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First Aid for Parents: Back to Basics

20 May by Traci Sproston, The Medic Mum
2 minute read

I am a Paramedic and I have been in the Ambulance Service for 21 years, but when it comes to being a mum, I am just the same as any other mum.

'That first time your child starts to become interested in solids, the first fall from a height, the first choking episode etc etc... ' it has all taken its toll on me, I am only human after all.

So, when asked for my advice on First Aid for Parents, my first thought is - tell parents not to panic. There are some basic steps we need to think about and if we work through those steps, we can achieve a happy, relatively stress-free home life.

Thinking back to basics...

Point 1 - Airway takes priority

Point 2 - Know your Primary Survey

Point 3 - Try to remain calm

Point 4 - Always explain what you’re going to do, comfort & reassure.

Point 5 - First Aid is just common sense, don’t try to make it more difficult.

So let's take each point from above and break it down...

  1. We are told never to move a casualty who has fallen from a height and who you suspect has a neck or back injury or both. However, if your casualty is not breathing you WILL need to use the head tilt chin lift procedure and by doing this you HAVE to move the casualty’s head/neck. They won't survive if you don't.
  2. Knowing your Primary Survey enables you to make a systematic approach when dealing with any casualty, whether it is your own child or someone else. DR (shout help!) ABC.
  3. Try to remain calm. Our children can sense when we are upset even if we don’t show it, so they will certainly pick up on it when we panic.
  4. When ill or injured, our children will be searching our faces for a way in which to behave. If we are starting to panic, cry, scream; then they will copy that. Whatever the injury, kneel beside your child, comfort and reassure them and explain what you’re planning to do. Tell them if the injury is serious, don’t keep anything from them - they will know! Tell them everything is under control and you have help on it’s way. You don’t have to go into too much detail but be as honest as you can.
  5. First Aid is common sense. If you have gone out for the day and haven’t taken a first aid kit, improvise. As long as you stick to basics, have a means of calling 999 if necessary, you will be fine!


In the meantime, keep your first aid qualifications up to date, you never know when you may need them! Tigerlily offer a great First Aid for Parents Course that will provide you with basic first aid skills.

I will be back soon with more tips for a safe, happy household!