Your a Parent Not a Superhero - Grab your First Aid Pocketbook
It’s amazing, isn’t it? That overwhelming feeling of becoming a mother, maybe for the first time or maybe for the third, but it still feels the same every time….
Now you are responsible for this little life and it blows your mind, just a little bit!
In this article I will equip you with the knowledge you’ll need to get you through some of the little hurdles from newborn to accident prone and beyond!
We will refer to the FREE guide ‘Your First Aid Pocketbook’ throughout this article, which is a funky little PDF resource telling you everything you need to know about Infant and Child First Aid, CPR and Beyond…
Oh and you can also save it to your phone.
In this article, I want to put your mind at rest with some practical tips and advice when it comes to keeping your new bundle safe and sound, right through to school and beyond, and what to expect, because they can be full of surprises!
THE SNUFFLES & SNEEZES
Newborn babies are often quite snuffly and sneezy in the first few weeks, but the sneezing is just their way of clearing all the mucus, fluff and sometimes milk that is accumulating.
This is absolutely nothing to worry about, unless they are showing other signs of it being a cold like a persistent cough or a runny nose.
Your newborn’s breathing may be very irregular at the beginning. they can breathe rapidly and then stop for a few seconds or they may breathe very shallow.
All of this is quite normal for a newborn. Even as a seasoned children’s nurse of 17 years, counting a newborn babies respirations is always a challenge!
As your child gets older, these kind of newbie behaviours settle.
When your child develops a fever, which is when their temperature rises above 38 degrees, it is a normal response to infection, because the newborn babies body is already a clever little machine.
Many virus & bacteria struggle to breed at a high temperature, so our bodies turn up the heat to kill off the infection.
So lowering your child’s fever can actually prolong an illness, however if your child is uncomfortable or has some pain, they may benefit from some pain relief.
If your child is under 3 months old and has a fever above 38 degrees, they must be seen by a doctor immediately, as a small baby can deteriorate rapidly, they don’t have many reserves and they also can’t tell us what is wrong. The source of the fever needs to be identified as soon as possible.
My free guide here tells you what to do when your child develops a fever and when to see a Doctor.
Very young babies can develop all sorts of blotches and rashes on their delicate new skin, so it’s important to recognise what is normal and what is not.
The little milk rash they get on their nose, often looks like tiny little white heads, and sometimes they can get dry flaky skin, just from being exposed to the outside world after being tucked up in your belly for 9 months!
If your baby is out of sorts at all, and develops a red rash, there is a quick test you can do to figure out if it needs medical attention.
The following advice is the same for newborn and older children.
Get a clear glass, and press it on the skin over the rash, if the rash disappears under the glass, then it is probably nothing to worry about, but if it does not disappear under the pressed glass, then you need to get your child seen by a doctor immediately.
INHALATION OF A FOREIGN BODY
Grab my free First Aid Pocketbook to see the steps on how to help a choking child,
Positioning is important when a child is choking.
There are 5 steps
Read all about it here in Your First Aid Pocketbook.
Here I will layout the steps for CPR on a small baby. The steps we use are called DRSABC.
D - Check for Danger
R - Check for a response
S - Send for help
A - check the airway
B - Check the breathing
c - Start compressions (CPR)
to read about these steps in more detail click here,
We’ve all been there….
You hear that loud ‘THUD’ of their soft little skull hitting the floor, and you feel a bit sick.
Unfortunately it’s common in kids, to bump their head 1000 times a day, especially when they are toddlers, if you have a newborn, brace yourself, because in about a year, it all starts!
It is sometimes difficult to tell if a head injury is serious or not, many are mild and just result in a bump, bruise and a few tears.
Here are some guidelines around how to judge how serious your child’s injury is.
YOU SHOULD SEEK MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY IF…
Your child falls from more than a meter high
If the injury involved high speeds
Your child loses consciousness
They vomit more than once afterwards
A moderate to severe head injury can create many symptoms, and your child can show one or a few of them.
They may be drowsy
Dazed or shocked
Not cry straight after the injury (younger children)
Be confused, have memory loss or disorientated
Have visual disturbance
Has unequal pupils
Weakness in arms or legs
Have a seizure
Signs of a mild head injury
They might be slightly disorientated just at the time of the injury
Quickly alert & interacting with you
Vomited just once
May have bruises or a cut but otherwise normal
If your child has a headache after the injury, then it is ok to give paracetamol, but if it is severe and persistent, then it is best to get them checked.
There is no need to wake your child during the night unless you have been advised to do so by a doctor.
The most important thing to remember is that you know your child better than anyone, and if they seem to be acting differently, or doing anything out of character, go with your gut instinct and get them seen by a doctor immediately.
Symptoms from a head injury can arise at various times but the first 4 hours are the most important to keep an eye!
WHAT’S A FEBRILE CONVULSION? AND WHY DOES IT AFFECT 1 IN 30?
When my son was 2 years old, I received a video-call from my partner, as I was at a conference.
He said, “there’s something wrong with Dylan?”
He turned the phone round to him, and he looked awful.
His face was drooping on one side, and he looked like he was having a stroke. He was very pale, not breathing properly and vacant.
I shouted at him to run to the Children’s hospital (it was just round the corner from him)
My friend and I jumped in the car and made the longest journey back from Homebush to Randwick.
I was completely panicking…. Was it meningitis? Was he choking? Had he ingested something poisonous or been bitten?
I will be forever grateful to my dear friend for driving fast that day!
When we were 10 mins into the journey, I got a call from my good friend who worked in the Children’s Emergency Department, and she said the magic words…. “He has a fever!”
Thank goodness! I breathed a sigh of relief, because I knew that was the best case scenario I could have hoped for.
He was going to be fine.
A febrile convulsion is a fit or seizure caused by a sudden change in your child's body temperature, and is usually associated with a fever.
one child in 30 will have a febrile convulsion as a result of fever.
Febrile convulsions most commonly happen between the ages of six months and six years.
Giving paracetamol or ibuprofen will not stop your child having a febrile convulsion, studies have shown that there has been no decrease in the rate of recurrent febrile seizures after giving paracetamol or Ibuprofen.
Signs and symptoms of febrile convulsions
During a febrile convulsion:
• your child will usually lose consciousness
• their muscles may stiffen or jerk
• your child may go red or blue in the face.
The convulsion may last for several minutes. When the movements stop, your child will regain consciousness, but they will probably remain sleepy or irritated afterwards.
Usually, a febrile convulsion happens if your child's temperature goes up suddenly. Sometimes, a convulsion
occurs before parents actually realise their child has a fever.
To find out more about Febrile convulsions and how to treat them, click here for Your First Aid Pocketbook.
So, in a not-so-small nutshell, that’s it for now.
But, before you go, head on over to my Free guide ‘Your First Aid Pocketbook’ for a beautiful, downloadable guide for everything you need to keep your little one safe and sound, gain the knowledge that is so important, and feel empowered that you would know what to do in an emergency.
P.S. Leave you comments and questions below, on anything childhood and allergy related! I love questions!