If you are a parent, or if you have regular contact with children, you know the challenges of keeping them safe. Kids are naturally active and curious, so accidents and injuries sometimes occur.
At times, children fall and cut themselves. They get sprains, strains, and bruises during sports activities, choke on food or small objects, and ingest potentially harmful substances. In addition, because of their small body size, they are more susceptible than adults to heat- and cold-related illnesses and complications from burns.
If you are in constant close contact with children, it may be worthwhile to take a pediatric first aid course. This class gives you the education and confidence you need for emergencies. You learn first aid skills specifically designed for children, such as CPR modifications and techniques for clearing the airway. You also focus on common childhood mishaps, such as nosebleeds, dental emergencies, and fractures.
A special consideration in first aid for children is what to include in a basic first aid kit, which you should always have on hand. A standard first aid kit can be adapted for children with the following additions/modifications:
- ear or rectal thermometer: non-glass, with lubricant for rectal thermometer
- nasal aspirator: to clear nasal airway in infants
- mild soap: antiseptic towelettes may be too harsh for a child's skin
- child-safe sunscreen: for outdoor play or travel
- emergency dental kit: teething pain reliever, temporary dental filling material, and container for lost tooth
- liquid or chewable over-the-counter medications: formulated for children, such as pain control medication and antihistamine
- prescriptions and medical supplies: necessary for any child’s chronic conditions
- pediatric epinephrine pen (Epi-pen, prescribed by child’s physician): for life-threatening allergies, such as peanut or bee sting allergy
- first aid guide or chart: for specifically treating children
- American Association of Poison Control national emergency hotline number: 800-222-1222
- contact information: including name and phone number of child’s parents and physician (if not your own children) and permission to seek medical treatment, if necessary