Life Mothers & Babies

Monday 5 December 2016

First aid for children

Kate Hilpern

Published 24/05/2011 | 10:12

Burns : Cool the affected area by holding it under running cold water for at least 10 minutes. If the pain continues, put it back. This calms swelling and stops the area continuing to burn. Remove clothing, but if any is stuck to the burn, leave it on. Use either a clean, non-fluffy cloth or cling film for a dressing and no matter how small the burn, get it checked out, because a child's skin is far more sensitive than an adult's.

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Nose bleed: Lean the child's head forward to allow blood to drain, and pinch the bottom part of the nose (not the bridge) to encourage the blood to clot. Continue for 10 minutes, reapplying for two further sessions of 10 minutes if the bleeding doesn't stop. If there is still bleeding after 30 minutes, get the child to casualty or the GP.

Broken, strained or sprained bones: If the bone is broken, keep the person still, in the same position you found them and get help. If it's a sprain or strain, use RICE - Rest, Ice, Compress (using a firm bandage) and Elevate. If you can't tell, assume it's broken.

Electric shock: Don't touch your child if they're still in contact with the electric source as you could get electrocuted through them. Switch off the electric current if you can. If you can't, move the child by standing on some dry insulation material, such as a phone directory, and then take something made from non-conductive material (wooden broom or newspaper, for instance) and push the electric source away. Check their breathing and apply CPR if necessary. Call an ambulance as even small electric burns can cause internal damage.

Seizures: Parents usually assume this is epilepsy and panic, but any child whose temperature rises too high can get a febrile seizure. Place soft things around the child so they can't hurt themselves and don't try to restrain them. Once they have stopped being stiff, they will start to shake and feel very tired - now remove their clothing and fan them down. Call an ambulance.

Independent News Service

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