6 Quick First Aid Tips

9 07 2010

It’s summer! Our kids are outside climbing, running, jumping, getting hurt, and needing help.

Here’s a quick list of first aid tips to help see you and the kids through the next couple of months:

  1. Standard Precautions—Before touching any blood or body fluid, put a barrier between yourself and the fluid. Barriers like latex gloves, sandwich baggies, or even thick rolled-up towels might do in a pinch.
  2. Bleeding—Most scrapes or cuts are minor and will stop bleeding without our help. When they don’t, take a clean cloth and press on the wound for about 20 minutes. Elevate the site if possible. If the bleeding doesn’t stop or significantly slow down, get professional advice.
  3. Wounds—No need for soap in the wound, just rinse it out with clean water. If any fragments remain, pluck them out with clean tweezers. Put antibiotic ointment on the wound to help prevent infection and cover it with a bandage. If the wound seems deep, more than ¼ inch, get stitches.
  4. Heat—If you or someone else is suffering from heat stroke, get in the shade, cool down with water from a garden hose or another source, and call for the pros because heat stroke isn’t something with which you want to mess around.
  5. Insects—If you’re stung, scrape the stinger from side to side to remove it. Wash the site with soap and water and put an ice pack on it to reduce swelling. If you have a tick, remove it with tweezers, pinching it as close to your skin as you can. Wash the area with soap and water, as you would with any bug bite.
  6. Vaccines—Check with your healthcare provider to see what immunizations are right for you.

Sources where you can find more complete first aid information:

Now for the small print, which we’ll keep normal size for easier reading: The information on PKIDs’ blog is for educational purposes only and should not be considered to be medical advice. It is not meant to replace the advice of the physician who cares for your child. All medical advice and information should be considered to be incomplete without a physical exam, which is not possible without a visit to your doctor.


Teaching 911 Basics

30 10 2009

Teaching our kids to call 911 can be as important to their health and the health of others as teaching them the importance of good nutrition and how to stop-drop-and-roll. And just like stop-drop-and-roll, we must teach them not just the ‘when’, but the ‘how’ of it, until it becomes second nature.

Consider teaching a 911 mini-class to your kids at least once a day for three days, then quizzing every other day, then quizzing about once a week.  By that time, the routine should be stuck in their heads.

Here’s some suggested text for your lesson plan:

If there is an emergency, dial 9-1-1 from a telephone. An emergency is when a person is badly hurt or in danger ‘right now.’ An emergency is if you see a crime happening, like a person hurting another person or someone breaking into someone’s house, or a fire somewhere a fire shouldn’t be. An emergency is if someone is suddenly very sick, having a hard time speaking or breathing.

An emergency isn’t something like forgetting your homework or arguing with a brother or sister.

Go to a safe place to call. If there’s a fire, leave the building first. Get away from the person hurting you or someone else, then call 911.

It’s normal to feel afraid or nervous about it, grownups often feel the same way. Call anyway. The people answering the phone will understand.

It’s OK to make a mistake. If you call 911, stay on the line and tell them why you called. It’s OK to tell them you think it might not be an emergency after all. If you start the call, but hang up before someone has a chance to answer, the 911 operators might think you are still in danger.


Help them prepare. Teach them their address and phone number and explain what to expect when the operator picks up the phone, and that they should stay on the phone until the operator tells them it’s time to hang up.

Role-play the scenario with them so that the first time they call 911 won’t necessarily feel like the first time. The 911 dispatcher will ask these questions:

  • What is the emergency?
  • What happened?
  • Where are you?
  • Who needs help?
  • Are you safe where you are?

When you role-play, give your children a turn both as the caller and the 911 operator. Practicing these skills with your children will help them be more confident, feel safer and be safer.


Nurse Mary Beth on Cuts and Scrapes

7 05 2009

Nurse Mary Beth talks about the care of cuts and scrapes and when a child should be seen by a professional.

Listen now!

Right-click here to download podcast (6mb, 12 min)