As a parent, you’ve got a lot on your plate, and it’s easy to end up stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed—and that’s under the best of circumstances. What about in the case of an actual emergency?
Why Every Parent Should Know First Aid
Whether it’s a bee sting or a case calling for CPR, you’ll feel better knowing that you’re prepared for everything. Learning first aid can help with that. That said, in this post, here are some reasons why every parent should know first aid.
Know when to call in professional help
This might not sound like a first aid issue, but it’s one of the most important things you can learn—when to call an ambulance. Being able to recognize a medical emergency when you see one is critical. (1)
Here are some signs you should call someone for help:
- The brain is involved: Anything that involves with brain function is an emergency. If your child is experiencing numbness, muscle weakness, dizziness, or any other symptoms that might have a neurological component, you need to get immediate help.
- Trouble breathing: Just like with issues that involve the brain, respiratory problems that impact someone’s ability to breathe are emergencies too. Whether the root cause is asthma, allergies, or something more dire, a professional can help address the acute issue and determine any underlying cause.
- Severe bleeding: It’s not hard to control bleeding in minor cases, but major bleeding can be life threatening. While you’re waiting for the help you called, you can assess if anything beyond pressure and elevation are needed. This’ll be covered in any first aid training you receive.
In general, don’t hesitate to get help if and when you think your child needs it. Knowing when that’s necessary is a big reason why first aid training is a must for parents.
Learn how to perform CPR
Every parent will rest easier if they can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Child CPR has specific guidelines, since CPR can cause damage if performed improperly. No matter where you are, there’s likely a class for you. For example, if you’re in Australia, you could look into an organization like Australia Wide First Aid or, in the United States, you could look into the American Red Cross.
Respond to bloody noses
Kids pick their noses—I know, shocking—and this can result in a bloody nose. A class will teach you to lean your child forward, not backward, and to pinch it in the right place, just below the bony bridge rather than just pinching the nostrils closed. You’ll also want to keep your child upright. (2)
Dress wounds and treat burns
You’ll also need to learn how to address any wounds, from cuts and bruises to a skinned knee or elbow. For wounds, you’ll need to disinfect and clean the area with soap, hydrogen peroxide, or alcohol and stick a Band-Aid on it. They’ll heal eventually, and you’ll breathe easy knowing you helped them along.
For burns, you’ll need to learn to assess whether or not the injury is severe enough to warrant a trip to the hospital. You’ll learn techniques like flushing the area with cool running water for several minutes, applying an ointment or spray, and taking over-the-counter pain relief.
How to deal with nausea
Everyone gets nauseous from time to time, and kids are no exception. When it’s not associated with coughing or a fever, it’s frequently a form of motion sickness. In that case, it might be from activities done while driving or something they’ve eaten. No matter what, by taking a first aid course since you’ll be prepared to deal with it.
Removing a splinter
This is about as close to scrubbing up as most parents will get, and knowing how to do it well is important—for a small child, splinters can feel pretty major. Removing a piece of wood from a piece of playground equipment or an unsealed deck at a neighbor’s house can benefit from some solid technique. Avoiding infection is another benefit to knowing how to get a splinter out.
Dealing with bee stings
Whether or not your child is allergic, bee stings can be a pain. A first aid course will teach you to look out for signs of allergic reaction—itching or burning, hives, difficulty breathing, just to name a few—which could require an epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen) and a call to the paramedics.
If there’s no allergic reaction, you need to take out the stinger, since it’ll keep pumping venom once it’s in there. How you get it out matters less than getting it out quickly. Once it’s out, you can treat the reaction at the site of the sting.
There are so many issues that require first aid in a child’s life, and it can be overwhelming to even think about each of them. As a parent, it pays to be prepared. That means doing things like assembling a first aid kit at home to treat minor issues and taking a first aid course to make sure you know how to reach in emergencies. Along with all the information you learn with first aid, perhaps the most important skill you’ll learn is when to call the paramedics.
- “12 First Aid Skills Every Parent Needs to Know”, Source: https://www.verywellhealth.com/first-aid-skills-every-parent-needs-to-know-1298388
- “How to Stop a Bloody Nose”, Source: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-stop-a-bloody-nose-1298303