The power of the cold pack! 

 

Cold packs are an essential item for every freezer. A cold pack can be useful for just about any little accident. Bumps, bruises, falls, scratches, grazes, sprains, strains, stings, post immunisation or even in the warmer weather, they can come in handy! The cold pack will help reduce swelling, inflammation and help soothe pain. 

With young children, especially babies, you must never apply ice directly to their skin, doing so can cause immediate damage.

Whilst frozen peas and corn are a quick solution, before you apply the ice pack to your child’s injury, make sure you have a suitable layer between the ice and their delicate skin. Grab a tea towel, make sure it’s damp and then wrap the packet of peas in the tea towel. This will ensure the ice pack does not cause any damage to your child’s skin. OR even better, make your own!  Something you and your child can make together.

 

Homemade Ice Packs

 

Step 1: Make a trip to the supermarket and buy a packet of colourful sponges.  

Step 2: Cut the sponges in a variety of shapes – halves, circles, quarters, hearts and diamonds. Not only will the variety of colourful shapes be fun, but will also allow you to have a range of sizes, perfect for little bodies!

Step 3: Wet the sponges; just enough water so they are not dripping. 

Step 4: Pop the wet sponges into a freezer bag (zip lock/glad lock bag).

Step 5: Pop them in your freezer! Fun, bright, cheap and reusable. 

sponge

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Behind the scenes of your stress.

Hi I’m Wayne, KidzAid Regional Manager and Intensive Care Helicopter Paramedic. I have been working in the prehospital side of emergency care for nearly 14 years. I have been fortunate to have worked in a variety of different countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada. I’ve put together some points to try and alleviate your stress, when god forbid you ever need to make that dreaded call to 000. 

 

Have you ever needed to call 000 for an Ambulance?

Some common questions you may have

  • Who do you speak to?
  • What will they ask me?
  • Do they know where I am?
  • How long will an ambulance be?
  • Will they stay on the phone to help me while the ambulance arrives?

From the moment you realise there is an emergency, please DON’T panic.

Every emergency situation is different, and people react in so many different ways, but calling 000 in a state of panic will only make it harder to pass on all the relevant information that is required.

The 4 Vital messages

  1. Confirm who you are.
  2. Confirm your phone number.
  3. Your exact location.
  4. Nature of the emergency.

Keep it brief

“Unresponsive Child….” or “Child not Breathing….”

Keep it brief, but telling a factual story DOES NOT delay an ambulance response, the inability to pass on information does! Once the 000 call taker has calmed you down, further information can then be gathered. Please be reassured that the 000 operator will stay on the line with you at all times, until the ambulance arrives.

Once the 4 Vital messages have been passed, your 000 call taker will read back and confirm what has been said, ensuring the accuracy of your information.

He/she will then immediately dispatch the information into a GPS guided system to pick up your location and communicate with the ambulance dispatch team. (This whole process only takes about 30 seconds).

Once the confirmed location has been updated, the ambulance dispatch team will have full access to the local area and find the closest ambulance to activate a response. Once again, this will only take up to 60 seconds.

Key points to remember:

  • Stay calm.
  • Do not hang up the phone, place the phone on speaker and work your way through DRSABCD and follow instructions from the 000 call taker. 
  • If there is someone in the family that is not coping well with the situation, send them out and wait for the ambulance to arrive, this task will distract them and allow you to work through your DRSABCD action plan. 
  • Be rest assured from the moment you say ‘unresponsive child’ the call taker has already dispatched a crew to your emergency and help is on the way.

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The DRSABCD Action Plan is a 7- step approach that we encourage parents and carers to use when faced in ANY medical situation. Medical staff in the emergency department and paramedics out on the road are following this simple systematic approach. If you can stay calm and work your way through the DRSABCD action plan, we guarantee you will get through any situation. 

 

D – Dangers?

Check for dangers to self, bystanders and the casualty.

 

R – Responsive?

Check for response – Talk and Touch.

 

S – Send for Help

Call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance, or ask a bystander to CALL for help, or go get help.

 

A – Open Airway

Position casualty onto their back. Open mouth and ensure airway is clear.

 

Open/Check Airway:

  • Infant – Head tilt/chin lift – Neutral Position
  • Child – Head tilt/chin lift – Sniffing Position
  • Adult – Full Head tilt/chin lift

 

To clear foreign material from the mouth cavity, roll casualty onto their side and use your fingers. (Infant little finger, child index finger, adult two fingers). * Only if object is easily visible and accessible in the mouth, taking great care not to push it down further.

If the object is too far back and in the ‘danger zone’ of the airway, Do NOT attempt to pick it out. In the height of stress any attempts to remove an object ‘to far back’ can have a devastating effect on a child’s airway.

 

B – Normal Breathing?

  • Look, Listen and Feel.
  • Absent or NOT normal breathing = Start CPR
  • Normal breathing = place in recovery position, monitor.

 

C – Start CPR (30:2)

Give 30 chest compressions, followed by 2 breaths.

Chest Compressions : 30

  • Compress centre of the chest, nipple line good reference for paediatrics.
  • Infants (0-12mths) – Use 2 fingers (index and middle) to compress 1/3 depth of chest.
  • Child – Use heel of one hand to compress 1/3 depth of chest.
  • Adult – Use both hands to compress 1/3 depth of chest.
  • Compressions should be at a rate of approximately 100/min (2 per second).

Breaths : 2

During breaths, open airway and maintain the following head positions:

  • Infant – Head tilt/chin lift – Neutral Position – Cover both nose/mouth, and deliver 2 puffs.
  • Child – Head tilt/chin lift – Sniffing Position – Pinch nose, cover mouth and deliver 2 half breaths.
  • Adult – Full Head tilt/chin lift – Pinch nose, cover mouth and deliver 2 full breaths.

Continue CPR until responsiveness or normal breathing occurs.

 

D – Attach Defibrillator (AED)

As soon as available and follow voice prompts. Ensure help is coming.

 

Our KidzAid workshops are very hands on and interactive. We guarantee you will walk away feeling confident and empowered in paediatric first aid. We cannot stress enough how essential it is to practice these techniques on our real-life baby and child manikins. 


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Foreign Body Airway Obstruction

Choking

Choking is probably one of THE biggest concerns for any parent. Rightfully so as choking can become life threatening very quickly. The comforting thing to know is the techniques we teach you in our KidzAid courses are very effective if applied immediately and are an essential first aid skill to have.

Small children pose the greatest risk of having a choking episode.  Food, fluids, toys, vomit, just about any small item can pose a choking risk to an inquisitive baby/child.

Diagnosis may not be clear-cut, but MUST be suspected if there is sudden coughing, gagging or a high pitched crowing sound.

Assess Severity

Ask yourself, does the child have an effective cough?

Effective cough means the child can speak or cry and take a breath in between coughs (partial obstruction).

Management of a partial obstruction:

• Remain CALM. An upset, distressed parent will make the situation worse.

• Do not give your child sips of fluid or tap them on the back.

• Make sure infants are sitting upright or over your shoulder.

• Encourage the child to continue coughing.

• Support and assess continuously.

• An ‘effective cough’ is more effective at relieving an obstruction than any intervention, therefore it is VITAL that you do not jump in prematurely and upset the body’s natural defence mechanism.

Assess Severity

Ask yourself, does the child have an ineffective cough?

An ineffective cough means exactly as it sounds, the child is unable to cough and therefore has a full obstruction. The child may change colour, make a high pitched crowing sound or may make NO sound. THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Management of a full obstruction:

Once you have identified that the child has a full obstruction and has the inability to cough and clear their own airway, now is the time you must immediately take action and assist your child. The child’s airway is blocked, they are unable to cough, you now need to be their cough.

• Remain calm.

• If the child has a full obstruction you must send for help, dial 000 immediately.

• If the child is conscious you need to provide back blows and chest thrusts. Back blows and chest thrust are techniques used to try and increase the pressure in the chest and force the object out.

• Give up to 5 back blows, checking in between each blow to see if the object has been dislodged.

• If the child continues to have an ineffective cough, give up to 5 chest thrusts, again assessing between each thrust if the object has been dislodged.

• Continue the process of back blows and chest thrusts until the object has been dislodged.

• If the child becomes unconscious, you now have the GREEN light to start CPR.

Practice time

Our KidzAid workshops are very hands on and interactive. We guarantee you will walk away feeling confident and empowered with the management of a choking child. We can’t stress enough how essential it is to practice these techniques on our real-life baby and child manikins.

 

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