The six first aid tips every parent and Student Nanny should know – guest post from the Medic Mums!

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You can meet some wonderful people on Instagram! We hooked up with Angela and Julia from Medicmums on there recently and now here we are with them writing us a guest post about six First Aid situations every parent and Student Nanny should know how to deal with!

But first a bit about them: Angela studied nursing at the University of Manchester and gained her Bachelor of Science in cardiology from Kings College London. She’s worked at the Withington Hospital in Manchester in the dialysis unit, the coronary and intensive care unit at Sutherland Hospital in Sydney, Australia, and as a senior cardiac nurse at the Royal Free Hospital London. She has three children aged 11, 9 and 3.

Julia studied nursing at Brighton University, has worked on the acute ward at the Whittington Hospital, London, then gained a Diploma in Accident & Emergency Nursing and became a Clinical Nurse Practitioner in the A&E department at a leading London hospital. Julia’s children are 11 and 9.

Suffice it say that these ladies know their stuff – and now they are sharing this knowledge by running First Aid courses. We asked them for advice on how to deal with six of the most common situations that arise with kids:

FOREIGN OBJECTS IN THE EARS, EYES OR NOSE

In our time as nurses we’ve seen children with all manner of objects in their ears, nose and eyes – most often stuffed up there by their own little hands! It can be anything from Lego, Playdoh, pen tops, peas or sweetcorn and these can cause blockages or infection. Here’s how to deal with such a situation should it arise:

Nose
Reassure the child and try and keep them calm. Get them to breathe through their mouth. Don’t try and remove the object yourself as you may push it further up. Go to your nearest walk-in center or A&E to have it removed.

Ears
Children often put things in their ears, again usually small toys peas and anything small and round, by doing this it may cause temporary deafness and they won’t be able to hear out of that ear, don’t try and remove it yourself as you could push it further in or damage the ear. Cover with a sterile dressing from your first aid kit go to your walk-in center or A&E.

Angela and Julia in action on a Medic Mums course

Eyes
This is tricky because when you have something in your eye all you want to do is rub it, but try to encourage the child NOT to rub their eyes. Separate the eyelids, if you can see the object on the white of the eye irrigate the eye with clean or sterile water (tilt head sideways and poor the water from the inside corner of eye outwards towards the ear). Don’t touch the eye if the object is embedded as you could scratch the surface. Cover with a sterile pad and go to your walk-in center or A&E. Please don’t poke or use anything to scrape the object out of the eye – eyes can become infected very easily.

SPLINTERS

Another very common occurrance when you have active kids. Wash the affected area with warm soapy water. Use a clean set of tweezers (or clean by rubbing alcohol over the tips of the tweezers), remove the splinter by pulling it out in a straight line. If it is too difficult to remove leave it for a few days and see if it comes out by itself. If it becomes red and is causing your child pain then go see your Doctor or Nurse and have it removed by them.

NOSE BLEEDS

Have them sit down and upright, breathing through their mouth. Pinch the lower end of the nose close to the nostril and have them lean forward while you add pressure continuously for 10-15 minutes allowing time for the bleed to clot. Don’t release or check the nose until this time has lapsed. Place an ice pack covered in a towel over the bridge of their nose, comfort and reassure. Try and avoid dislodging the clot by not sniffing, blow their nose and avoid strenuous activity for approx 6 hours.

The Medic Mums sharing their years of nursing wisdom at one of their First Aid courses


INSECT STINGS:
Most common in the UK are bee, wasp and hornet.

Comfort and reassure, it’s painful and the child can become distressed, clean the wound with soap and water. Remove the sting if you can see it – the best method is to scrape the sting out using something like the edge of a card such as a credit debit card, the back of a knife or your fingernail. Avoid gripping or squeezing the sting as you can squeeze the venom into the wound. Apply a cold pack or compress to reduce the swelling for 10 minutes. Raise the area to reduce the swelling if possible. If it becomes red and itchy they may benefit from an antihistamine by mouth, cream or ointment – always check with the parent or doctor and read the dosage and label carefully. The symptoms will go away with time.

GRAZES
Can happen on a daily basis! These are very common with children and are caused by a sliding fall onto a rough and often dirty surface contaminating the skin. Wash the area thoroughly under a running tap, if you can try and remove the dirt – sometimes asking the child to do it themselves can be less painful. You can apply a plaster (always makes kids feel better!) but it’s not always necessary.

HEAD BUMPS
If a child has knock, bump or blow to the head, they’ll want lots of cuddles. Sit them down, reassure them and keep them calm, encourage them to rest. Place a cold compress to their head or ice pack, you can use a bag of frozen veg wrapped in a tea towel, you should seek medical attention if they have mild dizziness or a headache that’s getting worse. So how do you know if they have concussion? If they have any of these symptoms seek medical attention and go to hospital: they have had a loss of consciousness; severe headache and also it gets worse; their eyesight becomes blurred; trouble standing up or walking; nausea; vomiting; they talk but it doesn’t make any sense; signs of confusion or aggression; their speech is slurred. If they are unresponsive and you can’t wake them up call 999 (follow protocol for unresponsive child infant).

HOME FIRST AID KIT ESSENTIALS…

Plasters in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings, at least 2 sterile eye dressings, triangular bandages, crepe rolled bandages, safety pins, disPosable sterile gloves, tweezers, scissors, alcohol-free cleansing wipes, sticky tape, thermometer sterile water, space blanket.

Medic Mums run regular courses in London, including Paediatric First Aid, Basic Life Support, First Aid and Life Skills for Children. For details of the next dates courses are running visit http://www.medicmums.org.uk/ and follow them on Instagram @medicmums