In a perfect world, your children would never get injured, and if they did, an adult with extensive first aid knowledge would be on hand to patch them up. Sadly, the world we live in is far from perfect and your kids are going to get a wide assortment of bumps, bruises, and cuts. Since there won’t always be someone to lend a helping hand, it’s important that you teach your kids some basic first aid that they can perform on themselves, their siblings, and their friends.
What To Do if Someone is Choking
It only takes a second for a healthy child to start choking, and sometimes it simply isn’t possible for them to dislodge the item from their throat with a simple cough. At this point, the Heimlich maneuver is necessary. When you teach your child how to perform the Heimlich you also need to discuss why choking happens and why it’s important to act quickly. The best way to demonstrate the Heimlich is on a large stuffed animal. It’s not a bad idea to show your child how to use the back of a chair to perform the Heimlich on themselves.
How to Handle a Nosebleed
Sooner or later, your child is going to have a nosebleed. It’s a normal part of childhood. It’s natural for a child to panic the first time their nose starts to bleed. Once you’ve gotten them calmed down, show them how to pinch their nose and to lean forward a little until the bleeding has subsided. If ten minutes have passed and the nose is still bleeding heavily, it’s time to take your child to the emergency room.
Even very young children should have a basic understanding of CPR. The sooner you start to explain CPR to them, the less they will fear it and the more likely it becomes that they’ll stay cool and collected in an emergency situation where CPR is needed. Not only should you explain how to perform the CPR act, but you should also explain how each movement stimulates the heart and can cause it to start beating again.
Once your child gets old enough, you should send them to a workshop so they can practice on a dummy and become CPR certified. In the meantime, you can teach them:
- How to determine if someone has a heartbeat and is breathing on their own
- The importance of calling 911 right away
- Use a stuffed animal to teach the mechanics of chest compressions.
It’s not a bad idea to watch instructional CPR videos posted on YouTube and to pick up some CPR pamphlets from your local health care facility.
Caring for Burns
It only takes a single careless moment to get a burn, which is why your child needs to know how to treat them. In most cases running the injury under some cold water for a few minute is all the first aid required. As your child gets a little older, you can use pictures and videos to explore the different types of burns the body can sustain and how each one needs to be treated. Make sure all of your children know where you keep the burn cream.
How to Stop Bleeding
Even small, minor cuts can bleed a lot, especially if they’re on the face or hands. Even young children should know that the best way to get the bleeding to stop is with the application of pressure. They should also know how to keep the wound clean and to apply antiseptic cream and how to bandage the injury.
When teaching your children about first aid, your attitude is important. You don’t want your children to become anxious or worried about the idea of having to someday do their own first aid work, so you need to maintain a calm and cool head. Experts suggest keeping a lighthearted attitude towards the subject and to use songs, games, and funny stories while teaching basic first aid. You should also encourage your kids to play make believe games that require them to perform fictional acts of first aid on their playmates and toys. These games cause the information to stick in your child’s memory much better than a dry verbal discussion will.
Have you started working with your kid on basic first aid skills?