Serious emergencies are very rare, but emergency first aid for your children must be the most important skill for any parent to learn.
Some very simple first aid tips for minor injuries.
Small burn or Scalds
Saturate with cold water for a minimum of 10 minutes, remove jewellery or watches, cover with a non-fluffy sterile dressing, cling firm is a good substitute if you don’t have a burns dressing and reassure the child. Don’t touch the affected area or apply lotions or creams.
Never put butter on a burn or scald – it’s an old wives tale. Butter is for toast, not for injuries.
Don’t burst a blister, apply any creams to a scald or touch the burnt area.
If someone faints or is unsteady, lower them to the floor before they cause more injury to themselves. Raise their legs, by putting either cushions or a small table below and allow fresh air to get to their face. Loosen clothing and reassure them.
Don’t put them on a chair with their head between their knees.
Sit the child down, leaning forward and ask them to pinch the soft part of their nose. Reassure them. If after 10 minutes the bleeding has not stopped, repeat for another 10 minutes. If after 30 minutes the bleeding has still not stopped, seek medical attention.
Don’t tilt their head back.
First aid kits
If you have a first aid kit, mark it “First Aid”. If it’s in an old biscuit tin, it is no good if you are the only person who knows where it is, nor what it looks like. If it’s on top of the fridge, let everyone know.
Having a first aid kit is always handy, but if you haven’t one close by, improvise. Bandages can be replaced by the cleanest thing near you, a Towel, T-shirt or Tea towel will do. (Not tissues) If it’s an injury that’s serious it will need to be looked at by a professional and dressed properly.
Plasters: Have lots and let’s hope that’s the only thing your family will need.
This is a general guidance, consult a doctor or hospital if in any doubt and call 999 in an emergency.
It would be advisable to go on a course to learn emergency life-saving first aid and to experience and practise on professional manikins.
Children play, it’s how they learn, but bumps & bashes are inevitable. When it’s more serious and you need to call the emergency services, it’s in those vital minutes, emergency first aid may save lives.