Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be facing the rewarding and challenging job of caring for their new son.
Although the royal couple will no doubt receive plenty of practical support and advice, as any first-time parent knows there is nothing quite as overwhelming as being in charge of a new and vulnerable life.
Factor in hormones, sleep deprivation, a sense of responsibility and desire to protect their new son or daughter, coupled with information overload – with often conflicting advice – and its easy to see why new parents can feel daunted.
Best buy for new parents
One of the best investments any couple can make when they know they are about to become parents it by attending a first aid course. Especially since, as a parent it is likely that you will be the first on hand if anything goes wrong or first aid is required
Yet we all know that as vigilant as we try and be, it is impossible to watch our children every second of the day. And no environment can ever be 100% safe. Accidents will happen.
In fact, every year, around 2 million children attend A&E due to accidents. Over 100,000 of these require admission to hospital – that is nearly 2,000 children a week – with many more are treated by their GP’s, parents and carers.
Accidental injuries are one of the most common causes of death in children over one year of age in the UK and every year they leave many thousands permanently disabled or disfigured.
Peace of mind for parents
Attending a first aid course will mean you can let your children develop and flourish, experiencing inevitable minor bumps and bruises, with the peace of mind you have the knowledge and skills to recognise and help if something is more seriously wrong. As a parent it is likely that you will be the first on hand if anything goes wrong or first aid is required.
LINK to EBOOK TOP FIRST AID SKLLS ALL NEW PARENTS SHOULD KNOW: CLICK HERE
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Life and death
Basic first aid can mean the difference between life and death and can massively affect the extent of your child’s recovery, the amount of pain they’re in and how long they need to be in hospital. Prompt first aid can even lead to someone recovering completely without the need for medical intervention at all!
Recognising when things are wrong
Many parents book onto our courses when they’re pregnant, some wait until their babies have arrived and still more are prompted when they start weaning.
The advice is to gain these skills as soon as you can and gain the peace of mind from knowing that you are able to recognise if something is seriously wrong and know how to help. Parents can book on as individuals, arrange a group course at a time and place to suit them, or learn at work.
Keep your skills fresh
Training must be refreshed regularly to ensure the information is current and fresh in your mind in case you need to jump into action. Refreshers can be practical or online. The most important message is not to let yourself be in the position of wishing you had known what to do.
Most common accidents
Therefore, we look at three of the most common first aid emergencies in the under 5’s – burns, choking and head injuries – and provide a step by step guide to show parents how to help.
Babies love to put things in their mouths and anything small enough to fit through a loo roll can prove a potential choking hazard. When starting solids; cut foods into sticks rather than into perfect circles as these could block the airway completely if they were to get stuck.
Babies have sensitive gag reflexes and often appear to struggle when trying new food textures and this can be frightening. The majority of the time they manage to clear the obstruction themselves, repositioning them with their head lower than their body can help. Keep as calm as you can as they will quickly pick up on panic and this can make things worse. If they are able to cough encourage them to do so – if they are quiet and struggling to breathe, help immediately.
Choking – how to help
- Stay as calm as you can.
- If they are able to cough, reposition them to see if they can clear it themselves.
- Have a quick look in the baby’s mouth and carefully remove anything obvious. NEVER blindly sweep inside the baby’s mouth with your fingers as it can cause damage and push the obstruction further down.
- Lay the baby downwards across your forearm, supporting under their chin.
- With your hand hit the baby up to 5 times firmly between their shoulder blades
- Check after each back blow to see if the obstruction has cleared
- If still choking; lay the baby on its back across your knees, head downwards. Place two fingers in the centre of their chest at the nipple line, and give up to five, firm upward chest thrusts.
- If the baby is still choking, call 999/112 and continue giving baby five back blows, alternated with five chest thrusts, until help arrives
- If the baby becomes unconscious start CPR immediately.
Burns and Scalds
Burns are horrible and the pain and damage caused can be devastating. Knowing what to do if this should happen can make a massive difference in reducing the amount of pain and scarring and may avoid them having any tissue damage at all. A hot drink that was made nearly 10 minutes ago can still be hot enough to scald a baby.
For All BURNS – TREAT THEM IMMEDIATELY WITH COOL RUNNING WATER FOR A Full 20 MINUTES
Immediately, but extremely carefully remove loose clothing covering the burn.
DO NOT TAKE CLOTHES OFF IF THERE IS ANY RISK THAT THE SKIN HAS STUCK TO THEM OR IF THE SKIN HAS BLISTERED.
- Hold the affected area under cool running water for a full 20 minutes
- Reassure the child and keep them warm and dry. Be aware of any signs of clinical shock
- Phone an ambulance; particularly if a large area is affected, if the skin is broken or blistered, or if they show signs of shock and keep the area under cool running water whilst you are waiting for the ambulance.
- Never touch the burn, pop blisters, or put on any creams whatsoever. Take burns very seriously and always seek medical advice.
Always get a medical professional to assess a burn.
Babies and children often bang their heads and it can be difficult to assess how seriously they are hurt. Fortunately, most head injuries are superficial or merely injure the scalp, which is usually more frightening than life threatening as the head and face are very vascular and consequently bleed profusely. A severe blow to the head or repeated injuries can cause damage to the brain and this is far more serious.
What to look for following a head injury:
- Call 999 or 112 if your baby loses consciousness, even momentarily or if a child of any age has any of these symptoms:
- won’t stop crying
- complains of head and neck pain
- isn’t walking normally
If the child is not an infant, has not lost consciousness, and is alert and behaving normally after the fall or blow:
- Apply a wrapped ice pack or instant cold pack to the injured area for 10 minutes.
- Observe your child carefully for the next 24 hours. If you notice any worrying signs (see below), get medical help immediately.
- If the incident has occurred close to bedtime or naptime and your child falls asleep soon afterwards, check in continually to look for anything unusual – in particular; twitching limbs or disturbances in colour or breathing. It is perfectly ok for your child to go to sleep – there is no need to keep a child awake after a head injury.
However do not confuse falling asleep with losing consciousness
First aid course and free resources
Book a first aid course now – the skills you learn could equip you with the knowledge to save your child’s life. Free resources can be accessed on our blog http://www.firstaidforlife.org.uk/blog/
First Aid for Life is an award-winning fully regulated and Ofqual approved first aid training company. http://www.onlinefirstaid.com are the leading UK online first aid training providers to allow you to learn these vital skills when it suits you