Parenthood is probably the most exciting time of one’s life. You not only get to see a younger version of you growing up, but also rediscover life with them and see the world in a whole new light. However, it can also be one of the most trying and challenging times, because you are now responsible for a little life and they’re always looking up to you for everything!
But more than the responsibility of being good parents, what is important is being alert and knowledgeable parents who are aware of how to take charge when things go a little off track. Because let’s face it, along with emotional crises, medical emergencies are part and parcel of a parent’s life. And it doesn’t hurt to be aware of how to act when faced with certain life-threatening situations.
So let’s take a look at three first aid techniques for babies that you should know about.
1. What To Do If Your Baby Swallows A Foreign Object And Is Beginning To Choke
It is not unusual for a baby to put any new object they see into their mouths. This is their way of figuring out what the new thing in their line of vision is.
However, not all such objects are baby friendly, and some may even choke the baby. The first and foremost thing to do is not to panic, but to keep your wits around you and act calmly. Yes, being quick is important, but not at the cost of being effective.
There are a few steps, which have been recommended by doctors and experts, that can help clear the baby’s airway by getting rid of the obstruction (1). Here they are:
Step 1: Pick the baby up and lay him/her on your thigh, face down. Hit the baby’s back for about five times. This should relieve your baby’s breathing. If this doesn’t work, then move to step 2.
Step 2: Turn the baby over to face upwards. Now using your two fingers thrust the baby’s chest for up to 5 times. Check the baby’s mouth for the dislodged foreign object.
Step 3: If the breathing is still not relieved, repeat step 1 and 2. If, even after three repetitions the breathing is not relieved, call an ambulance immediately.
Check out this video; it’s an advertisement for an international ambulance service which creatively and memorably illustrates these steps so you can remember them easily.
2. How To Get An Unresponsive Baby To Become Responsive Again
Sometimes, a baby may be breathing but could be unresponsive to external stimuli. When faced with such a situation, once again, remember not to panic. You need to perform a simple set of steps (and CPR if needed), which will require you to be calm and composed (2).
Here’s what you must do to try and help the baby while you call an ambulance simultaneously.
Step 1: Tilt back the baby’s head and check for signs of breathing. If the baby is breathing, move on to the next step. If not, perform CPR. (This will be explained in the next point.)
Step 2: Hold the baby on his/her side. Slightly tilt the head backward, and keep the back supported.
Here’s a video by the British Red Cross which will give you a visual representation of what you must do if faced with such a situation.
3. How To Perform CPR On A Baby
CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It uses the process of chest compressions paired with air supply into the lungs to manually pump air into the body and bring the brain back to normal function.
This procedure usually needs to be carried out on someone suffering from a heart attack. If your baby has stopped breathing, a cardiac arrest could be the cause, and you need to, therefore, start CPR (3).
The absence of breathing is a very serious situation and will require the intervention of medical professionals. Call an ambulance right away before you start the CPR procedure. Follow these steps to make sure that you’re doing it right.
Step 1: Lay the baby on a flat surface. Tilt his/her head upwards to open up the airways.
Step 2: Place your mouth on the baby’s face and nose, and blow air into the baby. About five puffs should do.
Step 3: Follow step 2 immediately with step 3, where you place two fingers on the baby’s chest and pump it 30 times.
Step 4: Repeat step 2 and 3 till the baby starts breathing again or help arrives.
Here’s a video once again by an international ambulance service, which uses lighthearted rhymes to drive home a very serious message.
Don’t forget to share this with friends and family, as this might be the difference between life and death for a baby.