The roles of a parent are endless: protector, tear-wiper, referee, chef, teacher…the list could go on and on.
However, it is in those crucial moments, when parents need to react immediately, that they play the most important role they will take on…that of a first responder.
All children injure themselves in one way or the other, in a minor or even major way. That is why parents must possess accurate first aid knowledge.
If parents can commit these essential first aid tips to memory, they can rest easy when their child is in need of immediate medical attention:
10. Safeguard for Potential Danger: Even for a well-behaved child, a house needs to be child-proofed. This task requires necessary steps: all poisonous materials (cleaners, matches, lighters, pool and automotive chemicals) need to be locked up, sharp objects should be out of reach, and fire and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed and checked regularly.
9. Preparation: It is not good enough to think you are prepared for first aid procedures and emergency situations; you need to know your family is prepared for these situations. Some steps that ensure sound preparation are: possessing necessary first aid items (and making them easily accessible), posting important phone numbers in a visible place (poison control, doctor’s office, neighbors), and establishing an affirmative plan for fires.
8. Cuts and Scrapes: Proper first aid for these injuries may seem simple enough, but you may be surprised. To properly care for cuts and scrapes, the injured area should be washed with water only until it is clean. Then, apply an antibiotic cream or ointment and cover the cut or scrape with a clean bandage. This ensures the avoidance of infection.
7. Excessive Bleeding: If a cut or wound is bleeding profusely, you should call for emergency help. Until help arrives, wash your hands and then apply pressure to the wound with a clean gauze. Make sure the wound is elevated.
6. Sprains/Fractures: Sprains and fractures will cause bruising, swelling, redness and pain. You will not be able to diagnose this type of injury yourself, so professional care will need to be sought out. In the meantime, you can make your own splint by wrapping the injury with a towel and then using a stiff material (such as cardboard) to hold the area in place. The injury should also be elevated above the heart (if possible) and ice should be applied for 20 minutes to reduce swelling.
5. Nose Bleeds: Contrary to popular belief, tipping the head backwards is not the proper procedure in this situation. Instead, the nostrils should be pinched with pressure and your child should lean forward while breathing through their mouth for approximately 5 minutes.
4. Burns: To treat burns properly, the burned area should be run under cool water until the pain stops. It is incorrect to apply ice, ointment or butter to a burn. If the burn creates blisters, you should call your child’s doctor.
3. Insect Stings: Dangerous insects are a fairly common threat. If your child gets stung, you should promptly remove the stinger and apply ice in order to alleviate the pain. Your child should be carefully monitored after the stinging takes place for if they develop hives, swelling of the face or throat, or have difficulty breathing, emergency help is needed immediately.
2. Ticks: If your child is playing outside, you should always check them for ticks. If you find one, you will need to remove it immediately by using your fingers or tweezers. You will also need to keep an eye on your child to see if they develop a rash or fever. If this is the case, you will need to alert their doctor.
1. Common Sense: The above first aid tips are considered general information. Your own common sense should undoubtedly be present in these situations. In other words, use first aid procedures but be confident in your own judgment to know when to seek professional help!