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Teaching First Aid to Children

Teaching First Aid to Children:

I have learned over the years that band-aids and ice packs can cure anything! Kids handle injuries much easier when they can participate in their first aid treatment. Teaching first aid to children isn't hard at all. In fact, even your younger kids can learn some simple, basic first aid. They may not be able to treat themselves (probably not a good idea anyway) but knowing what to do for an injury takes some of the fear away from the situation. You can even create their own ‘first aid kit’ to make booboos less painful and infinitely less scary.

Tips for Teaching First Aid to Children:

  1. Talk to your child about cuts or scrapes and how best to prevent them. This is usually a good subject to discuss while performing first aid. Explain how bleeding helps wash out the dirt from the wound.

  2. Let them wash their own wounds with soap and water, with you as a standby of course. They will be less tense if they are doing their own cleaning, and surprisingly, there is less pain. (Don’t ask why, it just works!)

  3. Teaching first aid to children isn't complete without a talk about germs and infections. Talk about germs and infection while applying antibiotic ointment. Your child can also apply it with a q-tip if that helps.

  4. Help them apply their own band-aid. This seems to be a skill most kids pick up very, very quickly! Explain about keeping the band-aid on for the day and not peeking under it all the time. Try to explain scabs...after all, they are merely "God's Band-aid".

  5. When it is time to remove or change the band-aid, you can again talk about scabs and forming new skin. Help the child soak the band-aid either with a washcloth or in the bath water. This makes the band-aid come off easier. Look at the wound and let her wash it with soap and water herself, if she will.

  6. After a day or two, explain about letting it ‘air-dry’ and how the scab helps the new skin form.

  7. Teaching children about first aid involves lessons in safety and accident prevention.  How did he get hurt? What are some ways he can prevent this from happening again? Talk about knee and elbow pads for bikes, helmets, tying shoelaces when running, going down the slide feet first instead of headfirst, etc.

  8. Help your child make his/her own first aid kit. Using a plastic school box or other container, put in some fun band-aids in various sizes, (not too fun or they will disappear before the next booboo happens), a small tube of A&D ointment or Neosporin or other first aid ointment, maybe some wet-wipes for cleaning wounds, a small tweezers for splinters and stingers, a small bottle of sting-eze or other sting treatment (even a small container of baking soda and a plastic spoon to make a poultice helps), and some q-tips or cotton balls. Help decorate the box and put it in a special location.

  9. Let your child help make ice packs for the freezer out of colored sponges. Take a standard 3x5 sponge, cutting some in half for smaller booboos. Wet each sponge thoroughly and place it in a small freezer bag. Burp the bag and seal it. Place it in the freezer in an easy-to-reach location. They are safe, reusable, and very inexpensive. You can use the same method to make warm packs as well. These will need to be dried and stored before reuse.

About the Author:

Debbie Kleinheider, Neonatal and Pediatric nurse, Childbirth Educator, labor and postpartum doula, mother of six, and grandmother of 4 (and growing). She writes from her vast experiences and extensive knowledge on the subject of children.

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Teaching Children about First Aid CAN be fun! Books and Teaching Resources to use:
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