Protecting your children from every hurdle that comes their way is nearly impossible. Worrying about the scratches and bruises they get from not-so-dangerous bicycle accidents is a given when you’re a parent. The endless cycle of worries begins the moment you see those two lines on the pregnancy test strip. However, these small injuries are just a part of growing up. Your child will never learn to walk or cycle on their own if they don’t fall first. Nonetheless, as brave and smart as children are, they aren’t the best communicators when something goes wrong.
While stumbling, slipping, and falling are unavoidable for children, unlike adults, they can’t protect themselves by falling in a certain position to avoid maximum injuries. For instance, as an adult, you might know that you need to protect your backbone or head more than any other body part, and your reflexes will act accordingly. Children may also not be able to tell where it hurts or how badly it hurts. Therefore, learning a few beneficial skills will only be good for you and your family. These skills may include CPR, basic first aid, how to aid a choking person, etc. Nevertheless, some situations might be beyond your control, and you may need to call for help.
Step 1 in any emergency is to stop panicking. Breathe, take control of your emotions, acknowledge your anxiety and calm down. It’ll help you to think better. Analyze the condition of your child quickly to see if you can provide care at home. If not, call for help. Keep your local emergency hotline on speed dial. Otherwise, directly get in touch with a professional, preferably one with a pals certification. This certification allows a professional to earn expertise in dealing with emergencies that are specific to children. Continue reading to find out what kind of emergencies your children can undergo and how to deal with them.
Choking is probably the most common medical emergency associated with children. Children are naturally overly excited and always in a hurry. They may choke on their food if they try to swallow it too fast without chewing properly. Choking is highly dangerous as it makes someone unable to breathe, cry, or talk. Hence, it’s nearly impossible to know when someone’s choking unless you’re in the same room as them.
If you’re dealing with an infant, put them across your arm and make them face upside down. Use the lower part of your hand to pat on their back forcefully. Do this 3 or 5 times in a row. For an older child, the same technique may work. Another method to do this is by standing behind the child, placing one arm over their chest. Hold the child from the waist with your other arm and bend them over. Give the child 4 -5 impactful but gentle back blows with your hand. If none of this works, call for help or visit the nearest ER.
Water gets children excited. They try to explore it before they’ve even learned to swim. Whether it’s a day at the beach or a pool party, children are in danger of drowning. If you see a child struggling to swim in a pool or at the beach, rescue the child immediately and quickly check their breathing and consciousness. If they’re unresponsive, begin CPR there and then. While you’re at it, ask someone nearby to call for emergency services. Never take a drowning emergency lightly. In the case of drowning, both compression and mouth-to-mouth CPR is important to get the water out of the child’s system.
Falls can be harmless most of the time, but sometimes fatal too. Falling at the wrong angle, the wrong spot, or from a higher altitude can be severely dangerous. For minor cuts and bruises, use water or alcohol swabs to clean the wounds. Apply bandages to stop the bleeding. Use ice to soothe the pain. For major falls, call for help ASAP. Major falls may include fractures, excessive bleeding, loss of consciousness, uncontrollable pain, etc. If emergency services aren’t reachable anytime soon, rush the child to the nearest ER yourself.
Most children love to chew, taste, or swallow anything they can get their hands on. Sometimes it might not even be food. These items can be shoes, books, items from the pantry, wall paint, anything. Swallowing medication, rat poison, or stale food can make them sick or even instantly kill them. If you find your child holding a container with toxic substances, have them spit it out instantly. Wash their face and their mouth immediately. Visit the emergency room just in case. If the child has swallowed any poison, they will require a stomach wash. Be sure to take the container along so that the doctor knows what kind of poison was consumed. It helps in determining the severity of the situation.
Children tend to be very curious and go around touching or feeling new things. Another consequence of a child’s curiosity is burnt skin. Using a slide when it’s too hot outside, pulling a pot of boiling water, or being around a lot of steam can cause first or second-degree burns. Step 1 is to get the child out of the hot environment. The next step is to expose the burnt skin to cold water. Not only does it help in healing the wound, but it soothes the pain too. However, for proper treatment, you must reach out to professional help ASAP. Get your child out of their clothes before rushing to a hospital, but only if their skin isn’t stuck to them.
The Bottom Line
Falls and minor injuries are just a part of growing up. Children can’t learn anything without them. It’s critically important to know basic first aid and CPR to help a loved one or a stranger in need. If you ever happen to witness an emergency with your child, before anything else, calm yourself down. Once you do, help the child or call for help. Of course, major injuries need immediate professional attention and care. Still, you must keep calm to think straight and take the necessary measures.