5 first aid tips

By Chloe Juresko, Tiny Hearts First Aid

PBC Expo spoke with Tiny Hearts First Aid to get their top tips for the 5 most common first aid emergencies.

Burns

If your little one sustains a burn, immediate intervention is recommended to prevent the injury from getting worse. It is so important that cool running water is applied to the burn area for at least 20 minutes to stop the burning process and provide some pain relief. Next, ensure to elevate the limb to reduce swelling, pain and cover the burn with a non-stick dressing. All burns on young children should be assessed by a medical professional, especially if your child’s burn is larger then a 50 cent coin or if the skin has bubbled or come away from the area.

Choking

Choking is the most common reason for parents and caregivers in Australia to call 000. There are two types of choking; partial and complete obstruction. Partial obstruction is where the object causes laboured, noisy breathing, and a complete obstruction is where no air can come in or out. Treatment for partial obstruction is to encourage the child to cough in order to dislodge the object.

If you find that the airway is completely blocked, it is then crucial to dial 000. If the child is conscious proceed to give five sharp back blows between the shoulder blades, followed by five chest thrusts between the nipples. In-between each back blow and chest thrust check to see if the airway has cleared.

Head injuries

Often children will fall and bump their head resulting in a big egg on their head. This is scary to see on your bub but never fear, the treatment is clear. The big egg on their head can be treated with a cold compress of a face washer run under cold water and applied to the area. This will help to calm your child and also assist with swelling of the area. Ice packs are not recommend for use for any injury above the neck and is a common misconception among parents and caregivers. If your child appears limp, unresponsive, more tired then usual, has any clear fluid coming from ears or nose or vomits within 4 hours of sustaining a head injury, you must seek emergency assistance immediately.

Poisoning

Accidental poisoning is common in young children aged one to three; as they become more curious and begin to explore their home environment. Poisons can be swallowed, spilt on the skin, sprayed, splashed in the eye or inhaled. Most poisonings occur in the home or when visiting friends or family. Signs and symptoms you should look out for are nausea, vomiting, drowsiness and seizures. It is important that if you suspect your child to be poisoned that you immediately call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26. Under no circumstances are you to induce vomiting.

Fever

Fever occurs when there is an increase in the child’s body temperature and is a typical response to infection. The normal temperature for babies, children and adults is 37C. Fever is rare in bubs under 6 months of age; as they have not developed the mechanisms to fight infection and therefore a fever can be a sign of serious illness and should always be seen by a doctor. The key treatment for managing a fever is to ensure that your child is hydrated, that they are not overheated and the use of paracetamol and ibuprofen is monitored in accordance with the recommended dosage.

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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