First aid is the first line of treatment or medical assistance in the event of an unexpected physical injury, major or minor. It is significant as it can save many lives by greatly alleviating the initial signs of pain and discomfort.
First aid is not only crucial for adults but also for children. In the case of kids, first aid might be even more important as their curiosity and quest to explore can lead to uncalled-for accidents.
For example, your kids are at their swim class. One of them accidentally loses the float and starts drowning. The coach is unaware, but you are an alert parent who manages to save your child. Your knowledge of first aid treatment for drowning comes in handy! The importance of such time-sensitive treatments cannot be emphasized enough.
In this article, we will help you with a quick but useful guide to first aid for children in case they are in danger. This will make sure they receive medical help on time and are not at imminent risk of death.
Guide to Children’s First Aid Treatment
Here’s a detailed guide on what you should do in case of different kinds of injuries:
#1 First aid for falls
In case of falls or fractures, the intensity of injury will determine the first line of treatment. If your child suffers from a head injury, check for bleeding, swollen bumps on the head, any external trauma on the back of the head, signs of dizziness, and concussion.
Use ice packs or grab anything from the refrigerator, like a bottle or a frozen apple, and cover it up in a napkin to treat the affected area with a quick cold compress. This provides immediate relief.
Despite the above steps, do not skip a quick visit to your GP’s clinic to rule out any risks of a potential brain injury or internal bleeding.
In the case of suspected bone fractures, cold compression with ice packs is the best first aid treatment. If the swelling subsides and there are no mobility issues in the kid, it is probably not a fracture. Nevertheless, a comprehensive check-up can help confirm the diagnosis. Also, the elevation of the fractured foot or ankle, in combination with the healing plaster, will help the injury heal faster.
If the kid suffers from a visible broken bone injury and the pain is unbearable, call for urgent pediatric assistance right away.
#2 First aid for burns
First aid for burns can be hard and emotionally traumatizing not only for the kid but also for the parent. The degree of burns can mentally scar the child for life, especially third-degree burns that have caused permanent damage.
Minor burn injuries involving reddening of skin are easier to treat. Your kid should avoid touching or scratching the affected area. Let it sit in cool water for a good 10 to 15 minutes. This will alleviate the burning sensation and irritable skin. Remember, you want to simply cool off and reduce the inflammation, so avoid using super chilled water or ice on the wound.
Also, refrain from self-medicating your kids and popping the blisters that may show up later in case of a second-degree burn injury. It is not a pimple that can be popped conveniently, so steer clear of that, as it may hurt your child. A clean bandage is all you need to cover the burn injury before you consult the paediatrician or GP. Your prescription ointments and other recovery medicines are for the doctor to decide based on the severity of the burn injuries.
#3 First aid for bleeding, cuts, scrapes
Kids can end up injuring themselves with sharp objects. If the child starts bleeding, make sure the open cut or wound is protected from infection and pus formation. No matter how deep the cut is, just shove in some turmeric after washing the wound under running water.
Turmeric is a wonderful natural antiseptic, and this is an age-old, proven Indian remedy to stop the bleeding process immediately when you have nothing available. Cleaning the wound right away with a 10 per cent betadine (povidone-iodine) solution and sterile surgical-grade cotton is another tip.
Wider and deeper cuts will need a thorough examination by a general physician. The doctor may decide to stitch them up if required. Puncture wounds are trickier to treat, and the extent of injury may not be known initially. Additionally, any debris stuck into it can make things worse, delaying the healing process. Do not try to remove or pick out the dirt yourself, as it will need sterile equipment. The first thing to do is to prevent any bleeding and a light dab of povidone-iodine to keep infections at bay.
#4 First aid treatment for allergic reactions
Minor allergic reactions like a rash, mild coughing, or sneezing can be treated at home. However, severe allergic reactions can trigger anaphylaxis. It is life-threatening and needs a doctor right away. However, as a first-line response, you must use the epi-pen to bring the reaction under control.
You must look out for severe symptoms such as intense breathing issues, vomiting, or dizziness. Children with peanut allergies have ended up dead in schools after being victimized by bullies. So, as responsible parents, let the school authorities know about your child’s allergy well in advance.
#5 First aid treatment for choking
The first thing to do to control the situation is to avoid going into panic mode. Most parents start screaming in panic and confusion because they do not know what to do. But saving your kid from choking on his or her food will need your reflexes and a calm mind that works in the nick of time.
Ask your child who is coughing to look up in the skies. This is when the choking is mild. In severe cases, put your arms around your child’s waist from behind and apply pressure to the upper abdomen just above the stomach to expel the foreign object. Keep thrusting till you get the airway obstruction out of the system.
For infants, it is best not to look away even for a second, especially if they are around hazardous toys or items that can choke them easily. Sometimes, they may choke on baby food, in which case you can lay them straight on their chest and keep patting the back near the shoulder blades to clear their airway.
Also, learn the right technique of CPR or Cardiopulmonary resuscitation if your kid stops breathing. This could be a severe medical emergency, so without wasting any time, head to the ER.
Hope you found the article useful. Let us know if you have any more tried and tested life-saving first-aid hacks or tips to add to the list that you may have tried to rescue children. The comment section is all yours!