1. When we get ready for baby to arrive, we often focus on the softer side; the nursery, the change bag, the pram, the first outfit. Why not? Having a baby is an exciting time. We then start to think about the birth, how we want things to go and how we plan to feed our baby.
It is hard not to feel nervous as a new parent. Everything is unknown. At Mini First Aid we cannot give you all the magic answers about getting your baby to sleep through the night, but we can help you to think about practically equipping yourself for baby, and to think about First Aid.
Here are our top tips:
Attend a baby first aid class. Knowing what to do in an emergency could literally save a life.
Ask the adults (grandparents and carers) who will be spending time with your baby to also attend a first aid class and don’t forget siblings can attend First Aid classes designed for children.
Make sure you have a first aid kit in your change bag or under your pram and another located at home in the room you spend most of your time in. Make sure that everyone knows where the first aid kit is kept and replenish supplies regularly.
Find out which neighbours are at home at particular times of day, so that if you ever need emergency help, you know who you can call on.
Make sure you know where your nearest Paediatric A & E is located (not all hospitals have one).
2. Many parents do not have the basic first aid knowledge to help save a child’s life. Kate Ball, Director of Mini First Aid is here to help. In this article, she talks about choking; one of the most common worries for any parent or carer.
For many parents weaning their babies, the possibility of them choking is scary. And the worry doesn’t stop as babies turn to toddlers, when they continue to stuff food in their mouths in vast quantities. Then we have dreaded older sibling toys; think Lego and the like. We as parents fear choking especially when we hear so many terrible stories in the press. So, what do we do?
Firstly, we show our babies and children that grown-ups eat sitting down, chew properly (!) and that we never put too much in our mouths. We never leave a baby or child eating without supervision. Silence is the sign of choking.
We then learn to deal with choking:
Choking child (aged 1 – puberty)
Encourage child to cough.
5 back slaps between shoulder blades. Check if anything comes out & check mouth.
Up to 5 abdominal thrusts. Clenched fist between tummy and breastbone, with other hand over the top. In & upwards motion. Check if anything comes out. If nothing has come out, call 999.
Cycles of 5 back slaps & 5 abdominal thrusts.
Choking Baby (aged 0-1)
5 back slaps.
Up to 5 chest thrusts (jabbing motion). Check if anything comes out. If nothing has come out, call 999.
Cycles of 5 back slaps & 5 chest thrusts.
You must always refer any child or baby to hospital who has been choking and where abdominal manoeuvres have been used.
3. Everyone dreads a bump on the head, especially as your baby becomes mobile. Why is it they seem to spend their time bumping into things?! Most bumps are nothing to worry about, but it is better to be cautious, particularly with bumps to the head. Here are our top tips:
Where possible, baby proof your home to minimise the risk of bumps.
If your baby bumps his/her head, use a cold compress (either from the fridge or a wet paper towel) and apply to the bump for 10 minutes. During the 10 minutes encourage your baby to rest and relax. For a toddler/young child perhaps read a story so you can monitor them.
Any signs of sickness, drowsiness, dizziness or any unnatural behaviour could be concussion. You need to take get your baby to A & E as soon as possible.
If you are leaving your baby with a carer after a head bump, make sure you tell them so that they can continue to monitor your baby for any signs of concussion.
Growing babies are very soft boned. Mother Nature has designed babies to bend, so breaks are often less likely in little ones. You may have heard of a ‘green stick fracture’. Think of this as a bone fraying; like the fibres you might see if you tried to snap a growing plant. As adults we are far more rigid and snap more easily as we get older. Think more here about snapping a piece of dry wood.
It is often difficult to tell whether a baby has fractured, sprained or strained a joint. We can look for obvious signs of deformity, swelling and pain at the site of the injury. You need to take a child with a suspected fracture, sprain or strain to A & E. You may be asked to transport your baby yourself or you can insist on an ambulance by ringing 999 if that is not possible.
The key thing to remember with this kind of injury is to keep the injured part as still as possible to reduce pain. Don’t worry about fancy bandages or slings. Often the most effective way to immobilise a limb is by using a piece of clothing or a scarf tied round; or by simply holding your baby still to reduce movement of the injury.
It is better never to be complacent. Go with your gut instinct. If you are not sure if you need to go to hospital or if your baby/child is not acting in a way that is normal for them; call 111 for advice on a minor injury or if life threatening call 999.
4. Babies soon to turn into toddling children. In first aid terms, a baby is referred to as a child once they reach their first birthday. First aid issues to be aware when your baby has reached that big first aid milestone:
The treatment of choking and the way you have to deliver CPR change in technique for children over the age of 1. Make sure you have booked yourself into a first aid class to learn the essential differences.
Other tips for babies as grow into toddlers;
Baby proof your home to prevent accidents. This includes well-fitted stair gates, corner covers, door blocks, and cupboard locks.
Think about your outside play area (if appropriate) and minimise danger by ensuring there is no open water and dangerous items that could cause injury.
Make sure you have a first aid kit in your change bag or under your buggy/pram. Once babies are more mobile, there is more of risk of bumps and scrapes and you don’t want to get caught without a plaster!
Keep your first aid skills up to date and attend a refresher class.
It is never too early to explain to your baby what is happening if they do get hurt. You can reassure your child, telling him/her what you are doing: “Mummy is just going to get you all cleaned up”. If you are confident around medical practitioners your child(ren) will learn to that if they are hurt, whilst they might be in pain; a grown up is going to look after them.
Mini First Aid Kits can be bought at one of our fabulous classes.
The next class in the Scarborough area is on 18th March 2020 – details HERE