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To recognise and celebrate World First Aid Day this September 9th we have put together a few easy basic first aid tips for kids.
As parents we never want to think of our children hurting themselves, but we can’t keep them bubble wrapped forever, and we want them to learn to take risks and be brave. All children will have tips and falls, accidents can happen so easily! So the best thing we as parents can do is be prepared!
Just knowing a few tips, what to look out for and what action to take can help in that worrying moment. These are great for both parents and kids to learn.
Understand how to immobilise a suspected broken bone or sprain using splints or other available materials. Support the injured area while transporting your child to medical care. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevate.
Differentiate between minor and severe burns. For minor burns, cool the area under cold running water for at least 10 minutes. Cover severe burns with a clean cloth and seek medical assistance.
Recognise the signs of severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face and throat, and hives. If your child has a known severe allergy, carry an epinephrine auto-injector as prescribed.
Be aware of the signs of a concussion or head injury, such as persistent headache, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, or changes in behaviour. Seek medical attention for head injuries, especially if the child loses consciousness.
Know how to manage fever in children and recognise signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Keep your child hydrated and cool in hot weather.
Learn how to keep your child safe during a seizure by moving any hazardous objects away. Time the seizure and ensure their airway remains clear.
Understand the appropriate actions for bee stings, insect bites, and animal bites. This can include an antihistamine, or cream for the affected area. Seek medical help if there's an allergic reaction or if the bite is from a potentially dangerous animal.
Clean and disinfect wounds to prevent infection. If stitches are needed, seek medical attention promptly. Cover with plaster after cleaning it to keep it clean.
Learn CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and rescue breathing techniques for infants, children, and adults. These skills can save lives in cases of cardiac arrest or drowning.
Know how to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on children and infants to clear a blocked airway. Also, learn to recognize the signs of choking and what to do in such situations.
Apply direct pressure to control bleeding. Use a clean cloth or bandage to apply pressure to the wound while seeking medical help.
Keep a list of important emergency numbers, including your doctor, family or friends that can help, and local emergency services.
It’s great to empower children to teach them some basic first aid too. Giving them the tools and knowledge to help out if they find themselves in trouble.
Teach children how to call 99. Make sure they know their full name, address, and any relevant medical information about themselves or family members.
Explain the importance of staying calm in an emergency. Assure them that adults are there to help and guide them.
Wash their hands before helping someone with a cut.
If someone is bleeding, show them how to apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage to stop bleeding.
If the bleeding is severe, they should get an adult's help immediately.
Emphasise that they should never touch a hot stove, pot, or any other hot objects.
For minor burns, teach them to run cold water over the burn for 10-15 minutes.
Seek medical attention for more severe burns.
Tilt the head slightly forward and pinch the nostrils together with tissue or a cloth.
Have them breathe through the mouth while applying gentle pressure for about 10 minutes.
Explain the importance of not putting weight on a sprained ankle or injured area.
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
Tell them to rest the injured area, apply ice, wrap it gently with an elastic bandage, and elevate it.
Teach them not to eat or drink anything if they're not sure what it is.
In case of poisoning, they should tell an adult immediately.
Show them how to gently remove a stinger if they're stung by a bee or wasp.
Wash the area with soap and water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
If they or someone else is having a severe allergic reaction, teach them to use an epinephrine auto-injector if prescribed and seek immediate medical help.
Remember, while teaching these skills, keep the information age-appropriate and avoid overwhelming them. Additionally, practicing these skills through role-play and scenarios can help kids remember what to do in real-life situations. For more tips and first aid for kids take a look at this guide.
This year's theme for World First Aid Day is First Aid in the Digital World. St John's ambulance has outlined some great first aid apps for handy advice at your fingertips.
Remember if ever in doubt seek medical advice. 111 is a great service but if it is an emergency head to your local hospital or call 999.