Pediatric First Aid

Last updated: June 14, 2021

First aid importance

If you know what to do in a cardiac, breathing, or first aid emergency, you can save a life. Whether it's a minor cut, a wound or a serious injury, no one wants to see a child in pain. The expertise to provide first aid is an important set of skills for anyone regardless of age and gender. Adequate first aid delivery to an ill or injured person can be life-saving, reduces the worrying outcomes of any accident or injury, tackles minor injuries conveniently, and creates a safe environment until emergency services take hold of the situation. First aid knowledge may be especially crucial for groups who are vulnerable to injuries and illness, such as infants and teenagers. The hospital admission rate is increasing in the age group of 5–14 years for diseases such as anaphylaxis.1

First aid general tips for children

  • Parents should know how to get help.
  • Make sure the surrounding is risk-free for you and the child.
  • Personal protective equipment (such as gloves) must be used if available.
  • In case of neck or back injury(from a fall, motor vehicle accident, or other injury or if the child says his neck or back is damaged) do not move the child.
  • If his/her airway requires to be opened or CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is necessary then position the child appropriately.2

CPR

Accidents happen. Someone falls from a tree or slips on the floor. It is crucial to know when you can call the 911 dedicated line for life-threatening emergencies. You can save someone's life until emergency services respond.3 Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is for people whose heart or breathing has stopped due to drowning, suffocation, choking, or injury. CPR includes:

  • Rescue breathing, which delivers oxygen to a child's lungs
  • Chest compressions, which keep the oxygenated blood circulating to the brain and other vital organs.

The brain can be damaged permanently or the child can expire if blood circulation stops. Therefore, you should continue CPR until the child starts breathing or trained medical help arrives. A trained person in an accredited CPR course can carry out CPR effectively. The modern strategy prioritizes compressions over rescue breathing and airway management, opposing the long-term practice. All parents and caretakers should learn infant and child CPR if they haven't done it yet. When you are dealing with an unresponsive child who is not breathing, time is very crucial. Permanent brain damage starts after only 4 minutes without oxygen, and the child can expire as early as 4 to 6 minutes later.4

CPR on a baby

Lack of oxygen due to drowning or choking in babies can result in cardiac arrest. If you know there is an obstacle in the airway of a child, carry out first aid for choking. if you don't know why the child is unconscious, conduct CPR.

To start, analyze the condition. Tap the child gently and watch for a reaction, such as noise or movement, but don't shake the baby.

If there is no movement or noise, follow the C-A-B guidelines below for a child under age 1 (excluding newborns, which includes children up to 4 weeks old).

Compressions: Restore blood circulation

  1. Lay down the baby on his or her back on a solid, smooth surface, such as a table. The floor or leveled ground also will do the job.
  2. Place two fingers of one hand below an imaginary line drawn between the baby’s nipples, in the center of the chest.
  3. Gently press the chest 1.5 inches approximately (about 4 centimeters).
  4. Count out loud as you pump in a reasonably fast rhythm. you should push at the speed of 100 to 120 compressions a minute.

Airway

  • After completion of 30 compressions, gently tip the head back by raising the chin with one hand and pressing down the forehead with the other hand.

Breathing

  1. Cover the child's mouth and nose tightly with your mouth.
  2. Compose yourself to deliver two rescue breaths. Deliver tender puffs of air by using the muscles of your cheeks (instead of heavy breaths from your lungs) to gradually breathe into the child's mouth once. If the baby's chest rises then deliver a second rescue breath. If the child's chest doesn't move, rehearse the head-tilt, chin-lift exercise before giving the second breath.
  3. Repeat chest compressions if the baby doesn't respond after the second rescue breath.
  4. Deliver two breaths after every 30 chest compressions.
  5. Do not stop performing CPR until you see signs of life or paramedics arrive.5

Conclusion

Prevention of injury is the best way to care for children. Never misjudge what children can do. Children can move fast and pick up things more than they think they can. Squirming and climbing are to be predicted. Utilize safety belts on high chairs and strollers regularly. Select toys for children according to their age. Heavy and fragile toys should be avoided for small children. Build a safe environment and supervise children keenly.4 Injury is a general reason for death in children, however, prevention of injury and appropriate and timely first aid can help reduce this trend.6

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7439956/
  2. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-home/Pages/First-Aid-Guide.aspx
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/firstaid.html
  4. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000012.htm
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-cpr/basics/ART-20056600?p=1
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3447658/
This page is last reviewed and updated by on Jun 10, 2021.