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First Aid Basics for Parents and Caregivers (Pediatric First Aid)

Researchers collected data regarding pediatric first aid from parenting surveys conducted by St. Sjohn Ambulance, The National Save a Life Survey, and Mother and Baby Magazine subscribers. 

Results of these surveys were frightening. Parents admitted a lack of pediatric first aid knowledge, this exposed a direct risk exists for child safety in the United States. It is critical that parents and child caregivers know how and when to perform pediatric first aid. Not having these skills can leads to preventable child mortality.

The Importance and Lack of Pediatric First Aid Knowledge

First aid skills and knowledge can save the life of a child. There are many accidents that can happen to children, even more often at a young age, that need first aid attention. According to the survey data, 21% of parents said that they do not feel that pediatric first aid knowledge is important. 

This is a shameful admission and ignorant when we evaluate child accident statistics. On average 12,175 children die every year from accidental injury.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports the following incidences are the leading causes of accident related child mortality in the United States:

  • Drowning
  • Fires
  • Falls
  • Poisoning
  • Transportation-Related Accidents
  • Suffocation

It is vital that parents learn how to properly perform first aid based on the child’s age, procedures are different for infants and small children so that they are no harmed.

First Aid Tips 

To protect children in your care you need to heed the following tips and advice. Retaining these tips could save a child’s life in an accident. 

  • Never move a child who has suffered a fall, automobile accident, or other situation that may resulted in a neck or back injury, unless he/she is in imminent danger.
  • If a child suffers an animal bite it is important to have the injury evaluated by a medical professional. He/she may need a tetanus or rabies shot.
  • If the child is bitten by an insect, especially stinging insects, remove the stinger or bug (ticks), and apply a cold compress to prevent swelling. Watch for signs of allergies or other illnesses such as fever, swelling, or difficulty breathing. Call 911 right away if these symptoms develop. 
  • Children can have a number of allergies that go undetected for years. Some allergies can be life threatening. If you are caring for a child you think has come into contact with something they are allergic to you must call 911 right away. Symptoms of severe allergy reactions include swelling, paleness, and trouble breathing.

Children and Fevers

Fevers are the most common worry for parents and caregivers; however, fever alone is not an accurate tool for evaluating a child’s health. A fever means that a child’s body is fighting an infection. Anything over 100.4 is considered. If a child has a fever it is important to monitor the child and evaluate how he or she acts. Seek medical attention for a fever in the following instances:

  • The child has a condition that weakens the immune system, sickle cell, cancers.
  • Has other symptoms including severe pain, rash, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.
  • Child is unusually drowsy 
  • Child appears very ill

Ask your pediatrician about which OTC medications are safe for your child’s fever. Never give aspirin to children.

Age Affects the Risk Assessment for Child Death

Statistics show that causes of accidental death vary by age.

  • 66% of infant deaths, less one year of age, were caused by suffocation.
  • Children ages one to four years of age are most likely to die by drowning.
  • Children over the age of five are most likely to die in automobile accidents.

This information reminds parents and caregivers to be attentive in age specific situations to prevent child mortality. 

Stop by a Local Urgent Care for Pediatric Care

If your child suffers a mild to moderate injury or illness they should be treated at a walk-in clinic. Urgent Care Centers treat their patients with compassionate, quality and affordable care on a walk-in basis. This means they are ready to help your child when they need it. Contact your local Urgent Care Center for more information.