Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, so a basic knowledge of first aid is always handy, especially if you are travelling to remote destinations with kids. In the terrible event that you’re in a foreign environment and something should happen to your kids, there are a few medical methods you can apply that might prevent a small incident from becoming a serious calamity. Dr. Samantha Izzard of International Medical Clinic (IMC) gives suitcases&strollers some basic first aid tips handy for when you’re traveling with kids. (Print these out and carry them in your suitcase with your other essential travel documents or travel emergency medical kit as you never know when you might need them.)
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for Kids
Remove your child from the source of injury to safety. The immediate concern is to check his or her responsiveness, breathing and pulse. If there is no response or signs of breathing, get someone to contact the local emergency medical services immediately whilst you start basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If you’re alone, commence CPR for two minutes before seeking help.
It’s useful to think “ABC” to remember the sequences of actions for performing CPR. First, ensure your child’s Airway is clear of obstruction. Then look, listen and feel for signs of Breathing. If there is no breathing, lift the child’s chin, cover his mouth and/or nose if a small infant/child and blow 2 breaths of one second’s duration through their mouth. Support your child’s Circulation by applying cardiac massage with as little break as possible. If there is any bleeding apply firm pressure on these areas.
Choking in Kids
If you have witnessed your child choking on something, do not use CPR. Instead, turn your child’s face down over your thigh and deliver five back blows between the shoulder blades with your palm between the shoulder blades, followed by five chest thrusts. Support the child’s back (e.g. lie on the floor and place hand in the same position as for chest compressions). Deliver chest thrust in same manner as chest compression but sharper with a little more force and slower than chest compressions. If chest thrusts are not possible continue with back blows. Repeat until the object is dislodged. What is a chest thrust? Can you please be more descriptive?
If the child is unconscious but breathing, turn him on to his or her side and await the arrival of the ambulance. If the child is still not breathing, commence CPR (see above).
If your child is crying and responsive, it is likely that their airway is not significantly blocked and therefore there is no need for intervention but watch them closely and, if concerned, seek medical advice.
Falls (Head Injuries in Kids and Broken Bones)
If your child falls, the most important thing to look for is head injuries as they are the most serious. Check how conscious your child is by testing his or her ability to obey commands. Red flags that there has been a head injury include drowsiness, persistent vomiting, persistent or worsening headache or significant bruising. If you suspect there has been a head injury avoid food and drink and seek medical attention immediately.
Broken bones can happen with falls and present with swelling, deformity or reluctance to move the limb. Splint and immobilize the fracture with a straight stick and bandage (you can use a tee shirt if you don’t have a bandage handy). Administer paracetamol for pain relief and seek medical attention for further evaluation.
Scalds or Burns In Kids
Burns or scalds are managed by removing wet clothes in the case of hot water injuries and placing the affected area under cool running water for at least 20 minutes. Cool water has been shown to be effective in reducing the severity of the burn even up to 3 hours after the burn has occurred. Give paracetamol for pain relief. It is important that babies and kids who have been burnt or scalded seek medical attention immediately because they can lose significant amounts of fluid through burns and burns are susceptible to infection.
In the case where your child accidently ingests something poisonous it’s important to keep calm, note the time it happened and bring the bottle of toxic substance with you to seek immediate medical help. Do not try to induce vomiting. A period of observation in hospital may be necessary even if your child appears well as some toxic substances have a delayed effect.
Signs that your child may have ingested something poisonous range from nothing to symptoms such as vomiting for no reason, unusual size of your child’s pupils (either dilated or constricted), unexplained confusion or drowsiness and unsteady gait.
This story was sponsored by International Medical Clinic