No parent wants to think of their child in a situation that requires emergency first aid, however, by learning some basic first aid techniques, a parent may be able to provide the necessary care to save a child’s life. This article offers some tips on basic first aid for parents of young children (from one year of age to puberty).
If your child is unresponsive, you should...
Step 1 – Check for breathing. Tilt your child’s head back and look down their chest to see if it’s moving and feel for breaths on your cheek.
- If they are breathing, call 999
- If they are not breathing, tell someone to call 999 (if you’re alone, carry out steps 2 and 3 and then make the call yourself)
Step 2 - Give five rescue breaths. Seal your mouth over their mouth and pinch their nose. Blow five times into your child’s mouth.
- You are acting as your child’s lungs by blowing into them. This helps to keep enough oxygen in your child’s blood.
Step 3 - Give 30 chest compressions. Push firmly in the middle of their chest with one hand, so the chest goes inward, then release.
- You are acting as your child’s heart, pumping blood to their vital organs.
Step 4 – Give two rescue breaths and then 30 more chest compressions.
- Repeat this step until help arrives or your child starts breathing.
If your child is choking, you should...
Step 1 - Give up to five back blows. Hit your child firmly on their back between the shoulder blades up to five times. If back blows do not dislodge the object, move on to step two.
- The back blow creates a strong vibration and pressure in the airway – this is often enough to dislodge the blockage.
Step 2 - Give up to five abdominal thrusts. Hold your child firmly around the waist and pull inwards and upwards above their belly button.
- Abdominal thrusts squeeze the air out of your child’s lungs which can also help to dislodge the blockage.
Step 3 – Get someone to call 999 if the object does not dislodge. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the object dislodges, help arrives, or your child becomes unresponsive.
- If you are alone, call 999 before repeating steps 1 and 2.
If your child suffers a burn, you should...
Step 1 – Cool the burn by running it under a cold tap for a minimum of ten minutes.
- By cooling the burn, it will reduce the pain, swelling and risk of swelling.
Step 2 – After the burn has cooled, wrap it in cling film or cover it with a clean plastic bag.
- Keeping the area of the burn clean helps to prevent infection. Cling film or plastic bags are ideal as they will not stick to the surface of the burn.
Step 3 - If necessary, call 999.
- Depending on the severity of the burn, your child may need urgent medical treatment
At Flexebee, we offer a range of First Aid training courses, including Emergency Paediatric First Aid. To find out how to perform First Aid on adults, we've created A Guide to First Aid at Work for you.