Common Emergencies with Children

9 October 2014 08:09 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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1. Head injuries
Most injuries are minor as the skull protects the brain, but any child should be watched closely for signs of a more serious problem for up to 48 hours after the injury.

What to do immediately:
Minor Bump - For minor bumps, applying a cold pack to the injured area will reduce swelling and relieve pain.  
Bleeding - stop the bleeding by applying pressure on the wound with a clean cloth. If the bleeding does not stop with pressure, call for help.  Unconscious - Call for help and turn the child onto his side to help him breathe.
What not to do:
Never leave a child with a head injury alone. They should rest quietly and be observed for signs
of deterioration up to
48 hours.
When to seek medical attention:
If the child vomits more than once, sleeps for more than one hour which is unusual for his daily routine or develops a large swelling on his head, call for help.


2. Choking
Choking occurs when a solid object blocks or partially blocks the main breathing tube, the trachea. Common causes of choking are swallowing items such as sausages, rambutans, bon bons or small parts of plastic toys. The child suddenly tries to cough violently and may turn blue in the face.

What to do immediately:
Less than 12 months
old - For a child aged less than one year, lie him face down along your arm. Hold his head with one hand and use your other hand to slap him on the back between his shoulder blades five times. If the object is not expelled then turn him over onto his front and using two fingers press firmly and hard in the centre of his chest five times. Keep repeating these steps until the object is expelled.
Above the age of 12 months -If the child is older than one, then stand behind him, circle his waist with your arms, make a fist with one hand and grasp it with the other. Placing your two hands above the victim’s belly button, pull your arms toward yourself and upward (Abdominal Thrust).
What not to do:
Never give Abdominal
Thrusts (Heimlich manoeuvre) to a child under one year.
Do not use this method if the child is able to
cough loudly.
When to seek medical attention:
If the child is not able to cough effectively, then follow the above instructions first
before calling for help.


3. Allergic reaction
Allergic reactions can take many forms; however, most will cause some type of itchy rash along with other symptoms ranging from vomiting to wheezing, difficulty in breathing and fainting. Look for sudden onset of itching and other symptoms soon after eating, drinking or receiving medicine.

What to do immediately:
Mild Reaction –For mild reactions ask your pharmacist for a suitable antihistamine recommended for the child’s age.
Severe Reaction - If the reaction is severe, do not delay calling for help. Lie the child down, loosen any tight clothing and find out if he has any allergy medication with him. Some children who are extremely allergic may have an automated injecting device to self-administer adrenaline. Giving it to the child may save his life.
What not to do:
Do not try to make the child vomit. Do not allow the child to be in contact with the substance that caused the allergy again!
    When to seek medical
attention:
If the reaction is getting worse despite an antihistamine or if there are any severe features such as fainting, swelling of lips, mouth or tongue or wheezing, call for help.

 

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