Alarming Trends for Child Emergencies – Infant and Child First Aid


A Snapshot of Parents First Aid Knowledge

Parents often show most interest in topics concerning their children and newborns when attending First Aid Courses, it is still surprising and also scary to consider how many parents don’t feel confident or have current knowledge of how to respond in basic first aid emergencies. Only 10 percent of parents had attended recent first aid training, an alarming trend in case of an emergency. The diagram below highlights the percentage of people that would respond to poisoning with several actions most of them incorrect. Several parents did not understand how to respond correctly in the event of poisoning indicating actions there would take such as reaching into the airway which can cause damage, inducing vomiting which has not been practice for over decades and just over half understood the importance of obtaining specific advice from the poison line.

Now just to make sure, the correct approach to an ingested poison is as follows:

  • DO NOT Induce Vomiting
  • Call 000 if the person is unconscious and follow DRSABCD
  • Rinse mouth only DO NOT give water unless advised by poisons information
  • The label will give specific advice for the ingested substance follow exactly
    (Water may be given where the label indicates ONLY)

The recommendation is for all parents to know First Aid not just Mum, both parents to be able to provide the right care in an emergency. According to one study from the CS Mott Hospital , not enough parents were sure if their child would need to go to hospital or provide first aid. So that you have the right advice, the most up to date advice, enrol in a First Aid Course and only take advice from a reputable source. Don’t believe it just because you’ve heard it before, find the right advice. Every parent should know CPR! Cardiac Safe also offers free CPR classes to the community for those who may not need to undertake an accredited course so that you can respond if a family member or loved one ever requires care.

Choking – The Official Advice

We can categories choking into 3 categories. Just like this advice from the Australian Resuscitation Council (Click for a chart on managing obstructed airways).

We need to determine what is happening to decide what care to give. When a cough is effective we do not need to give back blows, this is performed when the person has a complete obstruction or ineffective cough as so eloquently explained in the youtube video provided courtesy of CPR Kids.  If the person is unconscious you should ensure 000 is called and perform CPR until further help arrives.

Head Injury – Know the signs.

  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsy or vague
  • A change in behavior or alertness
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Changes in skin colour
  • A loss in consciousness no matter how brief
  • Fluid from ears, eyes nose or mouth

It can be difficult to determine how serious a head injury may be, the  signs above all indicate that you should seek medical advice following head injury. For serious head injuries it is important to maintain spinal alignment or leave the person in the position they were found. If they are unconscious however maintaining the airway will need to be done by carefully positioning the person on their side. Be aware that headache might seem normal after a head injury but it must be treated as serious.


A fever will require medical attention if the temperature is above 38 degrees for children under 6 months and above 39 degrees for children over six months. Remember the fever is a normal part of the illness. Take these actions if your child has a raised temperature. Remember small children do not regulate temperature the same as an adult does, directly cooling the child can result in a lower body temperature. The actions taken are to assist regulating the temperature and this is best done gradually.

  • Remove excess clothing
  • DO NOT cool by placing in a cold bath or sponging.
  • Give fluids such as water or juice
  • If giving Paracetamol follow the labels directions


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