Due to their natural curiosity, children are believed to be more prone to accidents and injury in their growing and development phases.
Did you know that over 800 children aged one to nine pass away annually in the United Kingdom (UK)? Moreover, one in eight deaths was caused by accidents and non-intentional injuries. Primary mechanisms of accidents and non-intentional injury include falls, poisoning, drowning, and suffocation.
Most of these deaths can easily be prevented through parent education and paediatric first aid training. This post shares the basic things mums should know about paediatric first aid to keep their little ones safe. Keep on reading to learn more.
What Is Paediatric First-Aid
First aid refers to the medical attention administered right after an injury and at the place where it occurred. It provides temporary help to a sick or injured person until complete medical treatment becomes available.
A first-aider has three P goals:
- Preserve life;
- Prevent the injury or situation from worsening; and
- Promote recovery.
In that sense, paediatric first aid refers to a more specific type of first aid focused on children (mostly kids under 16 years old). It requires training and knowledge to provide effective first aid care to infants and teens.
The Difference Between Paediatric First Aid And Adult First Aid
Paediatric first aid is quite different from regular adult first aid training for several reasons.
For one, first aid training considers the physical development and size of the person that needs medical treatment. A suffocating toddler will need a different treatment compared to a full-grown adult.
In addition, paediatric first aid focuses more on risks that are more likely to occur to kids than grown-ups. These include choking or drowning since young kids are more likely to put things in their mouths or are often attracted to or curious about pools and water bodies.
Lastly, paediatric first aid training assumes that kids aren’t likely to deal with specific medical situations on their own, such as burns and minor cuts.
4 Basic Paediatric First Aid Skills
As a mum, you need to know some of the basics of paediatric first aid. Want to learn more about it? Keep on reading below.
- Paediatric Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
CPR is one of the most important things that everyone should know, especially parents.
That said, basic CPR know-how is very much different from CPR on infants and kids. While emergency dispatchers can provide instructions over the phone, in case of emergencies, kids who suddenly stopped breathing need to receive at least a minute of CPR to survive.
The best way to be prepared for an emergency requiring paediatric CPR is to take a certification course tailored to those age groups.
- Choking Management
Babies and young kids like to put things in their mouth–from toys, food, and small objects they’ve picked up on the floor–which can cause choking. Even older kids who love to chomp on large bits of food may suddenly suffer a blockage in their throat. While every parent can add precautions in place, kids may still get hurt.
Learning choking management techniques such as the Heimlich manoeuvre–giving five back blows then five abdominal thrusts, alternately–can help you act quickly and remove a blockage confidently.
- Fall Injuries Treatment
Young kids love to explore their surroundings, and they move around a lot. Paired with the presence of external hazards such as open windows, stairs, and tables they can climb, the potential for a dangerous fall or tumbling into sharp edges can occur in nearly every area of your home.
Depending on the situation, treatment for fall injuries can vary. Minor bumps in the head from a fall can be treated with a cold compress. Nevertheless, for major falls and head injuries, you should take them to the nearest emergency room right away and monitor your kid closely for dizziness, broken or dislocated bones, or any signs of sickness.
- Bites, Stings, Cuts, And Scrapes Care
Due to their curiosity, kids are prone to cuts and scrapes. For any minor bleeding from cuts and scrapes, it’s important to clean the wounded area. Then, apply antibiotic cream to prevent infection. Yet for major cuts that can’t be controlled, put pressure on the wound and get them to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, insect stings and even animal bites are also common safety risks for kids. In such cases, you must have basic knowledge of how to treat them. Common insect bites from bees can be treated by removing the stinger and applying a cold compress. If your kid has trouble breathing, the affected area swells severely, or they experience seizures, call emergency services right away. The same goes for animal bites, even if they came from vaccinated pets.
Regardless of how much you try to protect your kids, they’re bound to get hurt at some point in their younger lives. As such, having the basic insights and skills in paediatric first aid can help you provide immediate care and treatment and even save the lives of your little ones.