8 Must-Know Baby First Aid Tips for Parents
As a responsible mom, you always want to protect your little one from all potential dangers and therefore take all essential steps to make your home as safe as it should be for a toddler. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, your child gets injured in one way or another.
Since you’re required to take the necessary action immediately in those critical moments, knowing the basics of first aid becomes inevitable for you. Below are a few first aid tips you must be aware of to tackle your baby’s minor injuries on your own.
Cuts and Grazes:
As toddlers fall several times a day, they are likely to get cuts and scrapes. Fortunately, these wounds are usually minor and can be easily treated at home. The best way to deal with these injuries is to clean the injured area with an antiseptic liquid and wash the wound with a mild medical soap and lukewarm water. Also, apply some antibiotic cream or ointment, such as Neosporin or Bacitracin, and cover the cut with a clean bandage to prevent infection.
Since your baby’s skin is far more sensitive to heat than yours, you should always be prepared to handle a potential burn emergency. According to pediatricians, only first-degree burns and sunburns (which affect only the first layer of your skin) can be treated at home. To treat burns properly, hold the affected area under cold running water for at least 10 minutes or until the pain stops, apply a moisturizer containing Aloe Vera and then cover the burnt area with a clean, damp gauze pad. To prevent hypothermia, it’s suggested to cover the child with a clean sheet or a swaddling blanket until help arrives.
Insect Bites or Stings:
Mosquitoes, bees, and other insects love your baby’s fragile skin. Although most of the bites and stings are harmless still, you need to be careful. If your little one gets stung, first gently remove the stinger using your fingernail and then apply ice to the affected area to relieve the pain caused by itching and swelling. And if you still find your baby experiencing a serious allergy or infection, rush to your pediatrician immediately. On the contrary, all animal bites must be seen by a physician regardless of the severity.
Children, especially beginning walkers, tend to fall quite easily and often end up bumping their head on the floor or solid objects around them. If you baby ever gets a head injury due to falling from a significant height or hitting his head on something, simply get him to rest and apply something cold (like a few ice cubes wrapped in a piece of cloth) to the affected area. In case of serious head injury, seek medical assistance immediately.
A nosebleed, medically known as Epistaxis, is a very common problem in children, which is normally caused by a sharp blow to the face, sneezing, and nose-picking. The most important first aid step to tackle a nosebleed is stopping the bleeding. While most of the people think tilting the head back is the proper solution to the problem, the contrary is true. You need to lean your little one’s head forward and gently pinch the nostrils with pressure continuously for about ten minutes. If bleeding continues even after ten minutes, then contact your pediatrician without delay.
Like head injuries, eye injuries also need to be treated with care. If an irritating substance hit in your baby’s eye, hold the eyelid open and flush the eye with cool, fresh water for at least 10 minutes. In case something enters his eye, do not rub the eye or try to remove the object yourself. Instead, take your little one immediately to an eye specialist.
Choking is when your little one’s airway is blocked by a small object or a risky food such as chips, nuts, hard or sticky candy, popcorn and hot dogs. A chocking baby is unable to breathe properly and therefore, he has a higher risk of death. If your child experiences chocking, lay him face down over your forearm, support his chin with your hand and give at least five separate, firm back blows between the shoulder blades. This should dislodge the object; just make sure to keep his head and neck lower than his chest.
As little ones have a bad habit of putting everything in their mouths, it’s your responsibility to keep all potentially toxic substances (such as cleaners, drugs, matches and automotive chemicals) out of their reach. If you suspect your child has ingested (or came into contact with) a poisonous substance, do not try to make him vomit. Instead, contact your doctor immediately because he is the only person who can give you the best possible advice in the case of accidental poisoning.
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