Parenthood can bring the most pleasure, and along with it comes the responsibility of keeping your child healthy and safe. Even with the most vigilant and well-prepared parents, accidents can occur. If accidents do occur, then you as the primary caregiver will be the first to respond.
If your child suffers an injury that is serious it is crucial to remain at peace so that you can make the necessary steps to stabilize your child’s situation prior to seeking emergency medical treatment.
Dr. Lee Khai pin provides an overview of typical situations that can arise and what immediate steps parents must take.
Bruises typically manifest by swelling, pain and discolouration of the skin. Typically, they are observed following a fall or blunt trauma. It is crucial to make sure the child’s healthy aware, alert, and awake, without any other injuries (e.g. head injuries) to any other part or their bodies.
What should you do:
- To lessen swelling, apply an ice-pack (or wrapped in an ice cloth) on the area affected for a minimum of 15 minutes. Do not apply ice directly to the skin since it could cause pain or discomfort for children.
- If possible If you can, elevate the area of the bruise (e.g. in the leg below) since this can aid in preventing blood from pooling in the damaged tissue and lessen the swelling.
Although most bruises be healed and go away within one week, any injury caused by force or extreme pressure, particularly if it is associated with severe pain is best to have a medical examination as soon as possible to rule out injuries from the inside (e.g. fractures, for instance). In addition, unprovoked bruising even if there isn’t any trauma or falls, could be an indication of bleeding disorders. In these instances it is recommended to seek advice from a doctor.
2. Eye injury
Eye injuries are usually result from exposure to chemical substances or other foreign substances within the eye or by a hit on the eyes.
What do you do?
- To treat chemical burns, which could result from household items such as hand sanitisers, soaps and cleaning products Simply but gently open the eye that is affected and gently irrigate your eye by rinsing the eye with water for 15 to 20 minutes.
- If you suspect small foreign objects found in the eye do your best to prevent the child’s eyes from being rubbed since this could cause further irritation and harm cornea. Make an effort to get rid of the foreign object by flushing the eye affected often using water till the “foreign body” sensation has gone away. If you notice an unabated foreign body apply a gentle covering or an eye pad on the eye closed and seek immediate medical attention.
- If you have suffered a blow to your eye, gently apply an eye ice packs (or wrapped ice in a cloth) over the eye affected for 10 to 15 minutes and seek medical treatment. It is crucial to avoid external injury (e.g. cornea) in addition to internally-related injuries (e.g. retina). Avoid placing the eye with ice directly.
“They are most likely to be in pain and upset It may be simpler in flushing the eyes placing them in a tub or having them lean on the sink. It is essential to ensure that the eye affected is higher than the eye that isn’t injured. For instance, if there is an indication of a foreign body within the eye of your right, make the child lay on their left side of the face prior applying a smudge to the right eye. This will ensure that there is no contamination in the eye that is not affected and stop water from getting in their noses or into their mouth.
“Even after taking the Emergency Medical aid above, eye injuries, especially in the very young, should be examined by a medical professional to look for serious injuries and help prevent infection and loss of vision.”
3. Head injury to the head
Head injuries could include obvious injuries, such as bleeding or bruising, as well as more subtle symptoms like headache, balance issues and sleepiness, among other things. For infants and children the non-specific symptoms could include frequent crying that is inconsolable, poor eating habits, and repeated vomiting.
What should you do:
- If you suffer serious head injuries (e.g. falling from a height or a traffic crash) Call for an ambulance.
- While waiting, be careful avoid moving your kid, and remain still. Be careful not to move their head or neck. If they wear helmets, don’t take it off to prevent more injury.
- If you notice bleeding, apply pressure using a gauze or a clean cloth.
For head injuries that aren’t as severe which appear to be stable, with no evident symptoms, you should be able to bring your child to the doctor to have a thorough examination especially for babies.
Intense cuts and punctures as well as animal bites and wounds that continue to bleed no matter how much pressure is applied Necessitate medical treatment. This might include an extensive examination and investigation of wounds, suturing wounds, anti-biotics and an anti-tetanus vaccine.
What do you do?
- Cleanse the wound using clear water. Apply the pressure with gauze that is sterile or a bandage dry towel. If there is a lot of blood in the bandage, apply another bandage over the previous one and keep applying pressure.
- If you can, elevate the affected body part above the the heart to stop the bleeding.
- Don’t use the tourniquet or other technique to stop blood flow.
- Once the bleeding stops, an additional bandage can be put on the wound.
Inhalation of a substance that is not properly filtered or consumed, such as common household chemicals and cleaners, along with overdoses of medication, could be extremely hazardous for infants and children and require immediate medical evaluation. The symptoms of poisoning are inconspicuous and include difficulties breathing, nausea, vomiting stomach pain or cramps and convulsions or fits.
What do you do?
- Contact an ambulance for urgent help, particularly if you child is suffering from seizures or appears to be sick.
- If your child has stopped breathing, make sure you do cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) If you’ve been trained previously.
- In the event that your child becomes alert ensure that they remain calm and seeking medical care.
- Request them to vomit out any remnants of the poison that remains in their mouths, however, do not make your child throw up as this could cause more harm than good.
- You should find the substance that you may have consumed, so that you can notify your doctor. Look for any nearby medicine containers or open bottles of chemical and cleaners.
“Preventive steps are essential. Keep the household goods (e.g. detergents, soaps or cleaners.) and medicines away from the eyes and out of reach of children in containers that are child-proof. Keep these items out of reach and out of containers for food or drinks that are within the reach of children who are not aware,” says Dr Lee.
6. Burn (fuel)
Scalds caused by hot or steam water, as well as burns resulted from an iron or a fire, can be very painful and result in the skin turning red or even blister. Burn injuries that are severe may require special procedures and dressing with sedation and antibiotics and anti-tetanus shots.
What should you do:
- Get your child out of the site of the scald or burn.
- Remove all clothing and accessories that cover your burn If they’re not stuck on the skin.
- Avoid breaking any blisters that could develop.
- The burn should be held (or burn) in cool water running for about 20 minutes. Don’t use any ice or water iced.
- The burn should be covered with a dry towel and seek medical care.
- Avoid applying any cream or powder on the affected area prior the medical exam.
Even even if the scald or burn isn’t causing significantly, it can be a serious issue. Medical attention is Necessitate immediately for burns that involve a large body surface, serious deep burns, chemical or electrical burns, and burns that affect vulnerable areas like the genitals or face.
7. Fractures, sprains and fractures
The ligaments are injured when a strain is sustained and fractures result in broken bones that could or may not be able to break through the skin. In both instances the most common symptoms are pain in the region that gets worse with movement or when attempting to place weight on the limb affected.
What do you do?
- Avoid using or moving the joint or limb affected to avoid further injury.
- If there’s an open break (i.e. broken bone piercing the skin) Avoid further movement to the limb and request an am balance.
In the case of sprains, it can be helpful for you to take a break from the injured leg and apply an an ice pack (as appropriate) on the area affected, compress the swelling area by an elastic bandage, and ensure it stays in a position that is elevated (this treatment is often more commonly referred to as RICE (rest or ice, compression and elevation). If the sprain is believed to persist to cause swelling and pain regardless of the above steps it is important seeking medical treatment in order to rule out a fracture, which could require an X-ray. It is important to note that children younger than five year old may be more likely to fractures, rather than injuries.
In the end, Dr. Lee states, “It is important for parents and their caregivers to remain at ease and be attentive to their children’s immediate Necessitate by taking them away from danger and maintaining their stability prior to the medical treatment or the arrival of emergency medical services. For infants and children, particularly in pre-verbal toddlers, it may be difficult to determine the degree that the injuries are. In such a case, if there is doubt or where the mechanism is unclear for injury, it’s best to seek medical care and have the injuries carefully assessed by a physician.”