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Babies and Toddlers: First Aid

A little while ago I talked about first aid for babies and toddlers, and tried to find out if there are any courses that are being ran in Estonia as well.

I will not get very specific as I do not have the teaching qualification for first aid but I would still like to share with you a couple of tips on how to make everything around the baby safer.

How to make your home child-friendly? First, get down and lie on the floor. Then take a look around as you will be able to see all the wires, plugs and other things that may be dangerous if the baby gets close. If you have roller blinds with strings or chains, then these should not be somewhere where the child can access it as this is very dangerous if it gets around his or her neck.

Plastic bags (those small ones that you can put used diapers in) should not be left in the child’s reach, as there are numerous cases where children have suffocated due to plastic bags.

Every year there are also cases where the baby suffocates from eating grapes. Why? Because the child had been given a full grape, where in reality you should cut it in half or even into quarters.

Let’s talk a little about accidents as well.

Did you know that when a child has hit his or her head, they should not be forced to stay awake? Instead, they should be allowed to sleep as this is how the child’s body fights with stress. Obviously you will have to keep an eye on the child in case the health indicators worsen or the child throws up.

How long should I keep the child under strict supervision? No matter what has happened, the child should be supervised at least 72 hours after the accident. The best way would be to write down when and what happened, so you have all this information if needed. Many parents make a mistake that they offer something to eat or to drink immediately after the accident, hoping that it helps to lift the mood. Actually you should not give any food or liquid to the child before you have ensured that the child is alright. This is why it is extremely important to receive an official note from the school or the kindergarten if anything happens there and to take this very seriously.

What is the difference in CPR for a child and for an adult? First you have to make sure if he or she breathes. If not, then you have to start with the CPR. For an adult, you should call the ambulance first and then start with CPR. With babies and children, it has been advised to do CPR for one minute and then call the ambulance. Why? This is because the bodies of babies and little children lose oxygen faster than an adult does. Do not be afraid that you are doing something wrong. Are you afraid that you apply too much pressure and you break a rib? Honestly, that is the least of the worries, as breaking a rib is extremely difficult because they are quite resilient and flexible.

What to do in case of a nose bleed? Squeeze the soft part of the nose and let the child breathe through the mouth for 10 minutes (child can stand over a sink or sit over a basin). For the next couple of hours do not let the child touch his or her nose as this may start the nose bleed again. If you have done 3×10 minutes of squeezing the nose but the nose bleed does not stop, call the ambulance.

What happens if a finger or an arm has been burned? If there is no open wound, then hold the burned part under cold water for 20 minutes. Even if you feel that after 3 minutes it’s alright, then actually the burning process is still continuing under the skin and that is why after some time you will feel pain and the burned area will swell and get red. Keep in mind – 20 minutes! In cases of more serious burns, it is necessary to go to a hospital to get it treated.

I definitely recommend a first aid course for everyone, as it will make you feel more confident when acting in an accident.


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