Would you know what to do in an emergency? Read on to find out what you need to know.
WORDS STEPHANIE CLARISSA
Not many may be prepared for when an emergency strikes and it could happen anywhere, anytime, anyplace. If you are not the victim of an emergency, the best plan of action is to stay calm. Take deep breaths if it helps and try to come up with a quick emergency plan. This usually happens in minor situations, which can be handled without calling for an ambulance. But if it is beyond your control, be sure to call for an ambulance. Dr Christelle Tan, specialist in paediatric medicine and consultant, Raffles Specialists-Holland V lists down a few emergency scenarios that can happen and what to do.
Do not panic! Most fits only last for a few minutes and do not lead to any life-threatening danger. Lay your child on the ground or on any flat surface to the side, and do not insert anything into his mouth. Clear any obstruction around your child and loosen your child’s clothes. If your child has had fits before, you may have been given suppository anti-fit medications. Get someone to retrieve them for you in case the fits do not stop.
If it continues for more than five minutes, administer the medication
and call for an ambulance. If the fits stop, check to see
if your child is showing signs of awakening then bring him to see
a nearby doctor for an assessment.
If your child has fallen down and hit his head, once again, do not panic. Check if your child is conscious and if there are any signs of external injury. General danger signs would be if your child loses consciousness or becomes drowsy, has signs of vomiting, irritability or a headache. Bring your child to the emergency immediately if there are any of these signs. The most critical period to monitor a child is the first 24 hours after the fall.
For cuts, remove the sharp object immediately. Wash your hands before you attend to the wounded child to avoid infection. If there is ongoing bleeding, use a clean towel or tissue paper and apply pressure on the wound without releasing for at least a minute. If the wound is over the arm or leg, elevate it to help stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding has stopped, rinse the wound with running tap water. Dry the wound and apply antiseptic or antibiotic cream or ointment over the area immediately. If the wound gets redder or swollen or starts having discharge, bring your child to see a doctor.
If the wound was sustained outdoors especially in soiled areas,
ensure that your child’s tetanus immunisation is up to date.
If not, visit the doctor to get a tetanus shot.
For minor burns, run the wound under tap water (normal temperature) for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove bracelets or tight items around the wound. Do not break the blisters that form. If the blisters burst, keep them clean and dry, apply antibiotic cream and cover with a bandage. Over the counter painkillers can help with pain control but if in doubt, please visit your doctor.
Dr Tan advises that remaining calm is always helpful to the situation. Paramedics or doctors may need you to remember what happened in order to have a better idea of what is going on with your child and how to treat him. Remember, you are your child’s best chance!
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