The Proper Way to Handle Child Emergencies

15 November, 2008 | Posted by Marvyn

Mary sent me an email with a list of common child emergencies and how to handle them. I was shocked that some of the treatments were actually the wrong way to handle them. So I thought I would share this to keep child safey at the utmost importance. 

Credit goes to author Michelle Crouch at MSN Lifestyle. The full article can be read here. Below are some of the situations which I would have reacted incorrectly had I not read this article.

A cup of hot coffee spills on your child’s leg.

Wrong response: Put ice on it.

Smart move: Quickly remove any clothing, run cool water on the burn for 10 minutes, and then cover it loosely with gauze. Ice and even cold water may further damage the skin. “Your child can actually get a frostbite-like injury if you put ice directly on the skin, especially if the skin is already damaged from a burn,” says Bob Waddell, who trains paramedics in pediatric care for the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. Don’t put butter or antibiotic ointment on the burn either. If the wound blisters, call the doctor, especially if the blisters are larger than a quarter.

Your child gets hit in the head and falls to the ground, unconscious.

Wrong response: Take him to the hospital.

Smart move: Call 911. He could have a spinal or brain injury, and moving him could make the injury worse, says Anne Stack, MD, clinical chief of pediatric emergency medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston. Make sure that your child is breathing and that he has a pulse. If he doesn’t, start CPR immediately. Otherwise, shake him very gently and call his name to see whether he’ll wake up.

Your child gets poked in the eye.

Wrong response: Pry her eye open to look for an injury.

Smart move: Gently cover the area by taping gauze or a clean, dry washcloth to her face, and then head to the ER. Trying to open her eye, putting ice on it, or applying pressure could cause more problems, which can lead to vision loss, says Dr. Stack. Covering her eye will make it harder for your child to rub or touch it — and if the cornea has been scratched, keeping her eye closed will ease the irritation.

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