The ability to stay calm in an emergency situation can sometimes be a matter of life and death. Adults who take charge of children including grandparents, should make every effort to know what to do in the case of a medical emergency. Receiving training in lifesaving techniques and CPR certification can provide grandparents with the ability to save their grandchild’s life, should the need arise.
Types of Training
Ideally, all adults would take the time to familiarise themselves with emergency procedures in lifesaving for both children and adults, but a minimum requirement for those caring for kids is to become knowledgeable in at least matters relating to infants and children.
Infant and child CPR is appropriate for ages new-born through eight years and offers injury prevention guidelines as well as teaching proper emergency procedures in the event of a life threatening injury or illness.
Recognising Life Threatening Emergencies
Life threatening emergencies typically fall into four categories: breathing emergencies, respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest, and choking. It is critical that caregivers be alert and able to recognise the symptoms of each in order to provide adequate assistance. Symptoms of each are as follows:
Breathing emergencies: weak cry or voice, decreasing alertness and responsiveness, pale or blue lips or tongue, and either very rapid or unusually slow, shallow breathing
Respiratory arrest: no breathing at all or breathing so slowly or irregularly that the blood is not being oxygenated, unresponsiveness, but with signs of circulation (breathing, coughing or moving in response to rescue breaths)
Cardiac arrest: In children, cardiac arrest is most often caused by breathing emergencies or follows illness or injury. Signs include, limp and unresponsive to voice or touch, no normal breathing and no signs of circulation
Choking: clutches neck or throat, unable to speak or makes very faint sounds, weak, ineffective cough, no sound or a high pitched sound upon inhaling, difficulty breathing, blue lips or skin. If prolonged without treatment, child becomes unresponsive.
In the event of a life threatening emergency, lifesaving professionals should be called immediately so that they are en route while lifesaving techniques are being administered. Caregivers should continue CPR until help arrives.
Classes designed to educate people on handling life threatening medical emergencies are typically available at a variety of locations.
Hospitals, schools, and law enforcement offices may provide training and if not, they will be able to direct interested parties toward local classes.
Lifesaving and CPR training may be more readily available in large, metropolitan areas than in rural communities, but no matter the location, there is bound to be at least some access to instruction in lifesaving techniques.
For those who live in very remote areas or find it difficult to attend classes in person, CPR training is also available online. A quick inquiry through an internet search engine can help to locate such training.
Prevention is Key
While it is important to know how to handle life threatening emergencies, smart caregivers do all that they can to prevent them from happening in the first place.
Simple steps such as complying with sleep safety recommendations, keeping toxic substances out of the reach of children, providing kids with helmets and other athletic safety gear, and staying alert to possible choking hazards can all help to keep kids out of harm’s way.
After all, there is nothing more precious than the life of a child.