8 First Aid Tips for Child Injuries
It’s a fact! Babies and small children are accidents just waiting to happen. As they develop and become more independent, work on their balancing skills and explore their environment bumps and cuts are going to occur.
Hopefully, your home injuries remain minor, however being prepared for more serious accidents also is just as important as preparing your home for childproofing. Try to remain calm and have an emergency action plan in place for any accidents that may occur.
Here's a few tips on what you can do when faced with some minor and major household injuries that can occur to small children at home.
- FIRST AID KIT
Every home should have a first aid kit, and a secondary travel one is handy to keep in your car for outings where accidents can happen at places such as the playground. Having items you need on hand, depending on your child’s age, can make a significant difference when an accident or illness occur. Ensure you keep these supplies in a cabinet that is equipped with a child safety latch to keep them out of your child's reach. Anyone who watches or baby sits your child should know where to find the materials and how to use them.
A newborn kit, according to Proskin, should include the following:
- a quality thermometer
- nail clippers
- gauze pads or cotton balls
- saline drops
- a nasal aspirator
A First Aid Kit for an older infant requires a few additional items so you should update the contents of your kit as your child the passes the 6-months of age mark. This kit should include:
- child friendly acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fevers or pain
- oral diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for allergic reactions
- alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer
- antibiotic ointment
- gauze, tape, and scissors
As some of the contents may expire it is good to either periodically check your first aid kit and replace spoiled items or keep a kit checklist of each perishable item to avoid hazards.
For any size cut, the first thing is to put pressure on the wound (with gauze, tissue, or a clean towel) to stop the bleeding. Flush the wound with tap water and soap, dab on an antibiotic ointment, and put on a bandage. If you see blood through the bandage, then apply direct pressure for 15 minutes and elevate the injured area above the heart to stop the bleeding. If the cut is deep and/or is still bleeding, the child needs to see a doctor and perhaps get stitches.
- BURNS OR SCALDS
Hold the burned area under cold running water for 10 – 15minutes to cool down the skin, ease any pain and stop inflammation. If this is not possible, place a cool damp towel on the burn. For the next 24 to 48 hours, you can repeat this process as much as needed, or substitute ice wrapped in a towel.
Next, apply an antibiotic ointment such as bacitracin to soothe the burn and help skin cells regenerate. If you think your child is still in pain, you can also give them acetaminophen or ibuprofen. But if a blister forms, let it be: That bubble is a barrier that helps prevent infection. Once the blister pops on its own, apply an antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage.
If your child has been severely burned call emergency services immediately and remove any clothing that is on fire unless it is stuck to them. In the case of an electrical burn, disconnect all sources of power. Remove the child from the power source with something that is a non-conductor of electricity, such as rubber gloves or a wooden broomstick.
Has your child ingested, or been affected by, a poison? In the case that the child becomes drowsy, unconscious, starts convulsing, or has trouble breathing call 911 otherwise, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 and have the bottle of the poison involved in hand so you can relay the proper information. If heading to hospital remember to bring the poisonous material along too.
Installing a child safety gate or baby barrier can prevent children from exploring adult areas in the home such as the bathroom or garage which may have poisonous chemicals in store.
For gas, fumes, or smoke, bring the child to fresh air, call the local emergency or fire department. If the child’s breathing stops, begin CPR until help arrives (First learn certified CPR). If the skin, hair, eyes have been exposed to lye, pesticides, acids, chemicals, or poisonous plants remove contaminated clothing. Wash affected area on the child with a lot of water and little soap, if necessary, and do not scrub. If the poison was ingested, do not induce vomiting, or give them any food or drink. Call poison control for further guidance.
- SCRAPES AND GRAZES
The most common injury you’re likely to face is that of skin scrapes and grazes. Simply apply ice to the wound to reduce pain and swelling, however if the pain is excessive call the child’s pediatrician for further instruction. Below are some other helpful tips in combatting these common ailments
Scrapes. Rinse the injured area with water and soap for at least five minutes (do not apply alcohol, peroxide, or detergents). Once clean, apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage that will not stick to the wound.
Splinters. Remove the splinter with tweezers, wash the area until it is clean and cover it with a bandage. If the splinter is not removable call the child’s doctor.
Puncture Wounds. If the child has been stabbed by a knife or a stick DO NOT remove the object! Call your local emergency number and allow the medical professionals to remove any items that are puncturing the child.
- NECK OR BACK INJURIES
The most important thing to remember if a child injures their neck or back is DO NOT MOVE THE CHILD. Any movement could cause further injury or potential paralysis so call your local emergency number immediately. Keep alert for any additional symptoms that become severe such as seizures, loss of consciousness, loss of mobility in limbs, watery fluid or blood coming from the ears, abnormal speech or behavior, drowsiness, persistent headache, and/or vomiting. If the symptoms are less serious than the above, call the child’s pediatrician for further instruction.
- 7. BROKEN LIMBS
If you suspect your child may have broken a bone, or can see the broken bone, you should call their doctor or your local emergency number depending on urgency. In the case that a bone is protruding out of the skin, call the local emergency number immediately. DO NOT attempt to correct the break on your own.
Be sure to secure the broken limb without causing further damage. This can be done with a splint or securely tying on a stiff item to hold the limb in place. For a finger, this could be something as simple as a popsicle stick or pencils. For arms and legs, you could use a 2×4 or a broomstick. Reduce the movement as much as possible while transferring your child to the hospital or clinic.
- CONVULSIONS OR SEIZURES
If the child is breathing, move them onto their side to prevent choking. Remove any harmful objects around the child that may cause further injury to them. Protect their head and do not put anything in the child’s mouth. Carefully loosen any tight clothing. You may start CPR if the child stops breathing or turns blue. If the child remains in the seizure for more than five minutes, call your local emergency number.
There is nothing more important than keeping your family safe. Take action and share with your friends and family this critical information about first aid, broken bones, seizures, and other child safety tips. It could be a lifesaving moment for a child someday.
Perma Child Safety provides high-quality baby safety gates that abide by safety standards. Find the child safety gates that best suit the needs of your home and family. Remember that the majority of accidents may be prevented by childproofing your home with baby safety gates and barriers and view Perma Child Safety’s range of baby gates here. Keep your family safe with a child safety gate.