First Aid for Babies

Children and babies are not just small versions of adults and consequently need a specific kind of first aid if they have an accident or become ill.

While some techniques you might use on adults will be the same, a child may be unable to describe how they feel or understand what is happening, and are much less likely to remain calm and follow instructions.

Children are also more prone to accidents so paediatric first aid courses focus on the risks that are more appropriate to their age group.

What ages does paediatric first aid cover?

Paediatric first aid covers from infancy up until the onset of puberty. After that, adult first aid is more appropriate.

Who benefits from a paediatric first aid course?

Basegreen Academy’s QA Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid (RQF) has been specifically designed to meet the criteria set by the Department for Education’s EYFS Framework and is aimed at those who work in full time childcare and in schools. It is ideal for:

  • Those who have gained a level 2 and/or level 3 childcare qualification and have entered into an early years setting and wish to be included in the staff to child ratios to comply with EYFS requirements.
  • Registered childminders and assistants who are required to hold a current and full paediatric first aid certificate in order to comply with the EYFS requirements.
  • Anyone who has a non-professional involvement with infants and children, such as parents, grandparents and want to learn key paediatric first aid skills.

How does adult first aid and paediatric first aid differ?

You won’t know unless you have completed a paediatric first aid course, just what approach and techniques to use on babies and children as they are not always obvious. Because they are less developed, children need special care and the first aider also needs to be up to speed on specific conditions that affect the young. Basically, because paediatric first aid is different from adult first aid, even if you are already a first aider but are responsible for both children and adults in the workplace, it is essential that you undertake both sets of first aid training.

Here are some differences between adult and paediatric first aid:

Both children and adults are treated for choking in a similar way but because babies and infants are more likely than adults to choke on food or toys this is a very important part of the paediatric course.

When you administer CPR on an adult you use two hands and press down as hard as you can but for babies under one-year-old only two fingers need to be used and for children over one-year-old only one hand should be used. Another difference is that for an adult you begin CPR with chest compressions whereas for children you begin with five rescue breaths then follow these with compressions.

When administering defibrillation to adults any AED fitted with standard pads can be used however for children under eight years old special paediatric AED pads that deliver a less powerful shock should be used where available. The position of the pads is important too. For adults and older children two pads are placed on the centre of the chest but for young children up to eight-years-old one pad should be placed in the centre of the child’s back, with the other one on the centre of their chest. For adults and older children, both pads go on the chest.

Febrile convulsions:
Another part of the course will be about dealing with febrile convulsions. Children under four, unlike adults, have not fully developed the part of the brain that regulates body temperature. This means that when sick, their body temperature can rise rapidly, causing febrile convulsions, which are a form of seizure.

What kinds of skills does a paediatric first aid course teach you?

Being able to identify what is wrong with a child is crucial even before you begin. You have to be mindful that a very small child does not have the language to convey what is wrong with them and so it is the first aider’s skill in being able to swiftly assess the situation that is a crucial part of training. Some areas you will look at will include breathing disorders, different kinds of burns and scalds, potential poisons, internal bleeding, disorders of the brain including concussion and seizures and miscellaneous conditions such as meningitis and anaphylaxis.

Once you have complete your paediatric first aid training you will be able to provide first aid for an infant and child.

Common hazards for young children include:

  • Falls – one of the most common accidents experienced by children.
  • Drowning which is the single biggest danger to the under 5s.
  • Motoring accidents, where the child is either as a passenger or as a pedestrian.
  • Falling off a bicycle.
  • Being burnt or scalded.
  • Choking and suffocation- this  is the fourth largest cause of death by injury in children under four; and the leading cause of death by injury in children under 12 months
  • Poisoning.

Scenarios you will be equipped to deal with include

  • A child or infant who is unresponsive and not breathing normally.
  • A child who is breathing normally but who is unresponsive.
  • A foreign body obstruction of the airways.
  • External bleeding.
  • Injuries to bones and muscles.
  • Medical conditions or illnesses such as sickle cell crisis, asthma attack, allergic reaction, meningitis, a diabetic coma, febrile convulsions.

Whether you are a professional who needs a paediatric first aid qualification or a parent or grandparent who wants to be able to react swiftly in an emergency, Basegreen Academy’s paediatric course will cover all bases. Check us out on our contact page or see our courses.