5 Paediatric First Aid tips for Parents

Parents and care givers should expect injuries and accidents. No matter how much you prepare, accidents will still happen. Thankfully, with proper planning and preparation, serious illnesses and accidents are rare!

“It helps you feel in control, even if you are totally freaking out on the inside.” Said one of our Paediatric First Aid course attendees in London last week.

Here are 5 Paediatric First Aid tips for parents, explaining why plug socket protectors and car seats are not what you have been led to believe…

 

1 – Plug socket protectors are a con!

They are doing the complete opposite to the job they are sold to do! British plug sockets are considered the safest in the world. Since the 1940’s the UK law requires all sockets sold to conform to the “British Standard 1363 standard” All the way back then a woman called “Caroline Haslett” headed up a committee which believed that plug sockets should protect young children. Either from being able to touch live parts by means of shutters, or by the inherent design of the socket. They absolutely smashed it and did both! The design change
ensured a baby cannot get their fingers into the sockets and if somehow a baby was able to get their finger or anything else inserted. The plugs come with insulated shutters on the inside of the holes which prevent anything but a plug being inserted.

No socket covers have been approved for use in UK British Standard 1363 sockets.

Not one recognised national body recommends “plug protectors” (Including the UK Government, RoSPA, Ofsted, Child Accident Prevention Trust and Electrical Safety First – Electrical Safety Council).

 

 

2 – DO NOT KEEP A NEW BABY – UNDER 6 WEEKS – IN A CAR SEAT FOR MORE THAN 30 MINUTES!

Professor Peter Fleming says newborn babies could be at risk of suffocating when taken on long car journeys.

Car seats are designed for those over 3 months old, for tiny babies or premature babies this is a problem. As the neck muscles which are used to hold their heads up, are still developing. Being in a car seat encourages them to flop forward increasing breathing problems.

A recent study concluded that a significant number of children experienced a significant drop in oxygen levels in the blood of approximately 10%, a sign of obvious distress when in a car seat for any more than a half hour.  While manufacturers advise to never leave your child in the car seat for more than 2 hours the Paediatrician behind the study is adamant their should be new rules for younger babies. “Restrict all journeys to no more than 30 minutes.” said Prof Fleming.

 

3 – Nosebleeds are not part of growing up…

But they are fairly common in the rough and tumble of growing up.. There are a number of reasons why your child’s nose may start to bleed. A knock to the face, serious “brain tickling” nose picking or a secret nose piercing.

However , unexplained, repeated nose bleeds are not normal and should be checked by a GP.

4 tips to hep your child during a nosebleed:

  • Sit the child down, head tipped forward.
  • Nip the soft part of the nose. Maintain constant pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Encourage breathing through the mouth.
  • Avoid picking or blowing the nose and hot drinks for 24 hours.

 

 

 

4 – Teach your child how to put someone into the recovery position. 

Does this need much more explanation…

 

5 – We are fast approaching peak cold/flu season.

A high temperature in a child is always a cause for alarm in any parent or caregiver. A high temperature is  anything above 37.5c (99.5f).

Here is what to do when your child has a cold/flu:

  • encourage them to drink loads of fluid – if you’re breastfeeding, offer regular breastfeeds.
  • offer them food if they seem hungry
  • keep your eye out for any signs of dehydration – these can include a dry mouth, no tears and in babies, less wet nappies and a sunken fontanelle (the soft spot on the head)
  • keep check on your child throughout the night
  • keep your child away from childcare/ nursery or school during the time they are showing cold/flu symptoms
  • Never give your child both paracetamol and Ibuprofen together

When should I take my child to the GP?

  • Your baby under 6 months has a temp of 38c or higher
  • you think your child may be dehydrated
  • your child develops a red rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is rolled over it
  • your child is inconsolable and doesn’t stop crying, or has a high-pitched or unusual sound when crying
  • your child has a fit (convulsion)

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