First Aid Tips For Parents

We all know that children can be quite clumsy sometimes and get into a lot of scrapes. They will often need some kind of first aid. Do you as parents, know exactly what to do? The below first aid information can also be used to treat adults. You might just need to apply more pressure etc depending on the injury.

The information you read here is based on my own knowledge from first aid courses I have attended and backed up by information from the Red Cross website. This list is by no means exhaustive and should only be used as a guide, some of this may not be 100% medical advice as it may be based on my own real-life experiences. After all, we don't always have a first aid kit etc to hand. If you are ever unsure about anything you should always call 999 or the local non-emergency number.

First Aid for a baby or child who is bleeding heavily.

You will need to put pressure on the wound with whatever you can, a bandage, T-shirt, anything really, as long as it is clean. This will help the blood to clot and stop the bleeding. Call 999 or ask someone else to whilst you keep pressure on the wound until help arrives. If the cut is on their arm, raise the arm above the head to help slow the blood flow to the wound.

If the blood soaks through the bandage (or whatever you have used as a bandage), add more bandages rather than removing/replacing the soaked through the bandage. If there is something sticking out of the wound, do not take it out! It is helping to stop the blood from leaving the body. Wrap bandages etc around the protruding object is possible. 

Do not wash the wound as it may make it bleed more. You can wash minor cuts and grazes to get the dirt out but not a cut that is bleeding heavily. 

First Aid for a child who has a burn.

Cool the burn under running water for ten minutes, this will reduce the pain, swelling and also the risk of scarring. Once the burn has been cooled, cover it with clingfilm (a clean plastic bag will do if you dont have any). It won't stick to the burn. Do not cover it with cloth eg bandages or clothing as this could stick to the burn.

If anything is stuck to the wound do not attempt to remove it as you will cause more damage. Do not put any oils on the burn. Do not put ice on the burn in an attempt to cool it quicker, it could damage the skin.

I know that when I have burnt my self, on the oven mostly (nothing major) running it under a cold tap usually works fine. There is a pain for a while afterwards but nothing that isn't manageable. If you start to see scarring or blistering then I would definitely medical advice once you have cooled the burn.

First Aid for a baby who is choking.

Hold the baby face down along your thigh with the head lower than their bum. Hit between the shoulder blades with the palm of your hand five times. If this does not dislodge the whatever is in the babies throat then you will need to perform chest thrusts.

Turn the baby over so they are facing upwards, place two fingers on the middle of their chest, just below the nipples and push sharply down up to five times. 

If this doesn't work, dial 999 and continue with the cycle of back blows and chest thrusts.

The level of force you will need to use will be dependant on your size and that of your baby. It needs to be enough that it will cause vibrations in the airway which will then hopefully dislodge the item. 

Do not perform the Heimlich manoeuvre (abdominal thrusts) on a baby. Do not put your fingers inside your babies mouth, you may end up pushing the item further down and doing more damage, however, if you can clearly see the object and feel you can get it out safely, then do so.

Thankfully, I have never had to deal with this myself and I hope I never do.

First Aid for a child who is choking.

If a child/adult is choking, ask them to cough. If they can't then you need to perform the five back blows mentioned above. If this doesn't work then you will need to start abdominal thrusts. Hold the child around the waist, making a fist with one hand and cupping it with the other, pull inwards and upwards above the belly button. Do this five times. If this doesnt work, call 999 and continue with the back blows and abdominal thrusts.

First Aid for a baby or child with a fever.

A fever is classed as a temperature above 37°c, have hot flushed skin and may be sweating. A child may have a temperature but could complain if being cold and look pale. They may also complain of a headache. 

You should check their temperature by using a thermometer. A moderate fever may not be harmful but anything over 39°c can be dangerous. You need to reduce the temperature by removing excess clothing and giving them plenty of water or juice.

We have had to have Alice sent to the hospital in an ambulance before on doctors orders due to severe temperature, after a few hours in the hospital it had gone down and was due to her having a bad case of tonsillitis. She was almost lifeless when laid on her mum in the doctor's surgery, if your child is ever like this, I would say go to the hospital immediately.

Do not cover them with anything that can make them hotter. Give the baby/child the recommended does of paracetomol. Do not put your child in a cold bath or shower as this could drop their temperature to quick and could cause hypothermia. 

You should seek medical advice if a baby less than 6 months old has a temperature above 38°c. You should seek medical advice for children over 6 months if their temperature goes above 39°c.

First Aid for a child who has a nose bleed.

Pinch the bottom part of the nose (soft part) and get the child to lean forward, ask them to breathe through their mouth. You should pinch the nose for ten mnutes. If the bleeding lasts for more than half an hour, you should seek medial advice. 

Do not tilt the head back as the blood could go into another airway. The nose could very well bleed again shortly after if the child picks their nose (which is probably, very likely, or it is with my kids at least) or if they bang it again. If this happens then follow the process above.

The Red Cross has an app that you can download for your phones to help and give you advice in most first aid situations.

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  1. Thank you for these very useful tips. Sometimes we just act on instinct but it's good to know the right way to doing something - we could just save our child's life x #MixItUp


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