You may not know what will happen next in your house. Having knowledge on how to conduct first aid on various occasions is paramount.
Parents keeping their baby healthy and safe is a priority whether at home or outdoors. Accidents often happen with babies because of their delicate nature and inability to prevent themselves from getting injured. However, it requires anyone in contact with the baby to get information on first aid. Many parents in Kenya would quickly rush their children to hospital or seek help from a medical professional. This response is ok but with knowledge of first aid, parents or house helps are able to confidently offer first aid to their babies as they run or drive to hospital giving them a better chance of survival.
Below are important information on first aid for babies every parents and house helps must know.
Apply a cold compress or rub an ice cube on a baby’s insect bite for a few seconds to reduce swelling and pain.
Babies are known to put anything and everything in their mouth which can be quite dangerous. If your child begins to vomit and you suspect they have taken something poisonous, turn them to their side so that they do not choke and a carry a sample to the hospital for analysis by doctors. In case, they are not showing any symptoms after taking a toxic substance look around to find the container and carry it with you to the hospital.
If your baby suffers a head injury, put a cloth with ice cubes around the head and take the baby to hospital depending on the injury
Lower the Temperature of a Fever
An infant who displays hot, flushed skin and is not sweating may be experiencing a high fever. Remove the infant’s excess clothes and leave him with a vest, Put a clean cotton cloth in warm water and massage the baby. Continue checking the baby’s temperature with time. If a fever is confirmed, contact your paediatrician immediately.
When the baby’s airway is blocked by an object, monitor their reflexes to see if they can cough it out. If they stop coughing and are having difficulty breathing, place them on your forearm and give them five gentle blows to the back, between their shoulder blades. If it is not working, turn them on their back and give chest compressions, at least five. Monitor for any positive responses from the baby and if none appear, make your way to hospital for emergency treatment.
If the child had an open fracture, cover the wound with a sterile dressing and secure it with a bandage from the first aid kit. Apply pressure around the wound to control any bleeding and support the injured limb or body part to minimise movement. Even the slightest movement could potentially exacerbate the severity of the fracture. Once you’ve done this, call for ambulance and go to hospital immediately.
Babies often get burned either by hot liquids, chemicals or an electrical outlet. These burns may be minor or severe depending on the effects seen in the skin or affected area. Before administering first aid, remove the child from danger spot and flush the area using cool water (except for electrical burns) and cover with clean gauze. For burns that affect the body keep the child warm and take him to hospital for specialised treatment.
Minor cuts that break the skin but do not bleed for long can be easily taken care of at home or on the road. Ensure that the area is cleaned well, patted dry and an antibacterial cream is applied on it. Cover the area with a bandage which can be changed daily to avoid infection. However, if the cut is deep or has an object implanted in the area, apply pressure using gauze to stop bleeding and visit the nearest hospital. Avoid plucking out the object as it can cause further damage to the affected area.
The nose is a part of the body rich in blood vessels (vascular) and is located in a vulnerable position protruding on the face. As a result, trauma to the face can cause nasal injury and bleeding.
- Have your child sit upright;
- Avoid tilting the head back.
- Loosen any tight clothes around the neck.
- Pinch the lower end of the nose close to the nostrils and have the child lean forward while you apply pressure continuously for 5 to 10 minutes.
- If the nosebleed was caused by an injury, reduce any swelling to the nose by holding an ice-pack against the nose. If the bleeding persists, then seek medical attention.
It only takes a second for an emergency to happen. Therefore, a parent/house help should NEVER leave his or her baby unattended when they cry.