Paediatric First Aid

Paediatric First Aid Training – 5th February 2019

I remember when I decided that I wanted to teach First Aid it was the Paediatric First Aid courses that I spent a lot of time thinking about. I had been involved in First Aid since joining the Royal Air Force 16 years ago but it was Emergency First Aid at Work and First Aid at Work and not Paediatric. I had never attended a Paediatric First Aid course before and I wondered what the difference would be.
When preparing for and attending first aid courses I would visualise the adult with various ailments and think about what I would do as a first aider. Applying this to a paediatric course was unnerving, the thought of a child requiring first aid or even lifesaving CPR is difficult.
Now I teach both and its interesting to see how people react with the baby (under 1 year), child (over 1 year) and adult manikins. Often people seem to act differently with the baby and child. I get more questions in respect of injuring an baby or child when offering first aid then I do on the adult courses.

I want to focus on the differences with Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in this blog.

When performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on an adult we start with 30 chest compression’s followed by 2 rescue breaths and continue with this ratio. With a baby and child however we start with 5 rescue breaths followed by 30 chest compression’s then 2 rescue breaths. We then continue with chest compression’s and rescue breaths at a ratio of 30:2. Don’t worry if you forgot the 5 rescue breaths, the adult sequence is ok. Babies and Children tend to suffer from respiratory problems as opposed to cardiac related problems unless a heart defect was present at birth and this is why it is better to carry out the 5 rescue breaths first.
With an adult we use 2 hands to carry out the chest compression’s however with a baby we use 2 fingers and with a child 1 or 2 hands as required.

We do not interrupt CPR unless:
. A health professional tells you to stop;
. You are exhausted;
. The casualty shows signs of recovery.

We just hope we never have to put this into practice in dealing with a real life incident however just as how I felt when I first got involved in First Aid, training gives you the knowledge, experience and more confidence if you ever find yourself in such a situation.

If your interested in learning more or attending a First Aid course, get in touch.

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