It seems like one cannot get through a day without receiving messages, or watching the news reports of an untoward situation evolving a medical emergency. For parents, their child's health and safety is the number one priority and they are often worried about emergencies their child could face.
A little training and understanding of emergency situations will help minimise the impact of an emergency on the entire family, whether at home or outdoors. Training and equipping children with appropriate first aid knowledge certainly comes in handy, so they are prepared irrespective of the presence of an adult.
The first step is to prepare a family communication plan for any sort of emergency that parents and kids can tackle together and separately. Second is to prep your kids, and yourself to be prepared for an emergency in a way that it is easy to tackle the crisis when it occurs.
Dr Gurudutt Bhat, Consultant Paediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan lists down what your emergency preparedness plan should look like:
BEING ALERT: It is common to be easily distracted, one could walk right into a hazardous situation. First and foremost, it is important to limit the time we spend on our phones and be cognizant of our surroundings. Teach your kids to be alert of the people and situations around them; if they hear or see any unfamiliar sounds or occurrences to make a note and inform a family member.
KNOWLEDGE OF FIRST AID KIT: Although some children may not be old enough to know how to use a First-Aid Kit, they can still be taught essential skills for when emergencies do happen. Show them where the First-Aid Kit is kept in your home. Give details of each item and purpose; have your children handle the items and use them in a demonstration, creating made-up scenarios that might warrant the used of the supplies stored in the kit
CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR) TRAINING: It is never too late to learn lifesaving techniques such as CPR, and training your young ones could help save a loved one. Speak to them about how CPR can help someone and when to use it. You can use different props such as a balloon to make the training fun. Acting out potential emergency scenarios and challenging kids to problem-solve their way through them will make sure they can carry out the training when the time comes. Most of the studies suggest that children above 14 yrs can be taught effective CPR and generate enough force to do cardiac massage on an adult in an emergency situation.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS: While you hope your child never has to deal with an emergency medical situation, it's important they know what to do in case they ever find themselves facing one. Talk to them about it and define what a medical emergency is. Explain to them that these are not things that happen on a daily basis and that they rarely happen at all, but that they need to know what to do in case something like one of the scenarios happens. Make them memorise a few emergency numbers/ write it down for them and teach them how to dial a phone.
These are some measures which will go a long way to keep kids and adults safe in today's chaotic world. Try not to over-prepare your child and always teach them to be hyper-vigilant. This way they will learn what they need to do if a real emergency arises and navigate it themselves, with little or no support from the adults.