You can’t stop kids from playing – it’s their inherent tendency and it’s important for their development. But, at times, kids end up in a situation which calls for a medical emergency. Being a parent, you are likely to panic for the safety of the kid. But, remember that you are an adult here and you immediately need to take action to save your kid.
Let’s take you through common kid-related emergencies and how you can handle them.
With all the running and hopping around that kids do, they are vulnerable to falling from stairs, playground slides, bed, furniture or bicycle.
If this happens, scan your child’s body for the bump on forehead or head, scraped knees/elbows or bleeding from anywhere. If the bump or injury is non-serious, you need not worry. You can wash the scraped area with water, pat it dry with a clean cloth, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the wound with a bandage. Wait for 12-24 hours to check for infection, swelling or redness and visit a doctor accordingly.
But, if you see that child is unconscious, unable to move his or her body or has difficulty in breathing immediately after the fall, you need to rush to the hospital without wasting any time.
Cuts and Wounds
At times, children end up being hit or poked by a sharp object which could result in a bleeding cut or wound. If you think that it is minor cut, try to stop the bleeding by cleaning the wound with water and then pressing down layers of a clean towel or gauze. If the bleeding stops, then wait for 12-24 hours to see whether the cut has begun to heal or needs medical attention.
However, it is advisable to seek emergency medical help in the following cases:
- The object or its part is stuck in the body. Do not try to remove it on your own.
- The cut is deeper or longer than half an inch.
- The bleeding is heavy and continuous.
- The cut is near the eye, ear or nose.
Kids, especially toddlers can get choked on small objects like buttons or some food items like grapes. You should always check with your paediatrician the foods that should be banned from your child’s menu to avoid choking hazard.
However, if it does happen, you should follow the guidelines regarding five back blows and abdominal thrusts laid down by the American Red Cross Society. Check it here. If the object doesn’t come out or the kid has become unconscious, go to the nearest hospital without any delay.
Burns from hot liquids or foods, hot water and steam are usually superficial burns. When this happens, run cool water on that area and gently put a clean compress for a few minutes. Avoid using ice, cold water or lotion on the area as it will worsen the damage. If blisters have formed, do not break them.
The superficial burns usually begin to heal in a day or two. However, if the burn is serious at the time of the incident, you should seek emergency medical help.
Poisoning, Bites and Stings
Poisoning due to snake, animal bites and bee stings should be urgently referred to the doctor.
In cases of food poisoning, the kid may get dehydrated, throw a vomit, run a high fever with diarrhoea or complain of a tummy ache. If the signs persist for more than 10-12 hours, do not hesitate to visit the doctor.
Turn of the main switch, pull the plug or disconnect the power supply immediately before touching the child who has received the electrical shock. If you are dealing with a live wire, use a non-metallic and non-conductive object instead of bare hands to separate the child from the source of current. Check for the child’s condition – if s/he is unconscious or not breathing, rush to the hospital.
In most cases, it is always advisable to visit a doctor instead of self-treatment to rule out any further complications. Keep emergency hospital and ambulance numbers handy to save time in seeking medical help.
Have you faced any such situation at home? If yes, do share your experiences.