As soon as your kids start to crawl, walk, run, and explore, it’s almost next to impossible that they won’t fall, trip, scrape their knee, or cut their finger, among other injuries that can happen anytime. Such instances are inevitable, especially since you can’t perfectly childproof your home and everywhere else they need to be. However, you can still be proactive and protective of your children by learning how to apply and perform essential first aid depending on the injury they’ve sustained.
A basic understanding of first aid can make a difference in stopping a minor accident from becoming worse. More importantly, you may even save your child’s life in the case of a grave medical incident. That’s why it’s undoubtedly essential to acquire first aid skills and knowledge, especially for parents.
Taking first aid courses is highly advised in every household. If you’re from anywhere in Sydney, you might want to consider getting your first aid qualification from Australia Wide First Aid or other first aid course providers to ensure that you’re well-equipped with the right skills should your kids sustain any kind of injury.
General first aid tips
The first rule of thumb during accidents and emergencies—don’t panic. Try your best to assess the situation and know when to get medical assistance. It’ll also help to keep a list of emergency numbers that you can reach when necessary. To add, a first aid kit and personal protective equipment are must-haves in every household. Make sure the kit is well-stocked with the necessary supplies and tools such as the following: (1)
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic wipes
- Sterile pads
- CPR mask
- Safety pins
- Bandages and gauzes in different sizes
- Medical adhesive tapes
- Cleansing pads
If your child has suffered from a back or neck injury, don’t move them. Instead, wait for medical assistance, assuming, of course, that you’ve already called 000 for an emergency. Moving a spinal injury victim could lead to serious complications, such as permanent paralysis. Encourage your kid to stay still even when they think or feel that they’re able to move or change their position. (2)
Checking for signs of circulation is another crucial step that you need to perform, regardless of the type of injury sustained. This is particularly required if the child is unconscious or showing no indication of movement, coughing, or breathing. Once you’ve confirmed that the patient is unresponsive, this is where your skills in performing CPR on a child become extremely handy. As mentioned, taking courses for such skills can be of significant advantage and can save a youngster’s life in more ways than one. (3)
Caring for minor injuries in kids
While it’s not exactly something to be thankful for, it’s more reassuring to know that your children have only suffered from minor injuries and accidents. In such cases, there’s all the more no reason to panic or be out of focus. And, of course, knowing the right thing to do is still of utmost importance.
To help you better, below are some examples of minor incidents involving kids where your first aid skill can be of great use:
Cuts and scrapes
Small cuts and scrapes can seem like an emergency due to the amount of blood coming out from them. But, if the injury is only minor, the bleeding should stop after a few minutes. Don’t forget to wash the injury site with clean water until all debris and dirt are removed. To stop the bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound or cut for at least 10 minutes. (6)
You may also apply an antibiotic ointment if the cut isn’t too deep. Make sure your kid is updated on their tetanus vaccination. Sometimes, a booster shot may also be needed even when they’re already immunised, mainly if there’s an open wound. (4) (5)
Sprains and fractures
A sprain is already painful enough for adults, and you can just imagine how younger ones might feel in such circumstances. They’re most likely to spend hours crying because of the pain, especially if the sprain is quite severe that it already involves ligament tearing. You can expect the injury site to swell right away, and it can even take weeks until full recovery is achieved. (7)
For both sprains and fractures, you can apply a cold compress as first aid. Watch out for warning signs of these injury types, such as discolouration or numbness of the affected body part. To add, make sure to check with your paediatrician right away, mainly if the sprain is over a bone area. Keep in mind that children’s bones still aren’t fully developed, and as such, incidents like fractures and sprains need to be closely monitored by a healthcare professional. Laboratory scans may also be needed depending on your doctor’s advice, including X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scan. (8) (9)
Conclusion: Because every second counts
Whether it’s a minor or severe injury, every second counts in preventing further complications and saving a precious life. Aside from making sure your home is safe enough for your children, you’ll be more assured knowing you’re well-equipped with the proper knowledge and skills should an emergency arise. You may not be able to predict when an accident will happen, but knowing you have the right first aid skills can go a long way in staying calm and in any circumstance you and your kid may be in.
- “First aid kit,” Source: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001958.htm
- “Spinal injury: First aid,” Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-spinal-injury/basics/art-20056677
- “First Aid for Unconsciousness,” Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/unconsciousness-first-aid#What-is-unconsciousness?
- “Treating Minor Injuries in Children,” Source: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=4078
- “First Aid Guide for Parents & Caregivers,” https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/First-Aid-Guide.aspx
- “Treating Cuts and Bleeding in Children,” Source: https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/treating-cuts-and-bleeding-in-children
- “Sprains and strains,” Source: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sprains-and-strains/
- “First Aid Tips,” Source: https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/first-aid-tips
- “Sprains and Strains in Children,” Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions—pediatrics/s/sprains-and-strains-in-children.html