Be Prepared with First Aid Basics

Emily Blewett, Moms on Call consultant, CPR Certified instructor, NICU nurse and Mom, breaks down the 3 most common accidents that happen with children and what to do for each!

When our little ones to begin to walk, run and climb, accidents happen. It is super important for all caregivers to be prepared in the event that an injury happens with your child or someone else’s child.

How can you be prepared to best take care of a child in the event of an accident?

·        Know what to do for common child injuries.

·        Have a well-stocked first-aid kit and medicine cabinet.

·        Know Infant + Child CPR and Choking Skills.

How do I know what do for common injuries and illnesses?

The Moms on Call 6-15 Months Book is a great resource to have on hand (keep it in your medicine cabinet so you know exactly where to find it)! My daughter is 5 years old and I still refer to their common illness and injury section because it keeps me off google!

Take a First Aid Course. Moms on Call offers a First Aid Online Course that includes handouts that you are able to print and keep in your first-aid kit to refer to at any time!

Your pediatrician is also a great resource for minor injuries and illnesses. Their number should be saved in your phone and you should have the pediatrician’s name, address and phone number on your babysitter sheet for all caregivers. In the event of an emergency, always call 911!

Next, we are going to cover three common accidents that happen with children.

1. Falls

Falls are the leading cause of injury among children, especially babies and toddlers as they are still learning movement control and balance.

In our experience as nurses, most result in a bump on the forehead. There is not much soft tissue on the forehead, so it usually looks like a big “goose egg” when the swelling occurs. 

If they will let you, apply ice packs to decrease swelling for up to 20 minutes. It is tricky to get a little one to stay still even for a few minutes! This is a great time to turn on their favorite show to distract them while trying to keep the ice pack on the bump.

Continue to observe your child after a head injury. Do not give any pain medication. If pain is severe, call pediatrician. Early toddlers will often bang their head against the floor to try to alleviate a headache, so look for that sign in conjunction with other symptoms, like sensitivity to light, difficulty awakening, confusion, difficulty walking or talking, breathing abnormally, nausea or vomiting more than twice. Seek medical care immediately if you child is showing any of these symptoms. 

2. Poisoning

“Poison centers answer more than 1 million calls a year about a child under age 5.” Poisoning happens when a child swallows cleaning supplies, a small battery, or medicine that could be found in Mom or Grandma’s purse.

Always call poison control center immediately if you think your child has swallowed a poison or other substance, such as medicine, that they should not have had. Do not try to give anything by mouth or try to induce vomiting. Do not delay calling poison control or 911.

Make sure to keep all clean supplies, medicines, alcoholic beverages, and chemicals out of reached and locked!

3. Drowning

Children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates. This doesn’t just happen in the pool, but can happen around any source of water, including the bathtub. According to, “Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death *in the home* for children 1-4 years old.” Never leave your child unattended in a bath, even to run to another room to get your phone or a towel.Always drain the bath tub immediately when bath time is done.  

Give your child(ren) your full and undivided attention while they are in the bathtub and around any source of water (pool, creek, lake, inflatable pool, ocean, bucket of water, etc.). Children can drown in a few inches of water. If you are around natural bodies of water, such as a lake or ocean, always make sure they have a life jacket on – this is important, even if they already know how to swim. Life jackets can also be used in and around the pool. Drowning happens quickly and quietly, their needs to be a designated adult watching the child(ren) around any source of water.

Learn the life-saving skills of CPR! If a child does drown, you need to be able to respond quickly!

Are you ready to become confident in your ability to be able to care for your child or someone else’s child in the event of an emergency? Take the Moms on Call Infant + Child CPR, Choking, and First Aid Online Course! We even include quick reference guides for you to print to have on hand to refer to at any moment!

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