How to Perform First-Aid on your Kids:
First aid is extremely important to know so that you can protect your child from all foreseeable dangers. The key is to act fast and know what the ‘danger’ symptoms to watch out for are.
The following is a list of common problems or dangers that can happen to your child and what to do in the situation.
- Allergic reactions: Most children have their first allergic reactions, especially to food, during the early years so it is important to know the signs and symptoms of an allergy attack.
- You child’s face may become red and have rashes.
- Their breathing might slow down.
- Swelling of the hands and feet (or the affected area such as where an insect bite occurred).
- Closing of airways (in the throat) or wheezing.
- Swelling of the lips and tongue.
If any of these symptoms occur then you must take him/her to the hospital immediately where he/she will have a shot of epinephrine.
- If your child has been burnt then the first thing to do is put the affected area under a tap with cool running water.
- Let the tap gently run water over the burn for at least 15-20 minutes. This will help save the tissue from further damage.
- Do not use ice on the burn, especially if it is a second degree or higher burn (skin peeling, blisters etc. usually means it is a second-degree burn or higher).
- Nosebleeds: Although this is quite a normal occurrence for children between the ages of 2 and up, many people have the wrong approach to stop it. Nosebleeds are never a cause for panic or a hospital (unless it was due to injury).
- Gently pinch the nose (on the soft part, below the bony ridge) and make your child bend his head forward. Hold in this position for at least 10 minutes.
- Do not relieve pressure to check if the bleeding has stopped until a full 10 minutes has passed.
- If the bleeding has stopped then clean the outside of the noise with a wet cloth and instruct the child not to pick it.
- If the bleeding is still happening then pinch the nose and wait for another 10 minutes. If the bleeding does not stop even after half an hour then it is time to go to a hospital.
- Seizures: If your child is having a seizure for whatever reason(high fever, ingestion of a poison, had a head injury or it is out of the blue) then the first thing to do is:
- Remove any object around him/her that he/she may bump into (chairs, tables etc.).
- Loosen all clothing, especially around the head and neck.
- Place a soft cloth under his/her head while he/she is having the seizure.
- Do not try to restrain your child. Let the seizure finish (it might even take up to 5 minutes to get over).
- Do not put any objects inside his/her mouth (keys etc. in the hand does not help either).
- Once the child has finished seizing, put him in the recovery position.
- Take your child to a hospital once the seizure is over.
- Do not give your child any food or water until he/she is fully conscious.
- Broken bones or sprains: Broken bones and sprains often present the same outward symptoms i.e swelling and bruising of the affected area which is why it is best to go and get it checked if these symptoms present themselves.
- If you suspect that your child’s neck or spine has been injured then do not move him/her (unless he/she is under immediate danger) until a trained medical professional comes to help.
- For any other parts of the body such as hand or leg, support the injured area with a pillow or items of clothing to prevent unnecessary movement and visit a hospital or call an ambulance.
- If any part of the bone is sticking out of the skin, do not try to push it back or move it in any way. Try to keep your child calm and take your child to a medical professional as soon as possible.
- A sprain too, must not be moved at all until medical advice is sought.
- Heavy bleeding: In case of heavy bleeding put pressure on the wound with a cloth and do not release pressure until medical professionals take over.
- If your child has had a head injury then apply a cold pack to the injured area and watch out for symptoms such as drowsiness, vomiting or disorientation. If these signs show then go to a hospital immediately.
- For first aid related to chocking and drowning it is best for parents to take a class or instructions from a trained professional so that they know exactly what to do during these situations. Your paediatrician should also be able to help provide you with this information.