Working with Children

Treating children in a medical capacity poses a whole range of new obstacles and considerations. Not only are children still developing their immune systems making them more susceptible to viruses and infection, they are also developing their language skills and self-awareness. Children don’t yet have the knowledge most adults can use to communicate symptoms and articulate feelings and concerns with those treating them. Add to this a high risk of injury due to rough play and accidents, and there is a mine field of potential situations where medical knowledge is required. For those working with children, having a solid understanding of First Aid and CPR is essential for a number of reasons: 

1.       You can identify serious medical concerns earlier

Children do not have the benefit of general knowledge and life experience to draw on when they experience physical symptoms. Adults can often distinguish between a regular headache caused by stress and dehydration with a more serious headache symptomatic of underlying concerns. Children are also much less likely to connect multiple issues as symptoms of one medical problem. For those working with children, it is essential to be aware of common conditions that affect children and present with specific or multiple symptoms. 

2.       CPR for children is different than CPR for adults  

While CPR is much more common in first aid for adults due to the higher rates of disease, heart attacks and strokes, unfortunately plenty of children require CPR every year due to anaphylaxis, drowning, asthma and other conditions. Knowing basic CPR principals is a good start, however understanding the difference between CPR methods for adults, children and infants is important to ensure you do not cause any additional harm to the child, and they are given the best treatment possible. 

3.       Kids receive higher rates of burns, cuts and breaks

Not only do kids like to play rough and tumble, often resulting in breaks, cuts and head knocks, they also receive a higher rate of burns. Children are yet to comprehend risk and are still developing their knowledge base informing them of what items may be sharp or too hot to touch, with kids often touching ovens, grabbing pots off stoves, touching hot dishes and spilling boiling water. Knowing how to treat and assess a burn is essential in knowing how best to deal with a child’s injury, and when medical attention is required. Similarly, due to kids lack of danger awareness and their active imaginations, many children experience falls and tumbles from trees, couches, monkey bars, walls and anything else they can climb. Knowing the signs of concussion and basic first aid for head wounds is vital in identifying potentially serious injuries. 

Completing and maintaining your CPR and First Aid Training is essential for anyone working with children not only for the safety of the child, but for your peace of mind. Whether it’s in a professional setting, or you are a parent, family member or friend regularly caring for children, being equipped with the right tools could save a life. 

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