Toddlers and infants are constantly on the go. To keep them safe, against the smallest and biggest threats, caregivers and parents often spend a large part of the day chasing down little ones.
Young children are inquisitive and as they discover their world, they often place small objects in their mouths. It’s no surprise that many adults’ biggest fear is that their little one will choke on a household item.
So, how can you help a child who is choking? Below we discuss the importance of paediatric first aid for anyone caring for a young child.
Paediatric First Aid and The Law
According to the Department of Education, all nursery school teachers must complete an emergency paediatric first aid course. The government, like parents, understands just how quickly accidents can occur.
The legal requirement should act as encouragement to parents, grandparents, or anyone working with young children to complete a paediatric first aid course. Existing first aiders should still complete a paediatric first aid course as paediatric first aid differs significantly from adult first aid techniques.
After completing the paediatric first aid training, you will gain potentially life-saving skills, such as administering CPR to a young child, treating acute burns, and assisting a child who is choking.
How To Administer First Aid To A Child Who Is Choking
Babies Under 12 Months
When a baby is choking, they may naturally attempt to cough and clear the obstruction. If the cough is ineffective, you can administer the following three steps:
Step 1: Sit down and lay the baby along your thighs, face down. Be sure to support the baby’s head with your hand. Once the baby is in position, give them at least five sharp back blows. The back blows should be between the baby’s shoulder blades and the heel of your hand.
Step 2: If the obstruction does not clear, you should give the child chest thrusts. Lay the baby along the length of your thighs, face-up. Compress the baby’s chest by roughly a third, as if you were administering chest compressions. You should deliver the chest thrusts slowly and sharply.
Step 3: If you cannot clear the obstruction, repeat the back blows and chest compressions. While you do so, you should ask someone to call 999 or 111 for emergency help. You should also administer CPR if the baby becomes unconscious at any stage.
Children Over 12 Months
Step 1: Encourage the child to cough. Be sure to stay with the child. You should shout for help immediately if the cough becomes ineffective.
Step 2: Lean the child over your lap and give them at least five sharp back blows. You should administer the blows with the heel of your hands between the child’s shoulder blades.
Step 3: If the choking continues, you should administer abdominal thrusts. Stand or kneel behind the child and place both your arms around them, with your hands resting below their ribs. Clench one hand into a fist and grasp the fist with the other hand. Pull inwards and upwards sharply for about five times. Be sure not to apply too much pressure to the lower ribcage, as this could hurt your little one.
Step 4: If the obstruction has still not cleared, repeat the back blows and abdominal thrusts. If the treatment does not improve the child’s condition, you should shout for help immediately. Ask someone else to call 999 or 111, and if the child becomes unconscious at any stage, you should start CPR.
Choose Paediatric First Aid from TL Training
Paediatric first aid is essential for your child’s safety. Whether you’re a parent, teacher or grandparent, you must create a safe environment for the little ones placed within your care. An accredited paediatric training course will help you be prepared should a choking emergency arise.
TL Training offers comprehensive adult first aid training and paediatric training courses that are interactive and educational. Our Two-Day Paediatric first aid training course is designed with a child’s unique first aid needs in mind.
Get in touch with us to find out more about our paediatric training course. Contact us at 0151 343 0588 or email us at [email protected], and one of our experienced team members will answer any queries you may have before booking.