In an ideal world, every single parent and teacher would know child and infant first aid. So often it is underestimated just how precious those first few seconds after an accident are and that it shouldn’t be wasted running around looking for someone who knows what to do in an emergency situation.
The fact of the matter is, the first minutes following a life-threatening incident may be crucial in saving a life. In children, the cause of cardiac arrest is seldom due to illness. Trauma as a result of drowning, poisoning, cot death, suffocation, or electrical shock is more often the cause.
Since the heart can only survive without oxygen for about four minutes before irreversible brain damage is caused, it is vital to start with CPR as soon as possible. CPR circulates blood to the vital organs. When you do CPR, you are buying time!
Do you know the basics of infant and child first aid? Would you be able to perform CPR on a little one to buy them some time?
A couple of international surveys have revealed some unsettling results regarding infant and child first aid:
- 59% of people surveyed said they wouldn’t feel confident enough to try to save a life.
- 24% would simply wait for an ambulance to arrive or hope that a passer-by knows first aid.
- 37% of parents said their child has had an accident which needed immediate first aid intervention whilst on holiday – nearly half of those parents did not have the skills to help their child.
- 65% of parents claiming to know basic first aid, of those surveyed.
- 57% said they would leave an injured child until an ambulance arrived, which could be fatal.
- 41% of people admit that it would take something as severe as the death of a loved one to make them learn first aid.
- 55% of parents lack the skills necessary to save their child in the event of a life-threatening accident.
- 72% of parents would not know how to assist an unconscious child, administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), or deal with burns and scalds.
- 80% of parents with children aged between six and nine say they would have no idea how to deal with a medical emergency.
Another statistic revealed that 140,000 people die each year in situations where first aid could have steered the outcome in another direction. This figure is almost the same as that of people who die from cancer each year.
Some basic tips
[Infant/Baby: 0–12 months / Child: 1–8 years]
After an incident, remember to place the infant or child into the recovery position to prevent the tongue from blocking the trachea (airway) and to prevent vomit from going into the lungs.
The first thing you need to do is assess the situation to find out if the baby or child is still alive. Remember the three Hs:
- Hazards: Check for any hazards. Check for dangers to yourself and the child. If you can remove any hazards safely, do so. If you cannot remove the danger, move the child if possible.
- Hello! Check responsiveness by: Baby – tap under the feet/blow in the face / Child – tap on the shoulders. Ask a question like “Are you all right?” Give a command like “Open your eyes”. Check/scan for any movement of the chest.
If the child is breathing but not reacting:
- Help! Call the ambulance.
By signing up for a Dynamikos infant and child first aid course, you could potentially spare yourself, or someone else, a lot of regret and heartache. The practical training will give you the confidence to apply your first aid knowledge. One cannot put a price on a life.
Dynamikos empowers people with the knowledge and tools to act in a life threatening situation. Since April 2005, DYNAMIKOS TRAINING NETWORK CC has provided training to educational institutions and clients across the Cape Metropole and surrounding regions. Its high quality on-site training can be tailored to your unique needs and will certainly make a difference to your employees in their workplace and equip them with very necessary life skills.
- Dynamikos First Aid Level 1: November 2016
- Shocking Statistics for Child First Aid Incidents
- Surveys were carried out by Findababysitter.com, The national “Save a Life Survey” and Mother & Baby Magazine