How polished are your First Aid skills?


December 17, 2010 – It’s amazing that kids are better First Aid responders than adults! I happened to attend one of the parties for the young savers on a weekend.

These days the banks are doing good in making sure that kids also save and learn financial investment lessons early in life. The traffic was punishing; I mean how can one stay in a single spot for hours? We were at the mercy of the police as they tried to reorganise the town and we finally we made it to the venue, 2 hours late.

I picked up Janiyah, who had just celebrated her 1st birthday, put her in her pram, and headed for the field. The entry was obviously good for gatecrashers and no one was seriously vetting the visitors as they got in.

Anyone could have taken in a child and had a good time. The mean age for the kids was about 6 years and there were about 100 of them on the field accompanied by their guardians.

The first stop was the face painting section, a queue of about 10 kids ready for either spiderman logos or a flower or two on the face. Most of the boys were busy with the bouncing castle, and a camel ride – a geriatric I might add!

Majority of the girls were with the invited DJ and something amazing was the kind of music. It was obviously not meant for children! There no ‘vegetunes’ there, just plain dance-hall music!

I headed straight for the small lunch queue that was building up. As we played around with Janiyah, we took time to take photos.
I was busy with the toddler but noted a young mother with her 3-year-old baby on the grass. The mother was quite stressed and crying fearing the worst as her baby had a violent convulsion.

A crowd of spectators

To my amazement, the guys on the queue and next to the young lady just looked at her as she struggled to take the shirt off to save her boy. I quickly gave out Janiyah to this Asian guy and headed to the spot. Other Asian kids turned up as we gave him first aid.

One kid flushed out some smelling shoe and placed it to the nose of the convulsing baby boy. I threw it away. The kid then moved the feet and started out massaging. This is a definite NO-NO for a person in a fit.

Any person convulsing should be moved away from any objects and never restrained as one can easily break the feet. Equally, never put any thing in the mouth as you can get bitten or end up choking the victim.

The first aid

I placed the baby in recovery position after the fit. Fortunately, there were no complications. The Red cross team arrived, they had this advanced recovery ambulance fully equipped with modern gadgets. Everything ended well, but what amazed me was the way we are used to spectating during such dangerous moments.

On the other hand, we are so ignorant of the basics that we can’t help and end up losing our loved ones. About 3 years ago a neighbour of mine lost a child who chocked on a piece of sausage! No one could help.

Here are some tips on first aid:

I would recommend that everyone learns to use the ABCD as a guideline to administering first aid. Better yet, Get First Aid training for you and you family, including your house helps. Red cross and AAR do offer these tips even for corporate clients. Get one!

A – Stands for AIRWAY. Always check that the airway, that is the mouth and throat are open and there is no food or any object.

B – Stands for Breathing. Always check for breathing after confirming that the airway is open. Do this by just listening or observing the chest movements. No smelly shoes please.

C – Stands for Circulation. After breathing, place your fingers at the neck or the outer part of the wrist for any pulses.

The ten steps

While you do these:

1.Shout for help, but do not leave the victim

2.Always check the environment before attending to the victim. Check for live wires, falling objects, flames, toxic fumes (remember the New Zealand tragedy?). If hazardous, avoid contact.

3.Determine if OK to move the victim eg from drowning.

4.Do CPR. After the ABC, if there is no breathing or circulation, start CPR with the kiss of life.

5.Stop bleeding by applying pressure.

6.Put in recovery position or head turned to the side to avoid choking.

7.Check for any medical alerts eg diabetes bracelets

8.Get help from a paramedic

9.Do not feed!

10.Wait for help.

I hope you will do better after these.

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