IT’S every parents worst nightmare that they’ll need to perform basic first aid on their child but won’t know what to do.
It’s important to ask yourself, do you know the signs of a febrile seizure? Or were you aware that a choking baby won’t make a sound?
It is vital that all parents need to know if their is ever a health emergencyCredit: Getty
What about the difference between a very serious head injury and one that can be treated at home?
These are just some examples of the basic first aid for children that every parent needs to know.
Georgie Hart, Head of Community Education at the British Red Cross, told The Sun: “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare to see their child in an emergency and not be able to help, whether that’s a knock on the head, choking or an accidental poisoning.
“This is why learning basic first aid is one of the most important skills you can learn – it’s the kind thing to do and it could save a life.”
Here are her top six must-know first aid skills that will give parents the tools they need in a crisis and help protect their child from harm.
Energetic and growing young children are often falling over or bumping their heads.
Head injuries can be very serious or they can be mild and easily treated at home – it’s important to know the difference.
If a child has injured their head, they may have pain, a bump, a headache and feel dizzy.
Get them to rest and apply something cold to the injury.
Call 999 if the blow to the head was severe, they become drowsy, vomit or their condition worsens.
If the injury is the result of a sporting accident, do not allow your child to return to the sport until they have been fully assessed by a medical practitioner.
Always seek medical advice if they have had previous brain surgery, take anti-coagulant medications or are intoxicated with alcohol or drugs.
Burns are very common, especially for young children, and fast action can reduce the impact of the injury on their delicate skin.
The most important thing to do is cool the burn under cold running water for at least 20 minutes – this will reduce their pain, swelling and the risk of scarring.
After the burn has been cooled, remove any watches, belts or constricting clothing then cover it with clingfilm or a clean plastic bag as these will not stick to the injury.
Always seek medical advice if a baby or child has been burned and call 999 if necessary.
When babies are moving onto solid foods, many parents become concerned about choking.
Reassuringly, it’s very simple to help – but it’s vital to be able to recognise the signs.
A baby who is choking won’t be able to breathe which means they will not be crying, coughing or making any other noise.
To help, hold them carefully face down along your thigh with their head lower than their bottom and hit them firmly on the back five times.
It is likely that this will clear the blockage. If not, turn the baby over and give up to five chest thrusts.
You do this by placing two fingers on the lower part of the breastbone, one finger’s breadth below the infant’s nipple line and pushing downwards sharply five times.
If the blockage still won’t dislodge, call 999 and continue giving back blows followed by chest thrusts until help arrives.
If the baby becomes unresponsive you will need to perform CPR (see ‘unresponsive and not breathing’ below).
Remember you are not alone, the 999 operator will be able to talk you through the correct steps over the phone while you wait.
The choking first aid for children (from one year to puberty) is different to babies – find it here. (https://www.redcross.org.uk/first-aid/learn-first-aid-for-babies-and-children/choking-child)
Febrile seizures may be something that new parents have never heard of or experienced but, while it may look frightening, simple actions can help keep your child safe.
They’re caused by a child’s developing brain being unable to deal with a fever or high temperature.
A baby or child who is having a febrile seizure may be less responsive or unresponsive, arch their back, clench their fists, stiffen their body and shake vigorously.
They may look red-faced, be hot to the touch and sweating.
You may also notice their eyes roll upwards and they may hold their breath.
Stay calm. You can help by protecting them from injury, but do not restrain them.
Move things that could injure them while are having a seizure and use pillows or soft padding to protect their head.
As febrile seizures are caused by a raised temperature, take off their outer clothing to help cool them and open windows and doors.
When the seizure is over, help them to rest on their side in the recovery position with their head tilted back – this will help keep their airway open.
Call 999 or 112 for emergency help.
Monitor and reassure them while you wait.
UNRESPONSIVE AND NOT BREATHING
If your baby is not moving and does not respond when you call them or tap their foot, they are unresponsive.
This is a life-threatening situation – but you can help them. The first thing you need to do is shout for help.
Next, lay your baby on their back on a firm surface and check whether they are breathing by tilting their head back and looking, listening and feeling for breaths.
If they’re not breathing, ask a helper to call 999.
If you are on your own, spend one minute giving them rescue breaths and chest compressions before calling.
Give five rescue breaths by tilting their head back, sealing your mouth around their mouth and nose and blowing five times.
Your baby’s chest should rise visibly as you blow and fall fully when you lift your mouth. Each complete rescue breath should take one second.
Then give 30 chest compressions in the middle of their chest with two fingers so that the chest goes inwards.
Release and allow the chest to come back up fully (recoil) between compressions.
Give two more rescue breaths and continue with a cycle of 30 compressions followed by two rescue breaths.
You are acting as their heart and lungs and keeping them alive until help arrives.
To give CPR to a child (from one year to puberty), the instructions differ – read them here.
Young children are often putting things in their mouth, but sometimes what looks tasty to them can be very dangerous if swallowed.
Things like prescription or non-prescription drugs, household cleaning products and some plants can all be harmful.
Firstly, establish what they have taken, when they took it and how much they took.
Then call 999 or 112 for emergency help as soon as possible. If you are not sure if they have taken something, call 999 anyway.
Do not make them sick or give them a drink as you could cause further damage to their throat or block their airway.
Reassure them while you wait for help to arrive.
For more tips and advice about keeping your child safe, download The British Red Cross Baby and Child First Aid App from the Apple Store or Google Play.
Georgie Hart, Head of Community Education at the British Red CrossCredit: British Red Cross
It’s every parents worst nightmare that they’ll need to perform basic first aid on their child but won’t know what to doCredit: Getty
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