The only thing scarier than seeing your child with an injury is not knowing what to do to help your injured child. Fortunately, there are many resources available online and in community-based first aid courses that can give parents the skills and knowledge they need to confidently deal with the inevitable scrapes, bumps and illnesses that are part of childhood, and to prevent more serious injuries from occurring.
Online First Aid Resources
Online first aid resources provide information at your fingertips when you really need it, although it is a good idea to make sure the information comes from a reputable source. Also, some first aid techniques are modified when performed on children, so do a little research to make sure your internet-based references are accurate before you need them in an emergency. Some reliable online first aid resources include Kids Health, which provides quick fact sheets for emergency first aid situations and short articles on many other aspects of keeping kids safe from infancy through to adolescence, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, which offers a webpage dedicated to first aid and injury prevention information in children.
Community Based First Aid Resources
Even if you have excellent online resources, there is no substitute for hands-on first aid training when it comes to the confidence and solid knowledge needed in an emergency situation. Look for a certification-based course in your area, such as those offered by St. John Ambulance or the Red Cross. Having a first aid reference book on your bookshelf at home is also a good way to make sure you have the information you need when you need it.
Try books such as First Aid For Babies and Children Fast, written by the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center [DK Adult, 2006] or Emergency Medical Treatment: Infants, Children, and Adults: A Handbook on What to Do in an Emergency to Keep Someone Alive Until Help Arrives, by Stephen N. Vogel and David H. Manhoff [Beechwood Healthbooks Inc., 2006].
Taking on the responsibility of educating yourself in first aid procedures is an important part of being a responsible parent or caregiver, but the most important part of keeping the children in your care safe is preventing accidents from happening in the first place. From ensuring that your home is properly babyproofed to enroling your teenager in a defensive driving program, safety is an important part of parenting children of all ages.
Originally published on Suite101.com on January 23, 2008.