Injuries and accidents can happen even to the safest person. A child being naturally curious is more prone to injuries. Minor accidents and injuries is a part in parcel of childhood and growing up. Childcare also involves the parents’ responsibility to handle such crucial emergencies- differentiating a minor accident from an emergency, and taking appropriate action.
Having a first-aid kit is a requirement at every home and learn what all is required to keep in it. Have a list of numbers for emergency situations written down somewhere which is easily accessible as well as on your mobile.
Every home should have a well-stocked first-aid kit which can be easily accessed by everyone. No matter how much caution you exercise there is always a perceivable risk of injuries. A first-aid kit should always be checked to see whether all the items are in place and up to date. Expired medicines and ointments should be disposed off immediately. The contents of a first-aid kit will vary depending on how you intend to use it. Some basic things needed are:
Basics of a first aid kit
- Disposable syringes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antiseptic cream
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Glucose powder
- Calamine lotion
- Any other prescribed medicines
- Sterile gauze
- Adhesive tape
- Water proof tape
- Cotton swabs and cotton balls
- Elastic bandage
- Adhesive bandages
- First-aid manual
- Safety pins
- Instant cold packs
- Alcohol wipes
- Disposable latex gloves
- Mouthpiece for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Torch and extra batteries
A first-aid kit can come to use anytime and anywhere, at home or while traveling. It is a good idea to go through the first-aid manual to make oneself armed with the knowledge in dealing with crisis. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be learnt by everyone and you never know where it can come to use.
Bites and Stings
A child may face bites and stings while playing outside and no matter how careful you are about your child’s safety, you cannot restrict him to be at home. A child has to be in a normal environment in order to grow normally, so be calm about ‘situations’ and armed with some first-aid techniques.
Animal bites or scratches are quite common in homes with pets. Children can be overzealous while handling pets or even strays and can risk an animal bite. Depending on the type of bite and the animal itself, treatment needs to be given either in form of first-aid and clinical help. Animals can carry many diseases which can get transferred through a bite to the child. Bacterial infections and scarring are additional risks. Rabies and tetanus is common in wild animals which should be immediately referred to a doctor. Animal bites can be life-threatening and needs to be dealt with care. No matter how superficial or deep an animal bite is, it is always wise to inform your doctor for sound advice.
Superficial bites and scratches by an immunized and healthy pet needs to be dealt by:
- Wash the affected area with an antiseptic lotion and running water directly from the tap. Running water from the tap comes with pressure which cleans the wound better of any debris or foreign objects. Keep the wound under running water for at least five minutes. Never touch or scrub the wound. Pat dry with a clean cloth or cotton. Apply an antiseptic ointment.
- Observe your baby for any symptoms such as fever or any infections, inflammation, pus formation or pain in the affected area.
- No matter how superficial or deep an animal bite is, it is always wise to inform your doctor for sound advice.
Deep bites or puncture wounds by a pet or a stray animal needs to be dealt in the same manner:
- If the wound is bleeding profusely, you would need to apply pressure on the wound for the bleeding to stop. Use a clean washcloth or bandage to do so.
- Wash the affected area with an antiseptic lotion and running water directly from the tap. Running water from the tap comes with pressure which cleans the wound better of any debris or foreign objects. Keep the wound under running water for at least five minutes. Never touch or scrub the wound. Pat dry with a clean cloth or cotton.
- Cover with a sterile dressing but do not wrap up and close the wound.
- Rush to the nearest doctor for further treatment.
Know the animal bite
It is important to know the kind of animal which was responsible for the bite in order to be provided with appropriate treatment. Rabies is a probable risk in wild animals and necessary treatment needs to be taken immediately. As a safety precaution, always inform your doctor of any animal bites or scratches you or your child may have suffered.
- Do not leave a child alone with an animal.
- Make children understand that animals can be unpredictable no matter whether it’s a pet or a stray. Teach them respect and love towards animals and not to tease or hurt them in anyway.
- Teach children to be away or careful of stray animals.
- Make sure any pets at home are immunized against all possible diseases.
Insect bites or stings
Insect bites or stings caused by mosquitoes, bees, wasps or even spiders are common yet can cause a lot of discomfort to your child. Symptoms range from itching, swelling and burning pain can be too much for a young child to withstand. While some children can simply do with first-aid others may need medical attention depending on their sensitivity to a particular insect. Some children can suffer from allergic reactions to the sting while others very rarely suffer from infections in the affected site. While a severe allergic reaction can be life-threatening, an infection is less serious and can be controlled.
Specific insect bites, need specific care
Specific insect bites will need appropriate treatment by the doctor whose advice should be sought in the first place itself. Allergic reactions can be a cause of worry due to swelling in the airway and breathing problems. Also insect bites or stings in the area near mouth, nose or throat can cause swelling and pain making it difficult to breathe. You may follow the below given instructions, in case an insect bite occurs to your child but as a precautionary measure consult with your doctor.
A young child needs to be calmed first as anxiety can make it all look worse. So pacify your child gently ensuring him/her of the fact that you can help.
If there is a presence of a stinger in the affected area then remove it gently without squeezing in more venom from the stinger. Use the corner of credit card or a blunt knife.
The affected area should be washed well with a mild antiseptic soap and water.
Swelling or itching can be relieved with an ice pack or calamine lotion.
Observe your child for any signs of an allergic reaction that would need immediate medical attention.
Any further swelling, extreme pain or pus formation or any other abnormal changes in the affected area should be dealt with urgency. Consult your doctor.
- Dress up your kid in fully covered clothes especially when outdoors.
- Avoid using scented products such as soaps or lotions on your baby as it can attract certain insects.
- Dress you kid in light colours as bright colours can attract some insects.
- Never let your child venture outdoors in barefoot.
- Keep your surroundings clean to prevent breeding or thriving of insects.
Small cuts or scrapes
Children are bound to be running, knocking down things and jumping all around the house or outdoors. These activities are essential for them to know their surroundings and to have a fun time. An occasion injury or cuts are common; some can be treated at home while other major injuries need doctor’s attention.
- A bleeding wound needs to be dealt with care. Wash your hands first and apply pressure on the bleeding wound with the help of a clean washcloth or bandage. If the bleeding stops then proceed to the next step. In case the bleeding continues after five to ten minutes of applying pressure, rush your child to the doctor.
- After the bleeding has ceased, check for any debris or foreign objects in the wound. Try washing the debris out of the wound with the help of running water. Incase the wound is deep, it is wise to go to a doctor immediately for proper treatment.
- After the wound has been washed clean of any visible debris, gently rinse it one more time with a mild antiseptic soap and water. Pat dry and apply an antiseptic ointment. Minor cuts and scraps heal faster when exposed to air, if the wound is not likely to get dirty or prone to further injury you may consider skipping the bandaging part.
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