No parent would want their child to be in pain or in danger. As much as we can, we want to provide them all the safety details they need to protect them and make sure that they are away from danger. However, not everything can be managed, and emergency situations can happen beyond our control. That is why it is important to be equipped with all the knowledge and requirements a parent or any adult needs for pediatric first aid and CPR. This capability may be the last thing that you would want to practice and use, but it is beneficial for you and your family that you know these life-saving steps.
Pediatric First Aid and CPR: What do you need to have?
A first aid kit is the best way for parents to make sure that whatever accident their kid may encounter, they are equipped to handle the situation properly. But more than the materials, parents or guardians should maintain a calm and relaxed disposition for them to act correctly under pressure and still maintain their composure and focus. Performing safety procedures like basic life support (BLS), CPR, and other emergency maneuvers require the parents or guardians to be centered and calm to execute them properly.
Emergencies that would need pediatric First Aid and CPR
You can make your child feel and be physically safe as much as you can, but these conditions may still happen beyond your control. Make sure that you have the knowledge and skills to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC), and your first aid kit is equipped to handle the following emergency situations:
- Allergic reaction
- Asthma attack
- Bone fracture
- An epileptic or febrile seizure
- Head trauma or injury
- Nose bleeding
- Swallowing something harmful
- Loss of consciousness or fainting
- Breathing difficulty
Pediatric First Aid and CPR: What a first aid kit must have:
- Sterile gauze (pad and roll)
- Adhesive tape
- Elastic bandage
- Antiseptic solution (Isopropyl alcohol, Betadine, hydrogen peroxide) or wipes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Hydrocortisone cream (1%)
- Pain meds (paracetamol, acetaminophen, ibuprofen)
- Safety pins
- Disposable cold compress
- Calamine lotion
- Tooth saving kit
- Clean and sterile gloves
Other things that you can have on your first aid kit depends on where you are going or what you are doing every day.
- Flashlight and batteries
- A mouthpiece for giving CPR (you can get one from your local Red Cross)
- Extra prescription medicines (if the family is going on vacation)
- A simple instruction guide on how to use the things on your kit so others who may need it would know how to use it.
If you already have a first aid kit, take note of these reminders:
- Keep it away from your kids’ reach
- List down the expiration dates of your meds and paraphernalia so you can replace them when needed.
- Let other adults in the house know where you put the kit and how to use its contents.
Pediatric First Aid and CPR: How to do Heimlich maneuver and CPR
These two procedures are different from what we know about saving or rescuing an adult. Because babies and kids’ chests are smaller and more fragile, the compressions and other force exerted to their chests should be taken with precaution and utmost care.
If a child is choking, pediatric Heimlich maneuver is done by:
Holding the baby face down with your arm supporting them to make their head higher than their legs. Give 5 pats or slaps in between the shoulder, strong enough to dislodge the foreign object from their throat but gentle enough not to cause a fracture. The vibration from your blows would dislodge the object and make her breathe again.
If it does nothing to the condition, lie them facing upwards and place two fingers on their chest just below the nipples. Gently push and thrust your fingers five times, like pumping their lungs to expel the blockage. If you can already see the object from their throat, use your little finger to scoop it up, then let the baby lie on their side to relax.
Let the child stand and give them firm but gentle back blows so that the vibration and pressure from the hits would dislodge the object. If it does not make things better, stand behind the child and give him five abdominal thrusts by putting your arms around their waists just above the navel and giving them tight but careful squeezes. This step would compress the lungs and force the air out of the lungs, helping the child to dislodge the choking object.
If all these do not resolve the problem and the child is still unresponsive and having difficulty breathing, do CPR.
- Place the child on a flat surface, safe from any additional accident.
- Give him chest compressions by putting the heel of your palm/s over the lower part of the breastbone. The depth of the chest compresses should be a third of the chest depth, at least 5 cm. Do thirty compressions in less than a minute.
- Pinch the nose of the child with your left thumb and index finger and lift his head with your right while opening his mouth with your right thumb. See if you can visualize the choking object and remove it using your finger; if not, start giving them rescue breathing.
- Cover his mouth with your mouth and breathe through him twice. Repeat this until the object is removed. While doing this, instruct other people to call for emergency help.