Knowing first aid prepares anyone for a fast and educated response in situations, whether they are emergencies or otherwise. Even children can benefit from first aid training to enable them to respond appropriately in a variety of circumstances. Providing basic first aid information to your child can instill a confidence that comes from preparedness.
Basic First Aid
By explaining the tenets of first aid to your child, you provide an overview of what it involves and the purpose of it. Generally, first aid involves helping someone with an injury or who feels sick, according to the British Red Cross 1. First aid might be necessary for cuts, scrapes, bumps, burns, stings, breaks, sprains, dizziness and loss of consciousness. By knowing the basics of what to do in specific situations, you empower your child to make a prepared response. Talk about first aid your child can perform, such as cleaning a cut or scrape, bandaging a simple wound and applying ice to a bump or a burn.
A Word About CPR
Talk about the cardiovascular and respiratory systems with your youngster so she understands the basics of breathing and the heart pumping to maintain oxygen and blood to the body. Tell your child that any time someone stops breathing due to choking or another event or the heart stops beating, fast action is necessary to save the person’s life. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation involves checking the airway for a blockage and removing it with the Heimlich maneuver, if necessary. CPR also involves helping a person breathe and pushing on a person’s chest to get the heart to start beating again, according to the CPR Class, a resource that connects people with CPR courses for the Red Cross and other organizations. Consider enrolling your youngster in a CPR class designed to teach children this lifesaving skill.
Discerning an Emergency
It’s important for your youngster to understand the difference between an emergency and a non-emergency to help her determine how to respond in various situations. Discuss events that could happen, from a stubbed toe to an unconscious family member, advises KidsHealth. Provide examples of non-emergencies, such as a skinned knee, a scraped elbow and a sprained ankle. Talk about actual emergencies, also, such as choking or loss of consciousness, so your child understands the difference.
Part of first aid training involves knowing how to get help, when necessary. After teaching your child how to recognize an emergency, teach him how to get emergency help by dialing 9-1-1 on any telephone or cell phone 3. Stress the importance of using 9-1-1 only for emergencies, however. Explain that after he calls 9-1-1, an operator will answer the call and he will need to explain what's happened to get help. Stress the importance of speaking clearly on the phone and answering questions, advises the 911forKids website.
Role-Playing for Preparedness
Once you’ve given your child the fundamentals of first aid, engage in some role-playing to help cement the understanding, suggests physician Natasha Balbas, writing for the Smart Parenting website. Present various situations that could occur and ask your youngster what she would do in response. You might say, “What should you do if someone falls off his bicycle and skins his knee?” and “What would you do if someone falls off his bicycle and you can’t get him to wake up?” Ensure that your child understands the difference between each circumstance and knows what she should do.
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