First aid for children

Many people know how to apply first aid. Some have taken courses, and others have had to learn about the subject on their own. However, most of the time we only learn how to act with adults. They do not usually teach us how to proceed in first aid in children and babies, so if we are forced to give help to the little ones, we must take into account some differences.

The body changes greatly from childhood to adolescence and maturity. That is why attention such as first aid in children must be provided in a very different way, taking into account the physiological variations. On the other hand, there will also be differences between how to help newborn babies and infants who are still in childhood, but who are older.

In this article, we will see what are the main aspects to remember if you ever have to perform first aid in children.

Child crying with his mother
Child crying with his mother

First aid for children: the most important

There is a multitude of first aid techniques. This is because different types of accidents can occur. Next, we will explain those that can be carried out with the most common accidents in childhood.

Because children are in the exploration phase, it is very difficult to control them at all times. Therefore, children often end up suffering all kinds of small accidents. These are the most common cases that affect the little ones.

1- Cuts wounds

Cutting wounds usually occur due to the manipulation of sharp objects, such as knives or broken glass. In case it happens, the main thing is to determine if the wound is clean. For example, in the case of crystals, some pieces may have remained inside the wound.

Then we should proceed to the washing of the wound, before applying any type of antiseptic, since otherwise, they lose effectiveness. Generally, with soap and water, it is usually enough.

If the cut is not very deep, we have to leave it exposed to the air as much as possible. Every so often, it is necessary to wash it again, in order to contribute to proper healing. If it is a deep cut, it is best to take the child to the doctor for stitches. If not, plaster can be enough to protect the injured area and avoid discomfort to the child.

2- Bleeding or nosebleed

Nosebleeds in children do not usually occur, in most cases, by any pathology. They often arise from sneezing, allergies or increased blood pressure. The blood vessels of children are still weak compared to adults. Therefore, they are very prone to breaking in the nose and in the ears.

The most important thing in this situation is to ask the child to bring his head forward. This is the opposite of what is usually done; however, it favors the outflow of blood only through the nose. This position should be maintained while pressing just below the nasal septum. The pressure that we exert must be energetic, but always in the soft part of the nose to avoid other types of injuries.

3- Burns

Burns usually occur in the kitchen. Occasionally, the child comes in contact with very hot surfaces such as pots, pans, oven or cooking fires. In these situations, we must first assess the state of the burn. There are some that require immediate medical attention. However, most of them are not too serious, although the protocol of action must be equally fast.

First, we apply cold water on the wound, at least for 20 seconds. Then we should leave the wound in the air, and not apply creams or explode possible blisters. We will only apply ointments when the wound is somewhat healed.

In the event that it is a serious burn, it is best to take the child to the hospital to be seen by a professional.

Baby in the kitchen with ceramic hob
Baby in the kitchen with ceramic hob

4- Choking

The choking is the accidents that cause more impression, and those that require a protocol of action faster. During these situations, the breath is compromised, and with it the life of the child. To avoid problems when this happens, it is important to explain to the children (if their age allows it) what signs they should do if they know they are choking.

If we see that a child can not breathe, we should check if he coughs, cries, or babbles. In these cases, the air, although with difficulty, is passing through the respiratory tract. Therefore, even if it is a dangerous situation, it is not so serious.

If, on the other hand, air does not pass at all, we should call emergency services very quickly. While they arrive, holding the child by the armpits, we must give up to 5 blows in the highest part of the back. If this does not work, we would proceed with the Heimlich manoeuvre.


When applying first aid in children, the most important thing to remember is always to assess the situation.  At this time, we must decide if we should go to the emergency services. Sometimes, our own knowledge is enough to get the child out of danger. In this way, we will avoid creating excessive anxiety.

On the other hand, if the child’s life is in danger, do not hesitate to go to the emergency services. Even if you are an expert in first aid in children, it never hurts to ask professionals for help.