As a parent or caregiver you are usually the first on the scene to adminster first aid on your child.
This initial treatment can sometimes have a significant impact on the outcome of the childs recovery so ensuring you have basic first aid skills is essential.
Remember though, if it is an emergency, call 111.
Common first aid situations
Cuts and wounds
If the wound is bleeding, after washing your hands, apply gentle pressure with some clean cloth and elevate. Once the bleeding has stoped you can clean it with tap water and remove any debris. Dry gently and if possible leave uncovered. Click here for more about how to treat cuts and wounds, especially deep ones.
The most important thing with burns is to cool the area by running it under cold water for up to 20 minutes. Once it well cooled and the pain is more bearable, cover the burn with a non-adherant sterile dressing. If you dont have one use clean kitchen plastic wrap. Cover the whole burn and try and eliminate any air as it is this that causes much of the ongoing pain. For more on burns click here.
Once your child starts on solid food or putting things in their mouth, choking can become a reality. You might observe your baby gagging on their food or milk but that will resolve quickly. Your baby is choking when their arway becomes blocked and prevents them breathing. They will usually cough. Find out how to help your choking baby here.
First aid training
There are first aid training courses perfect for people who look after children. They cover things like making sure the scene is safe, CPR, choking, resuscitation, and dealing with bleeding, fractures, burns, poisoning, seizures and anaphylaxis. Find a first aid course near you.
You can purchase pain relief suitable for children over-the counter. They contain active ingredients that make them work in different ways, and so it’s best to administer a product containing an active ingredient that will specifically address your child’s symptoms.
The most common pain relief active ingredient for children in New Zealand are paracetamol and ibuprofen.
If you are having difficulty keeping your child’s pain in control between doses of analgesic (any medicine that is taken to relieve pain), you can give alternate doses of paracetamol and ibuprofen. You must still follow the dosage guide for each drug but you can give paracetamol and then follow two hours later, with a dose of ibuprofen.
Discuss this procedure with your pharmacist before beginning this routine and note that it is not recommended that children under one year take ibuprofen.
Alternating paracetamol and ibuprofen is not recommended if your child has a fever.
Written by Robyn Taylor
Robyn creates content on Kidspot NZ. Her hobbies include buying cleaning products and wondering why things don’t then clean themselves, eating cheese scones with her friends, and taking her kids to appointments.
Favourite motto to live by: “This too will pass.”