Child Safety Tips & What to Do if Your Baby Chokes

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Child Safety Tips & What to Do if Your Baby Chokes

Post by Annalene on Tue 30 Jun 2009 - 6:22

It's International Child Safety Week and with the school holidays upon us, you and your family will probably take a midyear break! Even though fun in the winter sun is the objective, undoubtedly, you'll have to deal with some tears. We as parents can never let our hair down too much, as our little ones depend on us to keep them safe! We've put together some valuable info on what to have within easy reach to "kiss that owie better".

A hobby horse of mine is buckling up! I have been advocating for years that travelling with your child should only be done in a car seat and when they're older, they must wear their seat belts. This rule is simply not negotiable!

Still we witness everyday, how parents are lax about the most important safety rule! Remember you only have one option - Buckle UP!!! We have empowered David from a young age to buckle up and now he is so accustomed to this habit, that he'll remind others when they're not wearing their seat belts.

We owe this to our children and they look to us to protect them - let's help them understand the importance of this action!
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Essentials for your First Aid Box
Antiseptic wipes - preferably alcohol-free.
Distilled water - for use as an eye bath (to clear something out of the eye or soothe irritation) and to clean wounds.
Thermometer - digitals give the fastest and most fuss-free readings.
Liquid soap -a mild one that is suitable for children.
Cotton wool - to bathe wounds.
Tweezers - to remove splinters and ticks
Sterile gauze - in dressing pads of small, medium and large.
Sterile eye dressings
Bandage rolls - in different sizes.
A triangular bandage - many uses such as for head wounds, knee wounds and to make a sling.
Elastic bandage
Plasters - you'll need these in a in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Hypoallergenic dressing tape / zinc oxide tape
Sting and bite treatment
Antiseptic hand gel - to use to sterilise your own hands before treating a wound.
Scissors - for cutting bandages, gauze and/or clothes in the event of a burn.
Safety pins - for securing bandages
Disposable sterile gloves
Calendula cream - for skin rashes (including nappy rash), haemorrhoids, burns, bruises, and cuts, as well as the minor infections they may cause.
Calamine lotion / cream, or similar - to relieve itching caused by stings, diseases (such as chicken pox), allergies, skin disorders etc.
Antiseptic cream - such as Savlon, TCP, Germolene, or a 'natural' antiseptic product based on tea tree or lavendar.
Antihistamine tablets to treat mild allergic reactions. If you know your child has a severe allergy then make sure you have back-up supplies of the appropriate treatment.
Painkillers - infant paracetemol is used as a painkiller and to lower high temperatures. Painkillers for adults include paracetemol, aspirin (not to be given to children) and Ibuprofen.
Rehydration salts
Cough medicine
Decongestant tablets
Insect repellant - one suitable for children
Prescription medicines - keep spares of any medication a family member needs to use frequently, such as for asthma and allergies.
List of emergency phone numbers - doctor, local casualty unit, names and numbers of a couple of reliable neighbours. You can tape it to the lid of your first-aid box.
First-aid manual - keep a first aid manual on or near your first-aid kit and take time to familiarise yourself with it
Nice to have
Hot / warm gel pack - use chilled to ease swelling and bruising after a bump or to reduce inflammation on a graze, or warm to soothe aches and stiffness. You can keep a gel pack ready to go in the fridge (it's faster to warm it up than to cool it down).
Witch Hazel - to relieve irritation caused by minor cuts, scrapes, sunburn and insect bites and to cool the skin and treat inflammation on bruises and sprains. Good used as a cold compress. Available as a liquid or in gel and cream forms.
Arnica - used widely in homeopathy, Arnica is an age-old treatment for bruises, sprains and muscle-aches. Some people are allergic to Arnica
Aloe Vera Gel – Good ol’ South African favourite could be used for just about anything!
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Easy tips for decision makers!
Child-friendly items - you can get bandages, plasters, gel packs and so on in all sorts of child- friendly versions, such as Nemo or Barney characters, which you might find helps to bring a smile to a face, or help you to keep a cool pack on a bang for long enough to make a difference.
Ready-made kits - are available that will include much of what you need, some are even designed specifically for children. They can be quite good value and time-saving but most ready-made kits won't have everything that you want/need in them, so be prepared to make some additions.
Children's medicines - remember that not all medicines are suitable for children, and that different ages may require different doses. Always read the label to check who can take the medicines in your first-aid kit, and at what dose.
Expiry dates - check your medicines regularly to make sure that none are out- of- date.
Sunscreen - it's not really a first-aid item, as hopefully it'll prevent you needing any first-aid, but it is important to stock sunscreen for all the family in your medicine cupboard.
Travel - research ahead when you travel to see whether there are any specific extra supplies that might come in handy such as remedies for tummy upsets and diarrhoea, and of course, whether you need to take precautions such as malaria tablets.
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Safety for a young baby
When you first hold your baby you'll probably be amazed at how real and yet how fragile he is. This little person is now entirely dependent on you and the care you take to keep him safe: You can't prepare for and avoid all accidents and learning not to obsess over safety is part of the journey of parenthood, but there is plenty you can and should do to guard against common accidents.
While feeding
• Don't drink hot drinks when you're breastfeeding, if you don't want a cold drink then try something warm
• When bottle feeding hold the bottle at all times and control the angle to moderate the flow to suit your baby
• If baby is with you at the table watch out for what is within his grasp
Avoid tumbles
• Your baby can quickly wriggle or roll off furniture and you won't know when exactly his first roll will be, so don't turn your back for even a moment if you've laid him on a bed, sofa or chair. The only safe surface to leave your baby on if you turn away is the floor.
• If you change your baby on a changing surface that's not on the floor then keep one hand on your baby at all times
Sleep-time
• Use a flat, firm mattress for your baby to sleep on
• Put your baby to sleep on his back with his feet against the bottom of the bed
• Make sure your baby is neither too hot nor too cold - overheating is most common at night - check his temperature by placing your hand on his chest rather than checking his hands or feet
• Only use natural fibres for your baby's bedding, layer bedding so you can easily take layers off or on and use flat, fitted sheets underneath
• Don't use a pillow in the cot
• Avoid cot bumpers when your baby is still young and keep soft toys out of the cot
• Keep the cot away from anything overhead that could fall or be pulled into it
• Never take your baby into bed with you if you've taken drugs or alcohol or if you are a heavy sleeper
In the bathroom
• Take special care handling your baby when he's wet: he'll be slippy and will probably wriggle
• Babies can drown in just an inch of water, so never leave him alone in the bath or bathroom
• Be very careful with your baby near taps as they can get very hot. When drawing a bath start off with cold water and add hot later. You might want to consider turning down your thermostat to help prevent accidental scalding.
• Use a non-slip mat in the bath and shower and on the bathroom floor
Travelling - a hobby horse of mine!!!
• It should be illegal and is very unsafe to travel with a baby in a car without a baby seat. For newborns these are rear fitting and you'll need to change seats as your baby grows. Make sure your baby is strapped in properly and the seat is secure before you set off.
• Don't put a baby seat on the front seat if your car is fitted with airbags
• Use the child lock on your car
• Don't leave your baby alone in the car
• On warm or very sunny days take care to keep the sun out of his eyes and prevent him overheating. Sunshades can be fitted to rear car windows but are illegal in the front seat
Outdoors
• In hot or sunny weather screen your baby with a sunshade, loose clothing and a sun hat
• If your baby will be exposed to the sun keep the exposure to a minimum and use a high-factor sunscreen
• Make sure your baby is strapped in before carrying him in a chair or when he's in his pushchair
• Be alert as to what is within your baby's reach
As your baby becomes mobile the dangers he faces will increase considerably as his natural curiosity leads him to explore, pull on things, climb and, where possible, put things in his mouth. Don't panic, just be aware at all times!
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Fire Safety in the Home

The clearest message from the fire services is to 'get out and stay out' of your home if you are alerted to a fire.
Fire and smoke alarms
• If you haven't got round to buying a fire/smoke alarm before now, it is vital to get one for your family home. (If you live over more than two floors, have a fire alarm on each floor.)
• We should be advocating that all homes have hard-wired alarms, or sealed long-life battery alarms, to limit the times when an alarm's battery has run out. Most alarms will bleep or go off to warn you the batteries are low. It is essential you change the batteries before they run out completely.
If your alarm goes off in the night, the fire brigade advise that:
• You shout and wake everyone up.
• You get together and make your way out.
• You follow your household's 'in case of fire' plan.
Collecting children
• Whilst your child is small, they may well still be in your room and can easily be picked up and taken with you. If they are in their own room and no longer in a cot, make sure you find them before you leave the house. (In some tragic cases, children have hidden under beds on in the wardrobe, away from the fire and noise, and parents checking their rooms have assumed their children have already left the house.)
• Once your child is old enough to understand, make sure you have a clear plan of what to do in the case of a fire: what the fire alarm going off sounds like, what it means, where to wait for you or where to go.
If someone is dangerously beyond your reach, leave the building and tell the emergency services as much as you can about the location of the trapped person.
Getting out safely
• When you hear the alarm, don't waste time going to check it out yourself, get your family out and call emergency services.
• Crawling along the floor can help to limit the fumes and smoke you and your family inhale.
• If you can do so safely, try to close the door on any room which has fire in it. This helps slow the progress of the flames.
• If a door ahead of you is closed, feel it with the back of your hand to see if it is hot, in case there is fire in that room.
• If you have to escape from an upstairs window, try to put something soft to land on and don't jump the full length of the drop. Try to lower yourself and then drop the last part of the way.
Fire prevention and keeping safe
• Make sure you keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children and avoid using candles when children are around (except well-observed candles on birthday cakes!).
• Fit smoke alarms and check them regularly to ensure the batteries have not run out.
• If you have a domestic extinguisher, you might be tempted to stay and tackle the fire yourself. It is better to leave the building and call emergency services. Some very small fires might be tackled with a damp cloth but if in doubt, do not try this yourself.
• Think about the furnishings in your house - are curtains etc out of the way of hot surfaces and flames, are sofas etc covered with fire-retardant materials?
• At night, keep the phone near you in case you get into a situation where you need to call emergency services from inside the home. Where possible, use a mobile phone as the fire might disable a land-line.
• At night, make sure plugs and appliances are properly switched off. Close doors in unused rooms as shutting a door can delay the progress of fire and fumes..
• Make sure exits from your home are accessible at night. A pram in front of the door will not be easy to move if it's hot, on fire, or there is too much smoke to make moving around easy.
• Think about the exits from your home. On upper floors, are windows easy to open? Many have locks for insurance purposes, so make sure the key is somewhere you know you can find it easily in a dark, smoky environment.
• If you lock your front door, make sure you and other adults in the house know where the key is if they need to find it quickly in the dark or through smoke.
Your local fire station will have useful information and tips on how to keep a safe home and what to do in the case of a fire. If your child is already a toddler, find out if the station has open days when you can find out useful information and your child can enjoy the experience of visiting the station.

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This is one of my biggest fears so I looked it up today (don't know why I'm all safety aware today... ):

What to do if your baby starts to choke

1. Try to determine whether the baby can breathe, cry or cough. If there is a strong cough, it means there is little or no blockage and if there is a blockage, the baby may dislodge it.

2. DO NOT start first aid if there is a strong cough of if there is little or no blockage. First aid in this instance can turn a partial blockage into a complete blockage. If the baby is coughing or crying, DO NOT do the following but call your physician for further advice.

3. Begin the following first aid if:

The child cannot breathe at all
The child's airway is so blocked that the child has only a weak cough and a loss of color.

4. If you determine a blockage exists, shout for help and begin the first aid techniques below:

For infants younger than one year old:

1. Place the infant's face and head down on your forearm with the head lower than the body, supporting the head and neck in your hand. Rest your forearm on your thigh to support the infant.

2. Use the heel of your other hand to give up to five forceful back blows between the infant's shoulder blades.



3. If the blockage is not relieved, place your free hand on the infant's back, holding his or her head and neck with your hand. Position the infant face-up on your forearm. Give up to five quick, downward chest thrusts with your middle and ring fingers near the center of the breast bone.



Note: if the infant is large, you may want to lay the child over your lap. Firmly support the head, holding it lower than the body, and perform steps 1 through 3.

4. Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 until object is coughed up or until the infant can breathe or becomes unconscious.

5. If the infant becomes unresponsive or is found unresponsive, place the infant face up. Lift jaw and tongue. This is call the jaw lift. It draws the tongue away from the back of the throat and may help clear the airway.

If a foreign object is seen, sweep it out with your finger. Never poke the finger straight into the throat. Only try a finger sweep if you can actually see the foreign object. Otherwise, you may cause further blockage.

6. If the infant does not begin to breath right away, tilt the head back and place your mouth over the infant's mouth and nose. Attempt two slow breaths to see if the chest will rise. A rising chest indicates that the blockage has been relieved.

7. If the chest does not rise, tilt the head again and repeat the two rescue breaths. If the chest still does not rise, the blockage still exists.

8. Give up to five back blows and chest thrusts as in steps 1-3.

9. Repeat steps 5 through 8 until the object is coughed up or until rescue breathing is successful.

10. After performing these steps for one minute, you can break and call for an ambulance. Carry the baby to the phone and continue rescue breathing while calling for help.
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Annalene
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Re: Child Safety Tips & What to Do if Your Baby Chokes

Post by TarrynT on Fri 27 May 2011 - 9:26

Just read this now... wow so interesting
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