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Caught on the hot stove top, fallen down badly, been bitten or swallowed something – your child is exposed to many dangers in everyday life. Help is often needed – and needed immediately. Even though an emergency doctor must always be called in serious cases, parents can also intervene helpfully.
Initial care by parents is important, but in the event of the slightest uncertainty or serious injury, the hospital must always be visited or the emergency doctor notified. In these cases, the most important thing is to make the emergency call in a coordinated manner, keeping in mind the five big W’s:
- Where did it happen?
- What happened?
- How many people are injured?
- What are the nature of the injuries?
- Wait for further inquiries!
Parents should always have some home remedies and instruments at home for safety, to be prepared in case of illnesses and injuries. A well-stocked children’s medicine cabinet, which should of course be inaccessible to the little ones, should include the following:
- Digital clinical thermometer.
- Bandage absorbent cotton.
- Gauze bandages.
- Plasters in different sizes.
- Aseptic quick wound dressings in different sizes.
- Burn dressing.
- Triangular cloth.
- Bandage scissors.
- Disposable gloves.
- Linen cloth for compresses.
- Hot water bottle.
- Flashlight (e.g. for checking pupils after head injuries).
- Tick forceps.
- Wound and healing ointment.
- suppositories suitable for children against pain and fever.
- as well as decongestant nose drops.
- Zinc oxide ointment against skin rash/wonderful bottom.
- Charcoal tablets against poisoning.
- Cough syrup on herbal basis.
- Antihistamine gel against sunburn and insect bites.
The Following Immediate Measures Are Recommended:
Warm humid air makes breathing easier. Run hot water in the bathtub to create steam. Then sit with the child on the edge of the bathtub and let them breathe deeply.
Alternatively, take an open refrigerator, because cool, moist air also relieves respiratory distress, especially in pseudocroup attacks, the cool moist night air has a soothing effect.
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Put the child on his back, carefully stretch the head back, hold the chin with two fingers. Get braces, foreign objects, blood or vomit out of the mouth – for emergency ventilation, the baby’s mouth and nose must be enclosed by the mouth of the ventilator. Carefully blow not too much air through the mouth and nose, ventilate for one second, wait one second, and then start again. After each burst of air, lift the child’s head slightly to see if he or she is breathing on his or her own again. Repeat breaths about 30 to 40 times per minute.
Lay the child on the floor, elevate the legs, and open the window. Also loosen the child’s clothing and call 911. Also check immediately to see if the child is still breathing and if his or her heart is beating. If breathing stops, give mouth-to-mouth and nasal resuscitation.
Place the child – if he or she is breathing – in a stable lateral position. If the heart is no longer beating, cardiac massage is necessary. 5 heart massages (about 100 times per minute) should be followed by ventilation (about 20 times per minute).
Once the wound stops bleeding profusely, clean under running water and then disinfect with skin disinfectant.
Cover wound with plaster or plaster spray dressing; cover larger wounds with gauze compresses.
Give only thin black tea, fennel tea, or chamomile tea for the next 6 to 8 hours. Babies should continue to receive breast milk.
Give your baby plenty of fluids. Loss of minerals can be compensated for with a little salt or glucose in the tea.
Do not give solid food until after six to 12 hours, including rusks, grated apple, bananas, rice porridge and carrot porridge after one to two days.
Because internal burns are possible, always call 911.
In case of loss of consciousness, respiratory arrest or cardiac arrest, immediately give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or cardiac massage. Position the child with legs elevated.
Cool current marks (point of entry and exit of current) with cold water for 10 to 15 minutes and cover burns with bandages.
If a child vomits while lying down, immediately elevate face down.
A cool washcloth on the forehead will take away the dizziness and nausea.
Rinse mouth or brush teeth for bad taste. Do not eat food (at most dry rusks or saltines) for the next few hours, but drink plenty.
From 38° Celsius one speaks of fever, with over 39° Celsius the child has high fever.
Only from 38.5° Celsius should one intervene with fever-reducing suppositories suitable for children or fever juice. Other options are a calf wrap (lukewarm, as cold wraps can cause shock) or a damp washcloth on the forehead.
The child should also drink plenty of fluids. Bed rest should be maintained until improvement and bedding should be changed regularly.
Heat Stroke & Sunstroke
Because a child’s body is less able to adapt to the ambient temperature, extra care is needed in the summer. As a precaution, always make sure there is adequate shade and regular cooling.
The risk of heatstroke is especially prevalent in humid heat, as sweating alone does not provide adequate cooling under these circumstances.
Therefore, if dizziness, lightheadedness or cramps occur, you must immediately take your child to a cool place and rub the body with cold water. Since there is a risk of relapse even after the symptoms have subsided, a doctor should be called in any case.
Especially blond children are at risk from sunstroke in summer. A small cap or hat is therefore part of the basic equipment at the beach or in the garden and prevents direct sunlight on the head.
Signs of sunstroke include headache, nausea and vomiting, and a very red, hot head. As a first measure, take your child into the shade and lay him or her down with the upper body elevated. Then the forehead and neck can be cooled with moist cloths. You should also be sure to call a doctor if your child has sunstroke.
For mosquito, wasp and bee bites, applying a special cooling insect bite ointment or rubbing the bite area with a raw onion will help.
In case of allergic shock, call the doctor immediately. For mild shortness of breath due to an allergic reaction, have the child suck on an ice cube and place cold cloths around the neck.
Most minor mishaps are minor. The fall from the tricycle or the stairs usually has no consequences other than bumps and scrapes.
The reason is that children’s bones are much more elastic than adult bones. Even if the little ones fall more often than we do, they fortunately rarely suffer broken bones. However, if something does happen, bone fractures may even go unnoticed. Since there are usually no open wounds, parents have to rely on circumstantial evidence, so to speak, when making an assessment.
For example, an unnatural position of the injured part of the body, but also a persistent protective posture can indicate a bone fracture. To prevent the fracture from getting worse and also to reduce pain, the affected body part should be immobilized as quickly as possible.
Movements or even the attempt to set the fracture itself can cause serious secondary injuries and must therefore be avoided at all costs.
Fractures in the spine are particularly dangerous. If there are signs of a vertebral fracture, such as numbness in the arms or legs and severe pain in the back, you must not move your child under any circumstances or even try to straighten him or her. Tell the doctor if you suspect a vertebral fracture.A vacuum mattress can then be used to safely transport your child.
Cuts & Abrasions
Clean superficial abrasions with water and allow to air dry.
To clean larger wounds, hold them under cold water and press on the wound with a cotton cloth for a few minutes to stop the bleeding. Then apply an air-permeable band-aid.
If bleeding continues, see a pediatrician – for puncture wounds in any case.
Immobilize the injured body part as soon as possible and cool it well with ice, cold water or cold spray. Apply a pain-relieving, decongestant ointment or gel if necessary . The affected body part should be elevated. For acute injuries, give pain relievers such as anti-inflammatory ibuprofen.
In case of shock, be sure to call 911….
- Eliminate cause of shock.
- Calm child.
- Wrap child in warm blankets.
- Elevate legs with pillows or blankets.
- For head injuries: Keep head elevated.
- Never leave child alone.
- Constantly check consciousness, pulse and breathing.
Burns & Scalds
For burns, cool with water only, do not use home remedies.
For scalds, remove clothing quickly but carefully. Do not open burn blisters under any circumstances, as this increases the risk of infection. In the case of infants and small children, always go to the hospital.
In the event of a burn or scald, the affected area should be cooled immediately – it is best to hold it under cold water for at least ten minutes. The water should be about 20 °C cool, because ice or ice water initially relieve the pain, but subsequently lead to increased blood circulation, so that it hurts even more, in addition, cold damage can occur. Later, for minor burns, gels can help the wound heal.
Under no circumstances should induce vomiting. Take care not to inhale the vomit.
While lying down, turn the head to the side, hold a container under the mouth with the free hand. In sitting position, bend the head forward while holding the forehead with one hand, with the free hand hold a vessel close under the mouth. Consciousness, breathing, and pulse should be checked repeatedly.
- If the poison was ingested by mouth, the poisons can be diluted with water, juice or tea. For foaming substances, administration of a liquid defoaming agent (simethicone) as directed will help.
- If poison is absorbed through the skin, completely undress, wash all affected areas of skin with copious amounts of water, wearing gloves if possible.
- If poison is ingested via the respiratory tract, remove to fresh air, open windows and doors.
Keep medicinal charcoal in medicine cabinet: Medicinal charcoal is an effective first aid in cases of poisoning: it binds the poison, which is excreted together with the charcoal after three to four hours. The guideline is one gram of charcoal per kilogram of the child’s body weight.
In the event of a choking attack, do not give artificial respiration while the foreign body is still in the airways; this could make the situation worse.
Place your child on her lap with her stomach so that her head and arms are hanging down. Then strike forcefully between the shoulder blades several times with the flat of your hand.
If a swallowed object remains stuck despite immediate measures, call emergency services immediately.
Ticks should be removed immediately in any case. Grasp with special tweezers (from the pharmacy) and slowly pull out while carefully twisting.