The birth of an infant fills your life with joy like none other. While you may be aware of how to care for their safety on a day-to-day basis, you must also prepare for the worst, as accidents and injuries can occur unexpectedly.
Basic life support (BLS) training is a course that enables you to manage emergencies. The training includes emergency, life-saving maneuvers, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), ventilation to patients, etc. As a parent, it is helpful to obtain a BLS certification to ensure your infant’s safety. After all, it could mean the difference between life and death!
Today we will discuss the necessary life-saving techniques for specific conditions that every parent needs to know.
Managing a Choking Baby
Choking is a major cause of infant deaths worldwide. It occurs when a solid object gets stuck in the throat or windpipe. The first step in clearing the throat is encouraging the child to cough it out. However, if you find the coughing sound silent or a wheeze accompanying the breath, it is time to incorporate other life-saving techniques.
Immediately start back blows. As per NHS guidelines, position the baby with his face positioned safely over your thighs. Support the head with your hand and give five sharp blows on the back (between the shoulders) using the heels of your hand. Check the mouth for clearance.
For children above one year, you can try the same back blows. If the choking persists, try giving abdominal thrusts (or chest thrusts) to produce an artificial cough. This can be done by standing behind the baby and placing arms around the waist (as they bend forward). Place one hand over the other and pull inwards (and slightly upwards). Repeat this five times and call an emergency number meanwhile.
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Managing a Non-Breathing Baby
A BLS certification can be a lifesaver in such scenarios. If you find your infant is unresponsive due to unconsciousness, check for chest/stomach movement. An absence of movement means slowed or absent breathing.
Call emergency services and start BLS. The first step is lifting the head/neck in a neutral position by lifting the chin.
CPR involves a combination of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breaths, called rescue breaths. For infants, cover the nose, take a deep breath, and blow a breath gently via the infant’s mouth for a second to provide oxygen to the blood. The breath should raise the chest. As the chest comes down (lungs deflate), repeat the steps.
You might also try chest compressions to bring your baby back to life. Place three fingers in the center of their chest and press firmly to maintain the blood flow to the vital organs like the lungs. Do this 30 times until emergency services arrive
The primary purpose of a BLS certification is to equip you with knowledge of ABC, i.e., airway clearance, breathing, and circulation (of blood).
A burn can have serious and long-lasting consequences. If your child gets burnt, immediately apply cold (cool running water) on the affected site for 15 to 20 minutes. That can help prevent further skin damage. Remove clothing from the burn site that might get stuck on it.
Ensure to cover the child in warm blankets as you cool down the burn. Blisters are likely to develop after you have cooled the burn area, and it is essential not to touch them until medical help arrives.
Managing Water-Related Accidents
If your infant drowns in the bathtub, immediately take the child out and check for breathing. If the child is not breathing normally or is entirely unresponsive, call for help (emergency services) and start CPR instantly.
Place the baby on its back on the surface and start rescue breathing. After tilting the head and lifting the chin of the baby, cover the nose and blow breaths through the mouth after creating a tight seal over the mouth and nose.
Start chest compressions in the meanwhile if you do not feel a pulse. Give a rescue breath after every five chest compressions. Repeat till you feel their pulse and the baby regains their breath or until emergency help arrives.
As per a randomized controlled trial, BLS training is effective in helping the trainees keep chest compression skills for a long time. Thus, a BLS certification can help save your infant’s life.
Even if you are a devoted parent, you won’t be able to protect your child at all times. An accident may happen. And in that case, knowing the techniques described above may make the difference between saving your child or not. A BLS certification will provide you with the knowledge and practical skills to deal with an accident in the best way possible.
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