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Stop Reading At The 4th Minute If You Think You Know It Better

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One Snail Speed Sunday Led The Path To Realization – The Basic First Aid for Children At Home

It was one dull Sunday of partially lifted COVID 19 lockdown. The day was progressing in the speed of a snail just like all other days in the week. Drained from official tasks, I thought I would keep the weekend to rejuvenate myself by doing nothing relevant to work. As I was sitting by the entrance of my house, came the voice Please Help! When I looked up, I saw one of my apartment friend carrying his two-year-old son and running towards me panting. Oops, that was really a moment that I don’t want to experience anytime again in my lifetime. The kid was experiencing a seizure. My friend and I were helpless as the situation does not allow our brain to work and we do not know the first aid for children during seizures. We took the kid inside our house and started to calm him down by pouring normal water on to his head. I could not recollect from where I heard about this water therapy to treat Seizures. Yes, the water therapy approach was not that effective and we were stuck.

Without taking a chance, we pulled out the car and reached the hospital. The Good news is that the Doctor had performed the required things and it had calmed the kid down. The kid got discharged the next day and he was fine. But, those thirty minutes of waiting outside the physicians’ room had hit me hard. It made me realize an important thing that most of us parents and caretakers fail to learn. It is nothing but a lack of knowledge about the basic first aid for children that can be given at home.

First Aid for children

Image Credit: Pixabay

How Equipped Are Parents With Correct Information On First Aid For Children?

As most of us know the importance of First Aid, let us ask this question to ourselves.

first aid for children

How many of us own a first aid kit in our homes?
Even if we have one, are we holding all the items that are to be in the first aid box? Parents play an imperative role in children’s health but how many of us know about the first aid for each condition?

We never thought that we will remain at home for this long until the pandemic COVID 19. When we ourselves are not brave enough to go to a hospital during this pandemic, taking kids is not the best thing to do. Taking kids who need medical attention to the Doctors is mandatory but there are some exceptions. There are a few scenarios when we can wait before rushing to the Hospital after giving the basic first aid for children at home.

In this blog post, let us look at some details on the first aid for children starting from Bumps to Burns, Cuts to Chokes, and more, that are common.

1. Seizures / Fits in Kids

first aid for children

Image Credit: Pixabay

Common Reasons

Fever and long term illness, Interruption of Electrical Signals in Brain, Stress, and Lack of sleep

What To-Do

  • Do not panic. Instead, allow your brain to help you so that you can make better decisions.
  • Ensure that no hazard is near the kid. Keep them in a comfortable position with soft pillows.
  • Let them breathe fresh air.
  • Ensure to make a note of before/after symptoms.

What Not-To-Do

  • Do not feed the kid.
  • Do not leave them alone.

When To Rush To The Hospital + Call Doctor + Call Emergency Services (108 / 911)?

  • If the seizure continues for more than 5 minutes.
  • In case of any other injury caused during the seizure.

2. Choking in Kids

first aid for children

Image Credit: Flickr

Even now my mom tells me how I had swallowed a toy when I was a child and how the neighbor aunt (Kaappi Thool Maamee) lifted me upside down gave a slap/blow on my back to dislodge the food particle.

Common Reasons

Block in the windpipe caused by food particles, small toys, etc. making it difficult to breathe or talk.

What To-Do

  • Ask the kid to cough as forcefully possible to see if that helps to bring the particle out.
  • If the kid could not speak, breathe or cough, stand behind the kid and cover your arm around his/her wrist.
  • Clench fist of your hands just above the kids’ naval and try to lift them up and down gently.
  • Perform Heimlich Maneuver (i.e.)  give abdominal thrust for 3-5 times to try to dislodge the food particle as the basic home first aid when the kid is leaning forward.
    For Infants – Hold them upside down on your arms and gently give a blow at their back.

What Not-To-Do

  • Never give the kid water to drink during choking.
  • Do not slap the back of the kid when they are standing upright during choking.
  • Do not use fingers to pull out the object from Kids’ mouth especially when you cannot see the food particle or an object. You may end up pushing it further inside.

When To Rush To The Hospital + Call Doctor + Call Emergency Services (108 / 911)?

  • If the kid is not breathing and unconscious.
  • If the kid could not speak and swallow food.
  • When he/she continues to cough, wheeze after the chocking incident.

3. Paracetamol Overdose / Calpol Overdose in Kids

First Aid for Children

Image Credit: Pixabay

Once, at home, when my kid was not well, we ended up giving multiple doses of Paracetamol syrup in shorter than the recommended interval. Man, that was one horrible night. The doctors were not there in the hospitals to tell whether it is okay or not. I experienced it hence I am sharing about it here for anyone who may experience in their lives.

Caution: Paracetamol / Calpol syrup given to kids without considering the recommended dosage and interval, may lead to Liver Damage and in the worst scenario to death.

Common Reasons

Accidental, Lack of knowledge, Kids drinking it by mistake in the absence of Parents or adults nearby.

What To-Do

  • Do not panic.
  • Read the dosage and interval mentioned in the syrup bottle/prescription again to confirm the extra dose.
  • Make a note of the time when the last 3 doses were given to the kid with its interval and dose. Note details on the other drugs which had been given to the kid. This detail is vital for the doctor to recommend the next steps.
  • Write down the kids’ age, weight in the same sheet you had made a note of other details mentioned in the above line. Weight is an important factor to arrive at a conclusion on the next steps.
  • If you are in the middle of the night or in the early hours and if the kid does not seem to show any adverse signs, wait until the next day to start so that you can contact the Medic.
  • Let the kid drink enough water.
  • Observe the kid for any discomfort.
  • Call the National Poison Information Centre (24×7).
    011 26589391
    011 26593677
    Toll-free number: 1800116117

What Not-To-Do

  • Do not try to make the kid vomit.
  • Never place the medicines in the spot that is easily accessible for kids.

When To Rush To The Hospital + Call Doctor + Call Emergency Services (108 / 911)?

  • When the kid is unconscious.
  • If too much syrup has been administered.Tip: Search for the term Paracetamol Dose Calculation in Google.

4. Dog (Spike) / Cat (Tom) / Rat (Jerry) Bites

First Aid For Children

Image Credit: Pixabay

Could there be anyone who does not like Tom & Jerry cartoon? But in reality, it is a nightmare when kids’ are bitten by a Dog, scratched by a cat, or bitten by a rat. One of the common issues for which my grandmom take me to the hospital during my childhood. I am a proud owner of 2 dog bites that happened in my childhood and 1 cat scratch in adulthood. Let us check about the first aid for children that need to be administered by the parent or the caretaker during an animal bite.

Common Reasons

In the case of dogs/cats, they might have bitten due to fear or when they were playing. Rat bites are common in infants especially when they are laid on the floor unattended.

What To-Do

  • It is very important that you don’t shout and become restless in front of the kid.
  • Ask the kid questions to understand if there are more than one bitten spots.
  • Wash the area of the bite with soap water and hold the spot under running water for several minutes.
  • Put a clean cloth over the wound and apply slight pressure over the spot if bleeding.
  • Apply antibiotic cream over the wound once the bleeding has stopped.
  • Educate kids not to tease/harm animals. Ask the kid to handle them gently and keep a distance from Stary animals.

Gather details on the below and call the doctor as the bites and scratches can lead to an infection if unattended.

  • Type of Animal involved.
  • In the case of Dogs, Cats – their vaccination history.
  • Abnormal behavior if any from the animal involved in the scene.
  • Location of the animal in case of pet. If stray animals, contact the animal control board seeking help.
  • Keep your child vaccination record handy.

What Not-To-Do

  • Do not hurt the animal involved.
  • Do not try to catch that stray dog or cat yourself.

When To Rush To The Hospital + Call Doctor + Call Emergency Services (108 / 911)?

  • If the animal involved is a stray animal. In the case of a pet, if the pet vaccination is not done or short by a few weeks or months.
  • If the skin is punctured.
  • Found the animal to behave strangely.
  • When the bitten or scratched area is red, swollen, painful.
  • If the bite is on the face, head, neck, hand, and foot.

5. Poisoning Due To Household Cleaners or Similar

Image Credit: Pixabay

Child poisoning happens at home 90 percent of the time.

First Aid For Children

This is one more scenario I can relate to myself. As a super active kid, I drank Kerosene kept in a stainless steel water glass. I don’t know what my Mom and granny did as first aid for children to handle the situation. But, one thing for sure that my capability to sense smell seems to be very poor during my childhood days, phew.

The usage of strong chemicals as a household cleaning liquid is common nowadays in our houses. Hence, it is our responsibility to ensure that these items are not in kids’ reach. We are no longer in the Phenyl era, and now most of these cleaning agents come in attractive colors. It is possible for the kids specifically infants to assume it to be a toy and keep it in their mouths. It is all the history that repeats. I say this because, for most of us in our childhoods, the empty talcum powder container and green colored VVD oil container with yellow cap were the toys we had around. Some of you might have a photograph of you holding any of these containers in your childhood. Check your childhood photo album now.

Common Reasons

Cleaning chemicals/medicines kept in a place that is easily accessible for kids.

What To-Do

  • Check the cleaner container for instructions on what to do.
  • Call National Poison Control for advice.
  • Save the container as you need to carry this with you when you meet the doctor.

What Not-To-Do

  • Do not try home remedies when you are not sure about what you are doing.
  • Never try to make the kid vomit by yourself or by giving any medicine.
  • Do not store cleaning agents in regular containers used in the kitchen.
  • Do not forget to remove the rat poison kept at the nook and corners of your house especially when you have crawling toddlers at home.

When To Rush To The Hospital + Call Doctor + Call Emergency Services (108 / 911)?

Post administering the first aid for children start to the hospital,

  • If the kid starts acting abnormally.
  • If the kid shows signs of drowsiness, vomiting, etc.

I am not stopping here and would cover some more first aid for children scenarios in part 2 of this blog post. Below are some details on the emergency numbers for your usage.

Emergency Numbers That You Should Call:

 

First Aid for children

Image Credit: Pixabay

108 – India (22 states)
100 – India, Greece, and Israel
000 – Australia
106 – Australia for textphone/TTY
110 – China, Japan, Taiwan
111 – New Zealand
112 – Across the European Union
119 – Jamaica and parts of Asia
911 – North America and the Philippines
999 – many countries

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3157131/
https://patient.info/doctor/paracetamol-poisoning
https://www.aiims.edu/en/disclaimer/79-about-aiims/6905-national-poison-information-centre-24×7.html
https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/policy-and-issues/How-overdose-of-paracetamol-hits-kids/article16046095.ece
https://www.starship.org.nz/guidelines/paracetamol-poisoning/
https://www.mydr.com.au/babies-pregnancy/paracetamol-for-children
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3157131/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emergency_telephone_numbers
https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/firstaid-safe/?WT.ac=p-nav-firstaid-safe

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