Essential First Aid Skills for Parents
With being a parent comes the responsibility of caring for your child and their variety of needs. This means that you need to be a parent, a cook, a laundry master, a driver, a fountain of information and a playmate. These are just some of the things your child will need you to be over the years – you’ll need to be resourceful and creative in ways that you could never have imagined before you became a Mum or Dad. You’ll also need to be a nurse or doctor at several points during your child’s growing years as kids can be particularly accident prone and they usually suffer childhood illnesses of some sort or another.
One of the most useful things you could do for your child would be to learn some essential first aid skills for parents so that when your little one falls over, you’ll be able to dish out the appropriate treatment. Kids are notorious for getting into scrapes of one kind or another so parents will need to know how to bandage a knee, how to clean a graze, how to take a child’s temperature and how to nurse a child who is feeling poorly.
However, sometimes our children have accidents or illnesses that are a little more serious than the normal childhood cuts and grazes, and will need more urgent and immediate attention, so having a good working knowledge of basic First Aid will be a great help. Getting some basic First Aid training will ensure that you are confident in dealing with accidents, injuries and illnesses as you bring up your children. Courses are available as Adult Education classes and you should find a list of these on your local authority’s website. If not, then St John’s Ambulance Brigade will probably provide courses in your area. St John’s website has a wealth of advice for parents. The British Red Cross also runs First Aid courses for baby and children, and you can find information on courses in your area here.
When to Consult a Doctor
Although your knowledge of basic first aid and general instinct as a parent will help you through most minor injuries and illness, there will be times your little one needs a trip to the doctor. We’ve outlined some of the most common reasons this may be necessary and what to look out for.
Fever – a high temperature may indicate that your child is fighting an infection. Fevers can be dangerous in babies and young children. If your baby is less than three months old and has a temperature above 38˚, then it’s time to see the doctor. If your child has a fever and other signs of sickness, then take him to the doctor.
Bumps – if your child falls and develops a bump, especially if the bump is on the head, then take him to a doctor immediately.
Vomiting – if a baby or child is vomiting regularly (other than the usual infant spit
up), then go to the doctor.
Eye injuries – these can be serious, so medical attention is a must.
Dehydration – this is often a result of vomiting and/or diarrhoea. If your child is not keeping liquids down, there is a real risk of dehydration and you should see a doctor.
Prolonged crying – while all babies cry, if your baby is crying for long periods of time, he may not be feeling well, and you should take him to see the doctor. Your baby can’t tell you how he is feeling, so seek the help of a professional – it’s always best to err on the safe side.
Of course, that is not a definitive list of ailments which would require medical attention. If you are uncertain or concerned about any injury or illness your child may have always consult a doctor or seek medical attention.