Family First Aid- The Basic Steps You Should Know For Protecting Your Baby/Toddler

Family First Aid

First Aid for Toddlers & Babies- What should you know?

As every parent knows, being prepared for all eventualities is key to having happy little ones. However sometimes, despite every effort to keep children safe, accidents and emergencies do happen. As a result, St John Ambulance, following their recent TV ad campaign starring the likes of David Walliams, and the British Red Cross, have put together a handy list of basic first aid practices that every parent should know, just in case the worst should happen.

St John Ambulance’s latest TV advert; how to save a choking baby

 We know that keeping tots safe is a priority for all of our parents, so here is a summary of what you can do for your baby or toddler if an emergency arises…

Asthma Attacks

There are 5 key indicators that your child may be having an asthma attack:

  1. Difficulty breathing or speaking
  2. Wheezing
  3. Coughing
  4. Distress
  5. Grey-blue tinge to the lips, earlobes and nailbeds (known as cyanosis)

If you notice these symptoms then:

  • Reassure and help the child or baby to sit in a comfortable position
  • Try and keep the child/baby as calm as possible, administer their medication if they have any
  • If the attack seems to be worsening or they do not have medication then call 999.

Choking

As every parent also knows, little ones are often fond of putting small objects in their mouths, which unfortunately can put them at high risk of choking. If a child appears to be choking, then acting fast is very important. If a child is choking, but not making any noise at all, it may especially be very serious.

For baby:

  • Give up to five back blows. Hold the baby face down along your thigh with their head lower than their bottom. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades. If back blows do not dislodge the object, move on to step two.
  • Give up to five chest thrusts. Turn the baby over so they are facing upwards and place two fingers in the middle of their chest just below the nipples. Push inwards and upwards up to five times. If chest thrusts do not dislodge the object, repeat steps one and two.
  • Call 999 if the object has not dislodged after three cycles of back blows and chest thrusts.

For a child:

  • Give up to five back blows. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades. If back blows do not dislodge the object, move on to step two.
  • Give up to five abdominal thrusts. Hold the child around the waist and pull upwards and inwards above their belly button. If abdominal thrusts do not dislodge the object, repeat steps one and two.
  • Call 999 if the object has not dislodged after three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts.

Broken Bone

  • Support injury with cushions or items of clothing to stop any further movements. Supporting the injury may give pain relief and prevent loss of future movement.  If possible, support the limb above and below the injury.
  • Call 999
  • Keep injury supported until ambulance arrives

Burns

  • Put the burn under cold running water for at least 10 minutes. Cooling the burn will reduce pain, swelling and the risk of scarring. The faster and longer a burn is cooled, the less the impact of the injury.
  • After cooling, cover it with cling film or a plastic bag. This helps prevent infection by keeping the area clean. Cling film or plastic bags provide an ideal covering because they don’t stick to the burn and reduce pain by keeping air from the skin’s surface.
  • Call 999 if you need to

Fever

  • A baby or child has a fever when their temperature has risen above 37°C and their skin appears flushed, hot and sweaty
  • Check their temperature using a thermometer
  • Remove excess clothes and keep them hydrated with water or diluted juice
  • Give the recommend dose of paracetamol syrup
  • If symptoms show no signs of improvement over time then call 999

Head Injury

  • Apply a cold compress such as frozen vegetables wrapped in a tea towel. Applying something cold to the injury will reduce external swelling and pain. In addition to external swelling, when a person suffers a blow to the head, the brain can be shaken inside the skull. This may result in a more serious head injury (e.g. concussion), which may make them feel sick or drowsy.
  • If the child becomes drowsy or vomits, call 999 immediately

Unconscious and breathing

For baby:

  • Check for breathing by tilting head back and looking/feeling for breaths
  • If you can feel breath, hold the baby on its side with the head slightly tilted back, supported, and lower than their bottom.
  • Call 999

For a child:

  • Tilting the child’s head back opens their airway by pulling the tongue forward. Looking at their chest to see if it’s moving, and feeling for breaths on your cheek, will help you tell if they’re breathing or not
  • Putting them on their side with their head tilted back helps keep the airway open by making sure their tongue falls forward and fluid drains out. This will help the child to continue to breathe.
  • Call 999

Unconscious and not breathing

For baby:

  • Check for breathing. Tilt their head back and look and feel for breaths. If they are not breathing, move on to step two
  • Tell someone to call 999
  • Give five rescue breaths. Tilt their head back, seal your mouth over their mouth and nose and blow five times into the baby.
  • Give 30 chest compressions. Push firmly in the middle of their chest with two fingers so that the chest goes inward, then release.
  •  Give two rescue breaths, then continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until help arrives.

For a child:

  •  Check for breathing. Tilt their head back and look and feel for breaths. If they are not breathing, move on to step two.
  •  Tell someone to call 999.
  • Give five rescue breaths. Tilt their head back, seal your mouth over their mouth and pinch their nose. Blow five times into the child.
  • Give 30 chest compressions. Push firmly in the middle of their chest with one hand so the chest goes inward, then release.
  • Give two rescue breaths, then continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until help arrives.

Vomiting

  •  Give the baby or child drinks of boiled water that’s been cooled. Encourage them to drink small sips often. This will replace the fluid they have lost. Using a rehydration product is advised for prolonged periods of vomiting and diarrhoea – these will replace the salts lost through the condition.
  • Let the child rest, and if symptoms persist then seek medical advice

 

Check out this really useful infographic from https://www.surefirecpr.com/baby-first-aid-10-tips-new-parents/ 

All of this information is sourced from St John Ambulance and British Red Cross, who also provide many more detailed first aid guides in addition to these, for baby/toddler emergencies. You can find these, plus extra information about the contents of this article and some helpful instructional videos, at the following links:

http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/first-aid-advice/first-aid-for-parents.aspx

http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/First-aid/Baby-and-Child-First-Aid

If you’re confident that you know all there is to know about first aid for babies and toddlers, you can test yourself with this quiz, and even print your own British Red Cross certificate:

http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/First-aid/Baby-and-Child-First-Aid/Take-the-quiz

Have a read of our recently published article on coping with poorly babies and toddlers when abroad:

HERE

share on: