When it comes to having kids, accidents happen when we least expect them to. Unintentional injury (accidents, drowning, etc) are the leading cause of death for children ages 1-14! While some of these could be prevented with supervision, it is impossible to protect kids from ever getting hurt. They are constantly trying new things, pushing themselves to run faster, climb higher, and scare the bejeezus out of us! In order to deal with injuries that pop up, it's important to be prepared. Having a first aid kit handy is important, but having the knowledge to handle what life throws your way is also very important. Make these 10 first aid skills a MUST for learning this year!
All moms (and dads) should take a basic first aid and CPR course. Along with these classes, these tips below are a must for parents to know. First aid skills are more than just putting a band-aid on a wound. These tips can keep your child safe in an emergency.
10 First Aid Skills Moms Should Know
- CPR: In case you didn’t know, CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Typically when someone is not breathing you would give them CPR. This is a first aid skill well worth looking into as a mom. The American Red Cross offers CPR courses as do many hospitals. I learned CPR in high school, but it's something you may need to take a refresher course on to keep it fresh in your mind for when you need it.
- Signs of infection: Almost anything and everything can get infected. Knowing the signs of an infection is a very important skill for moms to know. This is one of the top first aid skills to learn.
- Heimlich maneuver: If one of your children are choking, you will need to give them the Heimlich. This first aid skill is probably one of the most important for you to know.
- Excessive bleeding: There’s no doubt when a mom sees a ton of blood, she starts freaking out. The main goal when someone is bleeding is to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. You will want to hold something on the wound or cut for at least 20 minutes, applying a lot of pressure. Don’t lift up the gauze to see if it’s stopped bleeding. I'm horrid when it comes to blood, so my goal is always to get pressure on it and call my mom or best friend to come over. When I say I'm horrid, I mean bad enough that the local hospital put a note on all of my boys' records that Mom is to be seated in a chair if someone requires stitches. It was quite embarrassing when I found this out, but apparently, they didn't want to risk me fainting again…
- Carrying a hurt child: There may come a time in the life of your child where you need to carry him or her for a long period of time. You’ll want to hoist them over your shoulder with their head facing the back of you and their legs dangling in the front of you. If you need to carry someone a long distance, this is the way to carry them!
- How to treat a burn: Unfortunately, sometimes a child may become burned. How does a mom treat a burn? Thankfully, simple burns are pretty easy. You will want to run cool water on the burn for 10-20 minutes. Do not place anything else on the burn.
- Helping a drowning child: Dozens of children drown each year, and unfortunately sometimes the adult jumping in doesn’t know how to successfully help them. Jumping into the water should always be a last resort, according to professionals. If you can reach the person, try to pull them in that way. A great way to save a drowning person is to bring something with you so you can pull them to shore. If they’re relying on just you to bring them to shore, they can accidently pull you under.
- When a child bumps their head: If you have a child that has bumped their head in the past, you know how crazy it can look. Head trauma should be looked at closely. You’ll want to keep an eye out for a concussion. Some children may not show signs of a concussion until way after it has happened. Keep an eye out for alertness or a change in consciousness.
- How to treat a cut: Sometimes a child may come into contact with something that cuts them. While some cuts require stitches, some may just require a little bit of first aid. Typically, the wound will need to be rinsed off. After the wound is nice and clean, you will want to put a clean bandage on it. If the wound shows any signs of infection, see a doctor immediately. Butterfly bandages (also called wound closure strips) are one thing I keep in my first aid kit at all times.
- Heart trouble: There are some kids in the world that have undiagnosed heart issues. This one is a little more complicated, but still worth learning about. Learn the step by step process on AEDs.
All of these first aid skills are a must for any parent to know. Invest in classes, or at least invest in a first aid manual or watch video tutorials so you are prepared in case of emergency. We also recommend keeping a well stocked first aid kit or an emergency kit on hand at all times.