It is a good idea to take the time to teach your child first aid. Do not leave that up to someone else, as you never know when they might need it. A child may be hesitant to learn first aid because the terminology and equipment can sometimes be overwhelming or confusing. However, learning the basics can really help them to be and feel safer. Here are some tips for teaching kids first aid:
Tip one: Let them put together a first aid kit. One of the fastest ways to teach a child about first aid is to simply get all of the supplies for a first aid kit, and have them help you put the kit together. As you put each item in, you can explain the uses. You may want to describe possible scenarios where they may use the things they are putting in, such as burn cream, bandages, splints, etc. After you put the kit together, show them each piece and quiz them on how to use each item in it. It can be a fun game that helps them remember basic first aid tactics, and at the very least, which supplies are used in which circumstances.
Tip two: Role-play emergency scenarios. It can be overwhelming or scary for a kid to think about broken bones, bleeding, burns, etc. but it is important that they know how to properly clean a wound, splint a bone, treat a burn or bite, etc. So, help them to surpass the fear and get to the heart of the matter, which is learning the needed techniques, by pretending you are part of emergency situations, and having them role play what they would do to address the first aid needs. Of course, you can make it look real by using makeup, fake blood, etc. however, this may be difficult for some kids, so consider their tolerance, and go from there. Just remember, if an emergency or first aid situation arose for real, no one would be censoring the blood or gore they would be exposed to, so it might be wise to help them prepare for that and stay calm.
Tip three: Start with first aid basics. Although a child may eventually need to learn things like how to place a temporary stitch, etc. it is best to start with first aid basics then build from there. For example, teach them if there is severe bleeding, the first thing you do is apply pressure to stop the bleeding. This should be done before cleaning, etc. takes place, otherwise the person could bleed to death. There are a number of starting points to teach kids about first aid. An overview of a few are as follows:
- Bleeding: use pressure
- Fire: stop, drop, roll, clean, salve.
- Choking, drowning: CPR
- Broken bones: Support, splint
In addition to teaching your child first aid, teach them how to avoid situations where they may require first aid. For example, don’t dive in the shallow end of pools, or walk around outside barefoot, etc.