I think first aid is such an important thing to know about, it really truly is. Yes, I know it’s not something we ever want to have to really actually do, to a baby, child or anybody in fact, but the truth is that knowing basic first aid can and does save lives. I’m writing about this now as my three-year pediatric first aid certificate is due for renewal next month and it got me thinking about what it involves and just how great it is to have that knowledge to help save a life, whether you’re a mum, dad, granny or nanny!
Luckily I’ve never had to actually use my knowledge (finger crossed it stays that way). Yet that doesn’t mean there haven’t been a few scary moments over the years; a weaning baby once or twice has panicked me for a moment with a gag reflex; a toddler once hit his head and caught the lower door bolt on his eye. Cue lots of crying, pain and blood. Again, a very scary moment and though you’ll be pleased to know said toddler was fine with a compress, plaster and lots of cuddles, it is a definitely a HUGE responsibility to care for someone else’s child. There’s always a fine line between keeping them safe from any harm and letting them play, be independent and explore (age appropriate of course!). Bumps, cuts and scratches go pretty much hand in hand with toddlerhood but a tumble in the park is very different to a life-threatening situation. Let’s go over the main things I think every parent and carer of kids should be aware of…
This is a good way to remember the first steps to take if an infant is seriously injured…
The Recovery Position
Always a good thing to know how to do – watch this video by St Johns Ambulance to see how to put a baby under 12 months in the recovery position. Check this link to the NHS to see how to put older children (and adults) in the recovery position.
Remember choking is silent. If a baby or child is coughing or crying, they may be an obstruction but some air is getting to their lungs to allow for the air to be able to cough or cry. Never perform abdominal thrusts on a baby – check this video to see how to respond to choking.
Burns and Scolds
An essential thing to do is get cold water running over the injury for at least 10 minutes. Don’t try to pull off any clothing if it is sticking to the skin. To prevent infection, covering it loosely in cling film. Have a look at the Child Accident Prevention Trust for lots of information and support.
Accidents and Emergencies
To have a good understanding of any other medical emergencies you might like to know more about, check out The British Red Cross as they have some great advice and tips for many situations such as head injury, seizures, allergic reactions and serious cuts.
First Aid Bag
I always make sure I have a little first aid kit with me when out and about with kids in my care. This has things like:
Calpol & Nurofen (not forgetting the syringe!)
Sterilised water sachets