Education Article /  A Parent’s Guide to First Aid

A Parent’s Guide to First Aid

Posted by National CPR Association |

Jun 06, 2018

Safety is always an important part of parenting and maintaining a home. Parents are responsible for the health and safety of their children and they should make every effort to keep their homes a safe haven for their families. Although accidents also happen in well-protected homes, most of these mishaps are preventable. Aside from prevention, parents must also learn to handle injuries when they occur until further help is available.

According to the National Safety Council, injuries are the leading cause of death in children. Unfortunately, about half of these injuries occur at home. It is therefore important for parents to be prepared to provide first aid, as they are often the ones who are available to help their children when accidents occur. Knowing the principles of basic first aid and its application in treating injuries may be critical to saving their children’s lives.

Keep Your Home Safe

The best way to protect the family is to keep the home safe. Prevention is always preferable to cure, and knowing how to avoid potential threats to safety can help to prevent injuries. Some of the common home accidents can be prevented by making simple changes and creating safety plans in the home.

Accidental poisoning may be prevented by storing potentially toxic chemicals in locked cabinets or places that are inaccessible to children. Lighters and matches must also be kept away from children to prevent burns and fires. It is also important to install fire detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire escape plans in every home. Practicing fire drills with older children can help everyone understand what should be done if there is a fire. Guardians and children must also have access to emergency phone numbers and a list of contacts to call when an emergency arises and parents are not around.

Here are some resources on how you can keep your home safe:

  • Environmental Hazards at Home. Protect your children from potential hazards found at home, such as molds, carbon monoxide, lead, and more.
  • Home Safety Tips. A short file on how to keep young children safe from injuries.
  • A guide to choosing and properly installing fire detectors, which is key to saving lives.
  • Plan a Fire Escape. Create a tailored fire escape plan and practice fire safety with your children.
  • Poison Prevention. This guide offers simple tips on how to prevent poisoning at home.
  • Preparing for a Disaster. Having young children at home when a disaster strikes can be stressful and dangerous. Learn how to prepare for your family’s safety during earthquakes, floods or storms.
  • Emergency Supply List. Learn about what you should have on hand when an emergency strikes.
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. This guide provides first aid procedures for managing injuries due to toxic chemicals.
  • Emergency Contact List. This sheet provides a template that may be used to create a list of emergency numbers the family can call.

Teach your Children about First Aid

Children must also be taught how to provide basic first aid procedures in case they are alone, or in case their friends, siblings, or parents are injured and help is not readily available. For example, they must learn how to stop bleeding or how to help someone who is choking.

Kids must also be taught how to contact emergency medical services, 911, or local authorities. They must be able to say their full names, as well as their parents’ names, home address and telephone number. They must also be taught to call 911 only for emergencies. Use these links to guide you in educating your children about emergencies:

First Aid for New Parents

New parents are often concerned about their babies and young children, who can roll off the bed, fall down the stairs, or burn their skin from hot water. They are also in danger of choking on small toys, drowning in the tub, or having an allergic reaction to a new food. First-time parents may be unprepared to handle these emergencies, so it is important to learn what to do to prevent accidents from happening and to manage injuries.

Young children must never be left unsupervised, and extra care must be taken when they begin to explore their environment. Toddlers often put small items in their mouths, reach for things from high places, walk out of doors, and climb out of their cribs. Care must be taken in every detail to keep the home safe and in supervising the activities of young children. Most accidents are preventable, but in case an accident occurs parents must be prepared to provide basic first aid to save their child from serious injury or even death. It is helpful for new parents to take first aid classes and to learn CPR for babies and children, since the techniques involved differ from those applied to adults. Here are some helpful resources: