first aid for infants
What every new parent must know
- Cradle the infant upside-down with one arm supporting his chest, his head resting in your hand.
- Strike him between the shoulder blades five times (see Figure A).
- If the object isn’t expelled, lay the infant on his back again. Place two fingers on his breastbone, one finger width below the nipples. Using your fingers, give five quick downward thrusts to the chest at a depth of 1/2–1 inch.
- Never feed a child under 3 years of age hot dogs, hard candy, nuts, grapes, popcorn or raw carrots. Keep items that are easy to choke on, such as coins, beads, disc batteries, pills and vitamins, and small toys and balls, out of reach.
- Cut up any food not soft enough to dissolve in the mouth, such as meats, into fingertip-size pieces.
- Supervise children while they eat. Make them eat slowly.
- Anything smaller than a pingpong ball (other than food) can choke a child and should be kept out of reach.
- Never give balloons to infants or young children. They are extremely easy to choke on.
Every year, more than 1 million children under the age of 5 are unintentionally poisoned. More often than not, whatever these children ate or drank, they found at home. “Alcohol, plants, bleach, furniture polish, paint — all can kill a child quickly and need to be kept out of reach,” Larmon says.
Look for: Empty or spilled pill bottles, signs of vomiting and burning around the mouth, the odor of chemicals.
What to do
1} Call poison control immediately. To find your local poison control center, look in the white pages of your phone book under “poison” or call 911 and ask the operator to connect you.
2} Do not induce vomiting or try to dilute the substance by giving your child milk or water to drink unless told to do so by medical personnel.
- Buy child-resistant packaging whenever possible. Lock potential hazards, such as laundry and cleaning supplies, cosmetics, all medicines, gasoline, charcoal, fertilizers and trash, in a cabinet out of children’s reach.
Any deep wound can be complicated by bleeding and the possibility of damage to nerves and tendons.
Look for: What caused the wound? “If it’s the result of a fall, it may not be merely the scrape it seems to be,” Larmon says. “If your child fell down the stairs but all you see is a scrape or bruise, call 911 or her physician anyway, since she could suffer internal bleeding or a head injury.”