All parents cringe at the idea of their children getting hurt. But you can’t keep them in a dream world forever (even though we all wish you could). All kids will have accidents and get hurt, and some of them will be pretty bad. Because of this, it’s up to all of us parental figures to be ready, which means knowing the basics of first aid for kids.
Taking a first aid class is probably the best option since nothing beats “hands-on” knowledge. CPR is best taught in person, and doctors suggest that all parents take CPR classes for babies and young children. But if you want a “cheat sheet” that tells you what to do in different kinds of emergencies, read on.
How to care for a wound
Children often get scratches and cuts because they are so active. It’s just part of being a child. When treating these, the most crucial thing is how important it is to keep the area clean to avoid infection, how to stop the bleeding, and how to know when you might need medical help.
Wounds and cuts
Cuts and scrapes that aren’t too bad are easy to treat at home. If there is bleeding, you can stop it by putting gentle pressure on the area. After that, wash your hands, clean the snip with water and soap if it’s dirty, put some antibiotic cream, and cover it with a bandage.
Call your child’s doctor or the emergency hotline if the bleeding is heavy or doesn’t stop after around five minutes of pressure.
If your child got a bump on their body and has a bruise, you can use cold packs to bring down any swelling. If the swelling doesn’t go down, you should call your child’s pediatrician and ask if painkillers might help.
If your child has a deep wound (a big hole in the skin) or if something punctured their skin, you will probably need to bring them to the pediatrician for stitches and maybe tetanus shot to prevent infection.
While you wait for help, put direct pressure to stop the bleeding and wash your hands well or wear gloves that aren’t made of latex when you care for the wound.
How to Treat a Bites from an Animal or Insect
It’s never fun, but your child will likely get bitten by an insect or an animal at some point. Many bites and stings from insects are painful but not usually dangerous, but animal bites nearly always need to be checked out by a doctor.
Stings: If your child gets stung, take the stinger out. Use a scraping motion with a firm object (like the edge of a credit card) to get rid of it.
You can use cold packs to reduce pain and swelling. Ask your child’s pediatrician about over-the-counter painkillers and how much your child should take.
Bites from Bugs: Most bug bites just hurt and itch. Talk to your doctor about ointments and over-the-counter antihistamines that might help if your child seems very ill at ease or if the bites are unusually swollen.
Spider bites necessarily require a call to your doctor or poison control. If a tick bites your child, pull it off with tweezers and put it in a plastic baggie. If your child gets a rash or fever after being bitten by a tick, take them to the pediatrician. Bring the pouch with the tick so the pediatrician can figure out what kind of tick it is.
How to tell if an allergy came from an insect bite or sting
A bite or sting can sometimes make a child sick if they are allergic to it. Some of the signs are hives, itchy skin, and swelling. If your kid has any of these signs, you should call your doctor.
In addition to these signs, call the emergency number if your child has trouble breathing, throwing up, or losing consciousness.
If an animal bites your kid, you should take them to the doctor to ensure they wouldn’t need tetanus or rabies shots. If you don’t recognize exactly what sort of snake bit your child, you must take your child to the emergency room because the snake could be poisonous.
How to take care of a head bump
A light bump on the head doesn’t bother a child most of the time. If your child bumps their head and doesn’t lose consciousness but gets a small bruise, you should watch them and call your pediatrician if you’re worried. But chances are, your child will be fine.
But a solid blow to the head or a bump on the head that is followed by strange behaviour could be a medical emergency.
How to stop a bleeding nose
Children often get nosebleeds, which look nastier than they really are. If your child seems fine, have them tilt their head forward a bit. Your child shouldn’t be able to blow their nose. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after ten minutes or if there is a lot of it, call the doctor or go to the ER.
What to Do About a Burn
Burns do happen to children, and most of the time, they are caused by hot or boiling water or other things, like hot irons. In these situations, the first step you need to do is take your child away from the source or substance.
You can ease the pain by running cool water over the burn. It’s not a good idea to use ice or other things. Burns that have blisters or are deep or very big may need to be treated by a doctor.
How to help your child if they pass out
Seeing a child pass out is a horrifying thing to see. First, you should check your child’s heartbeat and airway to ensure they are still breathing. If the person isn’t breathing, do CPR if you know how, or call the emergency hotline.
When a child passes out, they sometimes throw up. If this happens, turn the kid on their side, so they don’t choke. Also, raise their feet about 12 inches above the level of their hearts.
Fracture or sprain
If you think your kid has a sprain or fracture, gently wrap a cloth or towel around the area. Don’t try to fix it yourself or make a brace or splint. Put cold compresses on it and go to the doctor.