Taking care of our children is always our first priority. It is our job to always protect and keep them safe. From giving little kisses on scraped knees to holding them close while they’re getting a cast on their broken arms. We have to be brave, strong, supportive and comforting. No matter how much our hearts are weeping for our little ones.
But how prepared are you for an emergency situation? It has been 6 years since I attended a 2 day First Aid Court with St John’s Ambulance. It was intense and I was already heavily pregnant with my second child.
You forget a lot in 6 years and a lot changes in the way we approach a situation. I recently attended CPR Kids to do their Baby & Child CPR course. It was 3 hours out of my Sunday, nothing compared to the knowledge I received and hopefully will never have to use. If I do though, I’ll know what to do. Here are some things I’ve learned:
Send for help
If you haven’t been taught CPR, then I suggest attending a course in your area. You can still do the first part – DRS.
Danger – check if there is any danger to yourself and then to the person you are attending. EG. Could you slip on water? Is there a car approaching? If it’s safe for you, then move the person into safety. Remember, you are no help to anyone if you get hurt too.
Response – “Are you ok?” “Can you hear me?” “Squeeze my hand” – for a baby, blow on their face, tickle them – if there is no response:
Send for help – Call 000, run to your neighbour (if you can carry the person, do so), scream “Help, Help my Child” over & over.
After this, you start heading into Airway, Breathing & CPR – this you need training by a professional.
There are some fantastic apps that you can download that will help you in an emergency.
Emergency + will help 000 know where you are.
Australian Bites and Stings gives some great First Aid advice in what to do next – because lets face it, we have some nasties here!
Did you know that they now have just one anti-venom for our top 5 snakes? No need to identify it!
Firstly, you need to determine whether your child is choking or if they’re gagging. Choking is when the airway is completely or partially blocked. Gagging is a reflex. In babies, this is usually when they drink milk too fast or they’re trying out different foods.
A child can choke on anything that in my book, can fit in their mouth. The number one thing a child chokes on is grapes. Remember to cut grapes in half or quarters length ways. Cherry tomatoes into quarters. Older children tend to choke on food or items when they’re eating while running or playing.
You should always sit down together to eat your meals. If your baby or child can take in a large breath, they are usually gagging – if this is the case, you should try and let them try to clear it themselves. Intervening could mean you then moving the object further into the airway causing them to choke.
Doing your First Aid course will teach you how to dislodge an item when they are choking or if you need to start DRS ABCD.
One important tip that I learned was to never stick my finger in their mouth to try and clear the object. The risk of you pushing it further into the airway is too great.
Another topic that was covered and so important in Australia is drowning. More and more Australians are having pools built in their backyards. To me, this is a topic for another day as it requires it’s own level of attention.
Here is a list of websites & apps that may be of help to you:
Car Seat Safety
Also check out CPR Kids TV on You Tube for some short practical videos which will give information on things like choking.
If you have anything to add to the above or an experience you may have had, I’d love to hear from you.
January 18, 2021