How to prepare your child to deal with a medical emergency | #parenting

By: Parenting Desk | New Delhi |

September 21, 2020 4:00:58 pm

Although some children may not be old enough to know how to use the first-aid kit, they can still be taught essential skills for when emergencies happen. (Source: Pixabay)A medical mishap or an emergency can happen to anyone at any time. As such, one needs to be prepared at all times to deal with such a crisis efficiently. For any parent, the safety and security of their child is of utmost importance. But, instead of simply protecting them, if parents could arm their kids with the knowledge of how to deal with medical emergencies better, it would help them a great deal.

Dr Gurudutt Bhat, Consultant Paediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan says training and equipping children with appropriate first aid knowledge comes handy, especially when there is no adult present at the site of emergency.

“The first step is to prepare a family communication plan for any sort of emergency that parents and kids can tackle together and separately. Also, prepare your kids and yourself in a way that it is easy to tackle the crisis when it occurs,” he says.

Dr Bhat suggests the following emergency preparedness plan:

* Being alert: It is natural to be distracted; one could walk right into a hazardous situation. First and foremost, it is important to limit the time spent on phones and to be aware of the surroundings. Teach your kids to be alert of the people and situations around them. If they hear or see any unfamiliar sounds or occurrences, they can make note of it, and inform a family member.

* Knowledge of the first-aid kit: Although some children may not be old enough to know how to use the first-aid kit, they can still be taught essential skills for when emergencies happen. Show them where the kit is kept in your house. Give them details of each item and purpose. Make them handle the items and use them in a demonstration, creating made-up scenarios that might warrant the use of the supplies stored in the kit.

* Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training: It is never too late to learn life-saving techniques, and training your young ones can help, too. Speak to them about how CPR can help someone and when to use it. You can use different props such as a balloon to make the training interesting. Acting out potential emergency scenarios and challenging kids to problem-solve their way through them, will make sure they can carry out the training when the time comes. Most of the studies suggest that children above 14 can be taught effective CPR, and how they can generate enough force to do cardiac massage on an adult in an emergency situation.

* Emergency contact: While you hope your child never has to deal with an emergency medical situation, it’s important they know what to do in case they ever find themselves in one. Talk to them about it. Explain to them that these are not things that happen on a daily basis and that they rarely happen at all, but that they need to know what to do in case something ever happens. Make them memorise a few emergency numbers/write it down for them and teach them how to dial a phone.

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