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Managing paediatric illness and injury

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First aid treatments for electric shocks
The symptoms of a child who is suffering from an electric shock can be things like the child becoming unconscious, having visible burns and problems with their breathing. When treating a child suffering from an electric shock it is important that you do not touch the child if they are still in contact with the current and to ensure that your hands are dry and that you are not standing on anything that is wet or made of metal. The way to treat a child suffering from an electric shock is: Switch off the current at the mains or, if you cannot turn off the mains, stand on some dry insulation material and use something made of non-conductive material to push the electrical source away from the child Check the child’s breathing and for signs of life. Be prepared to begin rescue breaths if needed Put a child who is unconscious but breathing into the recovery position If the child has burns, treat these while you are waiting for help.

Describe how to recognise the severity of burns and scalds to an infant or child and respond accordingly The difference between a burn and a scald is a burn occurs when the skin is exposed to direct heat or chemicals, fire for example. A scald occurs when the skin is exposed to hot fluids, boiling water for example. There are different types of burns and therefore different ways to respond to them, depending on the severity. First degree or minor burns are superficial and affect only the outer layer of the skin, making it red and sore Second degree or partial thickness burns extend below the surface of the skin.

The skin looks raw, and blisters form Third degree or full thickness burns damage the entire layer of the skin and underlying tissues to affect nerves, muscle and fat. The skin looks pale, waxy and charred. First degree burns can be treated at home and usually heal in seven to ten days. Second and third degree burns are much more serious and require medical attention as there is a risk of infection and shock developing.

Describe how to treat burns and scalds to an infant or a child When treating a child with a burn or scald, it is important that the priority is to cool the injury but this should not delay taking the child to hospital. You should call an ambulance immediately. Ensure that you bathe the area in cold water for at least ten minutes and while cooling the burn, check the child’s breathing and level of consciousness and be prepared to resuscitate. The standard procedure for treating a child with a burn or scald is Cool down the area by running it under cool water or soak in cold water for ten minutes. This will prevent the burn from getting worse Gently remove any constricting articles from the injured area before it begins to swell. Lightly cover the burned area with a sterile dressing

Stay calm and watch for any signs of shock. If the child loses consciousness, open the airway, check their breathing and be prepared to begin rescue breaths.

Describe how poisons enter the body
There are several ways that a poison can enter the body. Once inside the body, the poison can be carried to organs and tissues in the bloodstream. Poisons can be: Swallowed via foods, alcohol, medication and certain plants

Absorbed through the skin via plants such as poison ivy
Inhaled via gases, cleaning products and drugs
Injected via insect stings and snakes.

Describe how to recognise and treat an infant or child affected by common poisonous substances including plants There are different symptoms to look out for depending on the way the child inhibited the poison. If poison is
swallowed, the child may be red around the mouth

have stomach pain
have the smell of the poison on their breath
be nauseous or vomiting
be unusually drowsy and possibly become unconscious
have blistering or burns around the mouth and a burning sensation in the throat if a chemical has been swallowed. If poison is inhaled, the child may:
be breathing noisily
have a headache.

The procedure to follow when a child is affected by a common poisonous substance is Get medical attention immediately. Try to identify what the poison was and what time the child took it and how much was consumed Check inside the child’s mouth and encourage spitting out any berries or bits of leaf in the mouth. If possible, collect a sample to show the doctor Check the child’s circulation and breathing while waiting for the ambulance If the child is unconscious but breathing, put in the recovery position. It is important that you never try to make the child vomit if they have swallowed poison as this can make the condition worse.

Identify sources of information that provide procedures for treating those affected by poisonous substances Many poisonous products offer specific advice on the label about how to treat accidental swallowing of the contents, and some have a phone number which you can call for advice. Also, the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) is approved by the Department of Health, and commissioned by the Health Protection Agency. It provides expert advice on all aspects of acute and chronic poisoning.

Describe how to recognize the severity of bites and stings to a child and respond accordingly Animal bites
Any animal bite is hazardous and requires immediate attention Due to children’s smaller size, most bites are to their face and usually involve their lips, nose or cheek Toddlers often bite each other when playing together, but the resulting injuries are usually minor and do not normally pose a serious risk to their health. Insect stings

The most common insect stings are from wasps, bees and hornets. Other insects, such as mosquitoes and gnats, bite rather than sting and they do not require any specific first aid treatment. Bee and wasp stings are painful but rarely serious, unless the child has an extreme allergic reaction, also known as anaphylactic shock.

Describe how to recognise and treat bites and stings
For an insect sting, the common symptoms are:
crying: stings from bees and wasps are painful and it is usually obvious that a baby or child has been stung as they will cry as a result of the pain a raised white area on an inflamed, reddened area of skin at the site of the sting itchiness.

Also, there may be a sting left in the skin – sometimes so small it is not visible to the naked eye. To treat a child who has suffered with an insect sting, you should Calm the child down
If you can see a sting, scrape it off using a flat object such as a credit card or your fingernail Once the sting has been removed apply a cold compress to reduce the pain, swelling and itchiness. Leave the cold compress in place for up to ten minutes and reassure the child.

With animal bites, if the bite is minor, you should following the following procedure: Calm and reassure the child
Wash the wound using warm water and soap and rinse under running water for at least five minutes Dry the wound carefully but gently with a clean gauze pad or tissue Apply a plaster or sterile dressing

Check with the doctor as soon as possible to ensure that the bite is not infected or serious enough to carry the risk of tetanus. If the bite is serious, you should follow the following procedure: Call an ambulance immediately or take the child to the hospital Calm and reassure the child

Cover the wound with a clean dressing or pad and apply pressure with your hand to stop the bleeding. If possible, raise the affected part above the level of the child’s heart.

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