best way to raise their children. However, one of the most important things that parents should study but often forget is essential first aid skills. While some situations simply call for a band-aid and a kiss to make the booboo better, there are instances when a parent’s quick thinking and know-how can mean the difference between their child’s life or death. Here are the first aid skills that every parent should ideally know –
Most paramedics use the term cardiac arrest as a euphemism for death since the heart, in essence, is no longer pumping in this condition. Cardiac arrest can be caused by a number of reasons and CPR is the best and only first aid treatment for this. This is why people are encouraged to enroll in CPR courses. Who knows, the life you save might be your child’s.
Using an Epi Pen
Severe allergic reactions cause the death of thousands of people each year, and some of these allergies are caused by innocuous things like bees, peanuts, pollen or shellfish, leading to anaphylactic shock and worse when not treated immediately. Using an Epi-Pen is the best way to stop anaphylaxis. Parents with children who have allergies should have several Epi-Pens handy and should know how to use them.
Doing the Heimlich Maneuver
Most people’s reaction to someone choking during dinner would be to just look on in embarrassment and panic. The Heimlich Maneuver is one of the first emergency technique taught at First Aid and CPR courses. It prevents suffocation caused by a blocked windpipe and can be done on older people and children. You can even perform this lifesaving procedure on yourself.
Treating a Choking Baby
Babies are admittedly curious about their world and would put anything in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking. While the Heimlich Maneuver can be done on everyone, babies are an exception as they’re built differently and more delicately. Luckily, there are several ways to treat a baby under 12 months so parents should make it their mission to know them.
How to Stop Bleeding
Bleeding can be quickly controlled with just two steps – pressure and elevation. Unfortunately, most people freak out at the sight of blood. It’s during these situations that parents should keep a level head and follow the easy steps to stop bleeding.
How to Treat Low Blood Sugar
Knowing how to treat low blood sugar is also a crucial skill to learn. Some people might argue that not everyone is affected by low blood sugar, but you’ll never know if someone is a diabetic (unless they have that information written somewhere on them). Unknown to many, low blood sugar can kill so parents should also know how to deal with this situation.
Knowing the Signs and Treatment of Hypothermia
Treating hypothermia should start as soon as you see or feel it. A victim suffering from hypothermia often exhibit symptoms like shivering, confusion or slurred speech, drowsiness, numb hands or feet or loss of consciousness. The first thing parents should do in this case is to slowly restore warmth. Getting the child indoors, taking off wet clothing, wrapping the person up in a warm blanket are some of the things you can do.
While books on parenting and child development are chockfull of useful information, nothing beats lessons learned from professionals. Taking First Aid and CPR courses is one way to ensure that we can be there for our family anytime.