First Aid for Common Childhood Injuries

First Aid for Common Childhood Injuries

Most moms and dads would do anything to keep their little ones safe from harm. After all, few things are more heart wrenching than seeing your little one get hurt, especially if a kiss and a cuddle from you won’t stop the tears. Unfortunately, accidental childhood injuries — from big boo-boos to small scratches — are all too common. In fact, every day in the US, an estimated 39,000 children get an injury serious enough to warrant medical attention (that’s a total of 14 million children — or one out of every four kids —per year). And that’s not counting the everyday bumps and bruises that little kids are prone to getting.

So which kids are most at risk for common childhood injuries? Tots ages four and younger. That’s because little kids — in an effort to learn about their world — do their darnedest to get their hands (and their mouths!) on everything they can without realizing where dangers lurk. That, plus their lack of motor skills, amounts to a dangerous combination — and can ultimately lead to any number of injuries resulting from poisoning, choking, falls, burns, and much more.

What this all means is that it’s up to you and your partner to do your best to keep your child safe from childhood injuries. That means babyproofing your house (and maybe even part of Grandma’s house too), supervising your tot (whether you’re at home, the playground, a friend’s house, or a restaurant), and being alert to potential hazards (at home and when you’re out and about). Yes, it’s a tall order, but the good news is that the majority of accidental childhood injuries can be prevented if you learn a handful of simple safety strategies and stay on the lookout for dangerous situations.

That said, no parent can be on high alert at all times, no matter what your know-it-all neighbor or pushy mother-in-law tells you. You’ve got to answer the phone sometimes, empty the dishwasher when it’s clean, and use the bathroom occasionally (prime opportunities for your little one to get into mischief)! You’re only human, and you’re not a bad parent if your baby accidentally rolls off the bed and hits his head or your toddler collides with your hot coffee and burns himself (it’s happened to the best of us). And when your child is reaching milestones faster than you can capture them on the camcorder (“Look! Little Ethan can roll now!”), it’s hard to keep on top of what skills your growing tyke has mastered (“Oh my gosh, Sophie has learned how to unbuckle her stroller strap!”).

The trick is to learn how to react (and fast!) when your child does get injured. That may entail knowing when to call for emergency medical help, learning how to handle a choking incident (the Heimlich maneuver) and taking a CPR course, or simply having sterile bandages on hand. With some quick thinking and a little know-how, you can learn how to give the best care after your tot takes a tumble…or swallows something dangerous, touches a hot bowl of soup, or harms himself in any number of ways. So as hard as it is to see your child suffer, you can come to his rescue — or, even better, learn how to prevent those common childhood injuries.

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