Small children are notoriously curious creatures, and while that’s part of why we love them so much it can also mean that they’re especially prone to silly mistakes. Whether they fall, burn themselves on the stove, or try to eat something they shouldn’t, chances are your little one is going to get a boo-boo before long.
For parents, this can be a terrifying truth. That’s why first aid for babies and small children is essential knowledge: the best way to make a situation less scary is to be prepared by knowing how to keep calm and best respond.
Here are a few helpful first aid tips for some of the most common medical situations kids are likely to end up in. Please note: in emergencies, it’s always best to seek medical attention from a professional.
This is likely to be scary for any small child, so the first step is to get them to calm down enough that you can clean the wound effectively. Act confident and calm – the best way to make a child think something is really wrong is to act like something is.
Gently clean the wound with soap and warm water, applying an antibiotic gel such as Neosporin if you like. If the wound continues to bleed, apply gentle pressure until it stops. If it doesn’t stop, seek immediate medical attention.
Once the wound is clean and the bleeding has stopped, apply gauze or a strong adhesive bandage. Voila! Keep an eye on the cut for a few days to make sure it doesn’t look infected (look for swelling, redness, and pus). If an infection looks likely go to the doctor. If not, everything is healing as it should.
Burns are extremely common among small children. They have a tendency to reach for heavy cups of hot coffee, stove burners, and electrical outlets. That’s why “don’t touch the hot stove” is commonly cited as the first lesson many of us learn in life.
If your baby or toddler gets a mild burn, stay calm and follow these directions:
If your child has consumed something that’s potentially harmful, there are generally three courses of action:
If you are alone, perform no more than 2 minutes of CPR as described here before calling 911. If there is another person with you, have them call 911 while you perform CPR.
CPR for small children is similar to CRP for adults.
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