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Kids are always busy running around and exploring the world, making them prone to getting hurt. First aid for children then becomes essential. It is inevitable that at some point you will encounter a situation where your child sustains a cut or a mild burn.
Below are some first aid tips for kids:
Cuts and Scrapes:
- What to do right away: The first thing that needs to be done is to arrest the bleeding which can be done by applying pressure to the cut area. Second, run the wound over warm water that is mixed with an antiseptic liquid, to sanitise the area and remove any dirt particles that might be lodged in the wound. Third, apply antiseptic cream and cover the wound with a loose bandage.
- Follow-up care after first aid: Take your child to get his tetanus shots if he has not received one in the last ten years. Apply a new bandage every day until the wound heals.
- What to do right away: Put your child’s hand immediately under some cool running water for approximately five minutes. There are two common mistakes made by people when treating a burn. First, avoid using ice on the affected area as it stops the blood circulation in the region, affecting the healing process. Second, avoid using grease, butter or other substances to cover the burn as it traps the heat and prevents proper healing.
- Follow-up care after first aid: The experience can be painful, and the treatment is likely to cause a lot of discomfort. If the pain is too severe or unbearable, consult the doctor immediately. Do not self-medicate your child.
- What to do right away: Make your child sit with their back firmly against a chair. Gently pinch the soft tissue on either side of the nose bridge for about 5-10 minutes, and the bleeding should stop. If not, you can repeat the process until the bleeding stops. Two things must be avoided in such as scenario. First, avoid checking to see if the bleeding has stopped as that will only prolong the bleeding. Secondly, avoid tilting their head back as the blood could flow backwards and make them choke.
- Follow-up care after first aid: Make sure your child does not pick or blow their nose for the next 24 hours
- What to do right away: The first thing that you need to do is find a way to lower your child’s body temperature. If you are at home, take him to the bathroom and make him take a bath in cold water. If cold water is unavailable, wrap ice in a cloth and apply it to the neck and armpits.
- Follow-up care after first aid: There are instances where your child may not be able to handle the drop in temperature and start shivering. Make sure you keep them warm after the body temperature has dropped. If your child is still shivering, consult the doctor immediately.
- What to do right away: The first thing to do is remove the stinger. You could use your fingernails or bank debit or credit card to scrape it away gently. Note that using your fingers to pluck out the stinger would release more venom into your child’s bloodstream and hence is not advisable. After the stinger is removed, put some ice or a cold compress over the affected area to numb the pain.
- Follow-up care after first aid: Please go to a doctor if your child experiences rashes or fatigue as it could be an allergic reaction.
- What to do right away: Check if your child is displaying any symptoms of severe head injury. This includes blurry vision, improper balance or memory loss. After this look for any open wounds that may be present. If there are any, wash the area with some antiseptic liquid diluted with lukewarm water. If there is excess bleeding, apply pressure using a cloth for about ten minutes.
- Follow-up care after first aid: Check if your child is displaying any symptoms of severe head injury every two hours. Take him to the doctor if he does. If he has received a deep cut, take him to the hospital for getting stitches or further care.
- What to do right away: In case of bleeding, use a cloth to apply pressure to the wounded area. First, make your child comfortable or let them lie down to avoid excessive movement. Second, fill ice cubes in a cloth bag and gently massage the affected area to relieve the pain. Lastly, take help of your neighbours, friends or your partner to take them to the doctor immediately. This is needed as your child must remain stationary which can be challenging to do on the commute to the hospital.
- Follow-up care after first aid: Only let them do the necessary physical activity to avoid any further damage to the bone.
- What to do right away: Encourage your child to try to cough it out on their own. If he is unable to do it in the next three seconds, immediately perform the Heimlich manoeuvre. This is done by first placing yourself behind them. Second, wrap your arms around them in such a way that both your fists are below their navel with the thumb protruding slightly. Lastly, exert pressure in short bursts and do not stop until the food article that is lodged inside comes out.
- Follow-up care after first aid: Educate your children on how to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre. It can even be performed alone by using the edge of a table or chair to apply pressure near the navel.
- What to do right away: Gently ease your child onto the floor after clearing it of any objects so they can avoid injuring themselves. After this, you could put a folded towel or pillow under their heads.
- Follow-up care after first aid: Once they recover, explain what happened to them in simple words. If the seizure lasts for more than five minutes, take them to a doctor immediately.
Poisoning by Bleach Consumption
- What to do right away: First, using water, make sure your child cleans their mouth so that all remaining bleach is washed off. Second, change their clothes as the smell of the bleach may make them nauseous. Third, give them some milk to dilute the bleach. Lastly, avoid making them vomit as it could cause further damage to the food pipe.
- Follow-up care after first aid: Take the bleach container with you to the hospital so that the doctors can get an idea if further treatment is required.
Now that you know some basic first aid for kids, you can feel prepared the next time there is a medical emergency. Presence of mind and a calm approach will not only ensure that your child receives adequate care, but will also him her deal with an injury without panicking.