Children account for one-fifth of total emergency room visits every year. Children are naturally more prone to accidents and emergencies. Therefore, learning pediatric first aid skills is essential.
As parents or someone whose occupation entails regular contact with children, you certainly know how challenging it is to ensure safety of young kids. Children are naturally curious and active, so no matter how hard you try protecting them, some accidents and injuries are bound to happen. Learning pediatric first aid can greatly help you respond in childhood emergencies.
Children can cut themselves, get bruises, strains and sprains while playing or engaging in sports activities. In fact, leaving them unsupervised, even just a few minutes, can end up in injuries. They can ingest harmful substances or choke on small objects or foods. Moreover, their under-developed bodies make them more susceptible to injuries due to extreme cold and heat.
If you are a parent or if your work involves children, it is recommended that you complete a pediatric first aid course. Accredited training providers offer year-round classes. These courses will give you knowledge and skills so that you can effectively manage childhood injuries and accidents. Through these classes, you get to learn first aid skills that are specially designed for children – such as infant or children CPR, choking rescues, and clearing the airway. You will also get inputs about how to manage common childhood emergencies such as dental emergencies, nosebleeds, and broken bones.
Pediatric first aid requires a well-stocked first aid kit. A basic emergency kit for the home will work, with the following modifications and additions:
- Nasal aspirator, especially if there is an infant (used for clearing nasal secretions)
- Thermometer (ear or rectal)
- Mild soap (regular antiseptics may be too harsh for children)
- Dental first aid kit: including clean container for knocked off tooth, temporary dental filling material, and teething pain reliever
- Chewable or liquid OTC medications, such as antihistamine and analgesic
- Prescription medications, especially for children with special medical needs
- Pediatric epinephrine auto-injector (used for managing life-threatening allergic reactions)
- First aid manual or guide
- Emergency phone numbers: including nearest hospital emergency department, local emergency phone number,
- Contact information that include the name and phone number of the child’s parents and doctor
- Consent to treatment to care
Pediatric first aid courses are offered by workplace approved-accredited training providers. You can contact your local workplace approved chapter to check for schedules.