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Essential First Aid Practices Every Parent Should Know

As a parent, you probably already have a stocked medical aid kit. Things like medical gauze and various plasters and dressings come standard with most of them. But for any of these items to be of use, we need to know how to use them. 

When it comes to kids, first aid techniques tend to be a little different. Although it's always best to do proper first aid training, there are some basics that a parent should familiarize themselves with. So what are the essential basics? Ranging from potentially life-saving to good-to-know skills, here are the top three first-aid practices every parent should know:

The Heimlich

This procedure is a little different for kids than it is for adults. If your child is choking, stay calm and do the following: Grab your child by their waist. Place your fist just above their navel. Your other hand is then made in the shape of a fist and pushed hard into the abdomen. You may feel reluctant to push too hard, but a successful Heimlich does require force.

As you push down on your child's abdomen, move your grip in an upwards direction. The motion is similar to the motion of lifting your child. Continue repeating this motion until the choking is relieved or help arrives. Preventing choking is just as important, and you should understand the correct foods for your toddler for this reason.


If your child is not breathing, they may require mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. This technique is not for cases where your child is choking, but rather for not breathing for any other reason. Note that if your child can still breathe faintly, it is best to take them straight to the emergency room. To perform CPR on a child, do the following:

Turn the child on their back and place the heel of your palm on their chest. Keep your hand position centered between the line of the nipples and gently perform compression by pressing down. In this case, excessive force can damage or even break ribs. The goal is to get airflow to the lungs, so you only need to use as much force as is needed to compress the chest cavity. After a brief compression, release before pressing down again.

Dealing With Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are common in children under the age of ten. There are numerous causes, most of which are harmless. To treat a nosebleed, do the following: Have your child sit upright with their head tilted ever so slightly forward. You do not want your child to lean back. This would allow the blood to flow down into the digestive system, which may cause nausea. 

Take a clean cloth and pinch the bridge of your child's nose. The bleeding should subside after about 10 minutes. If it persists, take your child to the emergency room. If the bleeding occurs after an impact or your child experiences dizziness, consult a doctor immediately.

Basic first aid practices can ultimately save lives. It is even more essential to know specific first aid skills to keep your children safe in worst-case scenarios and dangerous situations if you are a parent. 


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