Your child has just been hurt.
You are the only person around.
This is the situation every parent dreads; a child having an accident.
Children hurt themselves quite frequently while playing and as parents, you want to protect your children from all potential dangers at all times – and will most certainly take steps to make your home a safe environment as possible.
Of course, despite your best efforts, accidents may still occur.
We all hope we’ll never be put in the position of having to save a child’s life –But what happens when you are faced with such situation?
Would you know what to do if your child was hurt at home or choked on their food and needed help? – And you happen to be the only person near to help out.
Would you panic, not know what to do? Or just rush the child to the hospital so that they will take care of the situation swiftly?
It’s okay to react that way to such situation as a parent.
But then, what do you do before getting medical attention?
Time is absolutely precious when dealing with an emergency medical situation. Being able to act quickly and confidently could provide that vital early assistance to save your child.
The best thing to do is stay calm, be prepared and not waste time. If you are not prepared, it might turn hazardous.
As a parent, you should equip yourself with these basic lifesaving skills; it will give you confidence and the power to make a difference in your child’s life. You will definitely thank us later!
1. Broken Bones
You heard a “snap” or a grinding noise during an injury – or you suspect your child has broken a bone, the last thing you need to do is panic.
Fractures often happen when kids are playing or participating in sports. The harder kids play, the harder they fall.
However, the fact is, broken bones, or fractures, is not an anomaly in childhood. Many kids will have a broken bone at some point. Most aren’t a big a deal! Here is how to deal with the situation;
Calm your child and Keep the injured area as still as possible by placing blankets or clothing around it.
If the skin is broken, cover the injury with a clean, non-fluffy pad and gently bandage.
You can transport your child with a fracture by car for medical care.
If you notice your child is feeling worse or developing a fast pulse, lie them down and raise the legs.
If the leg is injured, raise another limb instead.
Don’t let your child eat or drink in case they need an anaesthetic.
No matter what part might be broken or how big or small the fracture may seem, all broken bones need medical care.
Young children are prone to choking, particularly from food or a toy stuck in the trachea (the airway). This keeps air from flowing normally in or out of the lungs, so the child can’t breathe properly.
As a parent, here’s what you need to know about choking, Don’t stick your fingers down their throat, it could worsen the situation.
Encourage your child to cough at first, If this doesn’t work, bend them forward while supporting the body and chin, and using the heel of your hand, give up to five sharp blows between the shoulder blades.
Check their mouth for any obstruction and remove it.
If the obstruction is still there, move on to abdominal thrusts by standing behind, wrap your arms around them and put one fist between their navel and ribs.
Grab the fist with your other hand and pull sharply in and up, up to five times.
But if the child is still choking but can’t breathe and talk, you must act quickly to stop a life-threatening situation by seeking medical advice, but continue till you get medical help.
3. Clean and Dress Wounds
Most children get cuts and scrape once in a while, no matter how vigilant you are as a parent.
But the most important thing is, do you know the right way to clean and dress your child’s wounds so the risk of infection is minimized?
Since children are curious by nature, getting scrapes and cuts is only a natural rite of passage for them to explore the outside world.
However, knowing how to clean and dress your child’s wound with these steps will let your child get back to playing.
Rinse the wound thoroughly with water to clean out dirt and debris,
Apply a band-aid the right way.
Examine the wound daily. If the bandage gets wet, remove it and apply a new one.
After the wound forms a scab, a bandage is no longer necessary.
If the need to visit a doctor arises or wound is red, swollen, warm, or draining pus. Call your doctor.
However small or severe burns are, with babies or young children – they are treated by medical professionals. But if your child burns his/herself, you can at least give first aid before they receive any medical treatment.
Simple burns involving only the very surface of the skin do not need dressings.
Immediately, cool the area under running water for at least ten minutes while gently removing any jewellery, watches or clothing from the area before it begins to swell.
Cool the skin with a moist compress. Don’t put ice, butter or anything else directly on the burned.
Clean the skin gently with mild soap and tap water.
Cover the burn with clean, non-fluffy material to protect from Infection.
If it’s severe, call an ambulance while you’re cooling the burn and treat for shock.
Raise the legs if possible, and keep the child warm, comfortable and reassured until help arrives.
5. Swallowed Poisons
If your child swallows poison – Stay calm, act fast! Unintentional poisonings from medicines and household chemicals kills children.
Here is what you need to do;
Get the item away from the child and try to make her spit out anything left in her mouth.
Keep a sample (or what’s left in the container, if there is one) and give to ambulance crew in case there is need to identify the poison.
If the child is conscious, ask them what they have swallowed, how much and when.
Try to reassure them while you call for emergency help.
If the child’s lips are burnt by the poison, give them sips of cold milk or water while waiting for help to arrive.
Monitor and record the child’s vital signs while waiting for help.
Give the doctor as much information as possible about the poison.
Hopefully, you will never need to put these lifesaving skills into play, but in case there is an emergency, you will know how to react and what to do.
It is always good to have these basic lifesaving skills and the confidence to use these skills – so that when the worst does happen, no matter where you are or who you are with, you have confidence in your ability to deal with the situation.
Be your child’s superhero!