We all know that an accident can happen very quickly. Especially with a little one, who wants to explore the wonderful world. Scenarios such as burns, suffocation, and poisoning are a real horror. Of course, you keep a close eye on your little one (because admiring them is your favorite activity these days), but sometimes an accident can happen in a split second.
Do you want to be prepared to provide first aid in case of an unfortunate fall or burn? Stupid question really, all moms say yes of course! A first aid course for babies and children is then a good solution. You probably got goosebumps when you read the words "burn" and "choke", and you don't want to wait without any knowledge until that one first aid course finally takes place. Therefore, this blog will teach you the basics of first aid for babies and children in the meantime!
Prevention is key
As with many things in life, preventing accidents with babies and children is always better than treating them. So, sit back and take the time to read through the oh so important tips below:
- Heat: Did you know that a large proportion of accidents involving babies between the ages of 0 and 3 are burn-related? So, it's very important to be careful with hot objects and fire. Are you cooking? Make sure your child stays far away from the stove and oven. Since accidents happen very quickly, it is even a good choice to make sure that your child is not in the kitchen at that time (provided that there is someone else who can watch your child). Your child can also come into contact with the heat outside the kitchen. Think of that fascinating iron or those deliciously scented mugs filled with hot tea or coffee. Tip: don't use a tablecloth if you have hot drinks on the table, because your child can easily pull on it. And what happens then, I don't need to explain further.
- Cleaning products and medications: Storing cleaning products and medications (a.k.a. risks of poisoning) in places where your child can reach is out of the question! Give these products a place in the deepest cabinets you have.
- Sharp objects: Your hair will probably stand on end at the thought of your darling's fragile skin coming into contact with a sharp object such as a knife, nail, or scissors. Therefore, the same advice as above: be creative and use the deepest cupboards in the house.
- Small stuff: We all know that babies and small children are all too happy to fill their mouths with anything and everything. And that can be dangerous. So don't leave coins, small toys, and other small items lying around.
- Cords and sockets: Cords and sockets are some other things you shouldn't leave lying around with little ones around to prevent power accidents. In addition, it also looks a lot tidier. Double win. Thank us later.
As a mother, you don't like to hear this, but remember that your mini-me grows and gets bigger (unfortunately at too fast a pace in your eyes), and that this also means that he or she will be able to reach certain cabinets or shelves more easily. If necessary, with a chair, because little ones are that smart. So regularly check whether all (possibly) dangerous objects are still stored in a safe place.
Basic first aid for babies and children
Home alone with your baby, and an accident happens? The tips below will help you provide first aid to your child, which may resolve the situation completely, or at least stabilize it until professional help arrives for your little one:
- Checking Consciousness. It is important to first check your child's consciousness in case of accidents, as this is one of the vital functions. Do you talk to your child, and gently shake their shoulders up and down, but get no response? Then your child is unconscious.
- Call 112. When your child is unconscious, you must take quick action by calling 112. Are there other people around? Then get their help too, for example by having them call 112.
- Breathing check. The next step is to check your baby's breathing. To do this, open your child's airway by performing a chin elevator. You do this by placing your hand on their forehead and gently pushing their head back. Then place two fingers under the chin and lift your child's jaw. Make sure your ear is five centimeters from your baby's mouth and listen if you hear breathing. Also, look and feel if the chest goes up and down for 10 seconds. Your baby is not breathing normally if he or she breathes less than twice during these 10 seconds. In this case, CPR is needed.
- Blood circulation check. Proper circulation is also considered a vital function. A circulatory arrest occurs when your baby is unconscious, no longer breathing (normally), has taken on a pale appearance, or has blue discoloration near the lips, nose, or ears. When there is no more blood circulation, CPR is also necessary.
- Body temperature check. Body temperature constitutes the fourth vital function, and therefore must also be monitored in the event of accidents. Large fluctuations in body temperature can adversely affect the other three vital functions. Is there a significant drop in body temperature? Then your child is hypothermic. Then take your child to a warm environment and wrap your child in a rescue blanket or a pre-heated blanket until professional help arrives.
- CPR. CPR is necessary when your child stops breathing, is unconscious, or has a circulatory arrest. You start CPR by placing the tips of your index and middle fingers in the middle of your baby's chest. Then push the sternum in 5 to 6 cm. Repeat this action for 10-15 seconds at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. Once you have done this, place your lips over the baby's nose and mouth and perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. To do this, blow out air for one second. Repeat this one more time. Continue to follow the rhythm of 15 compressions and two mouth-to-mouth breaths.
- Stay calm. Another tip that can be easily given, but is tough actually to carry out: stay calm. When you act calm and confident, your actions are more likely to be successful and make a difference.
What do you learn in a first aid course?
The above tips are important when your child is in acute danger of death and professional help is not immediately available. Of course, every situation (and every child) requires different help. The help that needs to be given when your child is burned is very different from the help your child needs when he or she faints. A first aid course specifically aimed at babies and children is therefore of great added value. But what can you learn during the first aid course for babies and children?
- Assessing the condition of your baby or child in case of accidents;
- Alerting the emergency services;
- Providing first aid to babies and children in acute life-threatening danger according to the ABCDE method (airway, breathing, circulation, disabilities, and exposure/environment);
- Treating injuries of varying degrees of severity (e.g., fainting or a nosebleed);
- Using an AED;
- Getting your child to safety;
- Acting confidently and appropriately in case of accidents (this can make a difference!);
- Preventing injuries.