8 First Aid Tips for Child Injuries
Protect your loved ones by childproofing your home and being prepared for any accidents that may happen in your child’s life. On top of preparing your home physically, it is important to prepare yourself mentally for the different types of first aid you may require for your family. Here are a few child first aid tips to give you the preparation and understanding you need to help your family stay safe.
1. Purchase A First Aid Kit
First aid kits are a vital tool to have in your home. The basics to have in a first aid kit are antiseptic wipes, iodine, band-aids, gauze, an ace bandage, splints of different sizes, calamine lotion, burn ointment, antihistamine, Tylenol, along with any specific needs. For the items you don’t own, go to your local convenient store and either create your own first aid kit or purchase a pre-made kit. Take special care in what you add so all of the unique needs of your family will be covered.
It is of vital importance to store the first aid kit where little hands cannot reach it, yet still easily accessible for you and any other caregiver. As some of the contents may expire it is good to either periodically check your first aid kit and replace spoiled items or keep a kit checklist of each perishable item to avoid hazards.
For any size cut, the first thing is to put pressure on the wound (with gauze, tissue, or a clean towel) to stop the bleeding. Then wash the area with soap and water. Dry the wound with a clean cloth. Apply an antiseptic then cover the cut with a band-aid. If the cut is deep and/or is still bleeding, the child needs to see a doctor and perhaps get stitches.
3. Burns or Scalds
If your child has been burned, remove any clothing that is on fire unless it is stuck to them. In the case of an electrical burn, disconnect all sources of power. Remove the child from the power source with something that is a non-conductor of electricity, such as rubber gloves or a wooden broomstick. Hold the burn under cold running water until the pain subsides. If this is not possible, place a cool damp towel on the burn.
Finally, place burn ointment and a bandage over the burn. The bandage should be firmly planted, yet allow the burn some breathing room. Call the child’s physician if the burn is minor or the local emergency number if the burn is significant. DO NOT pop blisters as this may cause infection, apply ice, grease, butter, or normal ointment.
Has your child ingested, or been affected by, a poison? Call the local poison control. Be ready with the poisonous product involved to relay the proper information. In the case that the child becomes drowsy, unconscious, starts convulsing, or has trouble breathing, call your local emergency number. Remember to bring the poisonous material along to the hospital. Install a child safety gate and prevent children from exploring adult areas in the home such as the bathroom or garage which may have poisonous chemicals in store.
For gas, fumes, or smoke, bring the child to fresh air, call the local emergency or fire department. If the child’s breathing stops, begin CPR until help arrives (First learn certified CPR). If the skin, hair, eyes have been exposed to lye, pesticides, acids, chemicals, or poisonous plants remove contaminated clothing. Wash affected area on the child with a lot of water and very little soap, if necessary, and do not scrub. If the poison was ingested, do not induce vomiting or give them any food or drink. Call poison control for further guidance.
5. Scrapes and Grazes
Be sure the child is up to date on all vaccines especially tetanus. Apply ice to the wound to reduce pain and swelling, if the pain is excessive call the child’s paediatrician.
Scrapes – Rinse the injured area with water and soap for at least five minutes (do not apply alcohol, peroxide, or detergents). Once clean, apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage that will not stick to the wound.
Splinters – Remove the splinter with tweezers, wash the area until it is clean and cover it with a bandage. If the splinter is not removable call the child’s doctor.
Puncture Wounds – If the child has been stabbed by a knife or a stick do not remove the object. Call your local emergency number and allow the medical professionals to remove any items that are puncturing the child.
6. Neck or Back Injuries
The most important thing to remember if a child injures their neck or back is DO NOT MOVE THE CHILD. Movement could cause further injury including possible paralysis. Call your local emergency number if the child has any severe symptoms such as a seizure, loses consciousness, experiences loss of mobility in limbs, has watery fluid or blood oozing from the ears, abnormal speech or behavior, difficulty being awakened, drowsiness, persistent headache, and/or vomiting. If the symptoms are less serious than the above, call the child’s paediatrician.
7. Broken Limbs
If your child breaks a bone, the first thing you should do is call their doctor or your local emergency number.
In the case that a bone is protruding out of the skin, call the local emergency number immediately. DO NOT attempt to correct the break on your own.
The next action is to secure the limb. This can be done with a splint or securely tying on a stiff item to hold the limb in place. For a finger, this could be something as simple as a Popsicle stick or a couple of pencils. For arms and legs, you could use a 2×4 or a broomstick. Reduce the movement as much as possible while transferring your child to the hospital or clinic.
8. Convulsions or Seizures
If the child is breathing, move them onto their side to prevent choking. Remove any harmful objects around the child that may injure them. Protect their head and do not put anything in the child’s mouth. Carefully loosen any tight clothing. You may start CPR if the child stops breathing or turns blue. If the child remains in the seizure for more than five minutes, call your local emergency number.
There is nothing more important than keeping your family safe. Take action and share with your friends and family this critical information about first aid, broken bones, seizures, and other child safety tips. It could be a lifesaving moment for a child someday.
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