A 9-year-old calmly asks his grandmother to call 911 while giving CPR to his little sister who had just fallen in the pool, reports a May 2011 CNN story. Incidents like these where small kids perform heroically in the face of an emergency happen more often than you think.
Although we think of kids as the ones who need to be taken care of, their abilities to provide care in an emergency are underestimated.
Protective parents may feel nervous about having a 5-year-old deal with a situation that could make an adult panic. Yet, there are a lot of tasks your kids can handle when a medical emergency arises”if you prepare them well.
Source:CNN, May 2011
Many parents are still in the woods about how to teach their kids what to do in a medical emergency and when to educate them. Here is a checklist that will guide you through.
Make A 911 Call.
Start by teaching your child how to make an emergency call. Children as young as 3 years old can be taught to dial 911. You can use an unplugged landline phone or remove the battery from your cellphone to let kids practice.
In what situation should you call 911? It's a challenge for some adults to tell an emergency from a problem, let alone kids.
A medical emergency is when you find someone unconscious, having difficulty breathing, having uncontrollable bleeding, experiencing chest pain, or serious allergic reactions, according to 911.gov. Fires, car crashes, and crime are also medical emergencies.
After a dispatcher picks up the phone, tell your child to be ready to answer the following questions, according to 911.gov:
- The location of the emergency
- The phone number
- Details about the situation, including injury descriptions or symptoms of the person having a medical emergency
Also remember to tell kids that if they accidentally dial 911, do not hang up. The dispatcher may think an emergency really exists. Have them explain to the dispatcher what happened.
Call An Emergency Contact.
Besides 911, have an emergency contacts list. These are contact numbers your kids know to call when an emergency happens. Have a written list and place it by your phone at home. Also save these numbers in your cellphone, says KidsHealth.com.
Contrary to the idea that children are too young to master first aid skills like CPR, researchers reveal that children as young as 9 years old can perform CPR correctly, according to the May 2011 CNN story.
Although the lack of physical strength may limit the effectiveness of CPR, it would still increase a person's survival chance.
To give CPR, teach your kids to follow the steps below from the American Red Cross:
- Get someone to call 911.
- Make sure the victim's airway is open.
- Give two rescue breaths.
- Push hard and fast in the center of the chest 30 times.
- Repeat the cycle until the person shows signs of life or medical help arrives.
Help A Choking Person.
A grade school child is old enough to help a choking victim, according to the May 2011 CNN story.
If your child sees a person unable to cough or breathe, explain to your child how to do the following, recommended by the American Red Cross.
- Lean the person forward.
- Use the heel of your hand to hit the person five times on the back.
- Do five quick thrusts against the person's abdomen, above the navel.
- Repeat until the person coughs out the choking object and can breathe or cough without trouble.
A lot of blood can be a terrifying scene for children. If kids are not prepared well, they could freeze up on the scene.
To control bleeding, teach your child to cover the wound with a sterile dressing and add pressure until bleeding stops. Then, cover the dressing with a bandage, according to American Red Cross.
The approach to stop all bleeding is the same. So, you can start preparing your child by stopping a nosebleed, so he does not find an emergency bleeding overwhelming.
Seek Help From Professional Organizations.
If you find someone in an emergency, call 911 or contact the emergency department at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.