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Infant First Aid

Infant First Aid

Every parent hopes that he or she will never have a use for infant first aid. However, in case of an emergency such as choking on food or a fall into a pool, you need to be prepared. Infant first aid is much different than adult first aid, and it can be very dangerous to a baby or small child if performed incorrectly. Learn the basics and be ready in case you find yourself in a life or death situation.

If your baby suddenly stops coughing or crying, check if something is blocking the airway. The baby might be making gasping sounds or no sounds at all, and might begin to turn blue. If your baby's airway is blocked, call 911 right away, and put the baby face down on your forearm while supporting the neck. Hold the baby on your thigh, and position her so that her head remains lower than the rest of her body. Use the heel of your hand to give firm thrusts between her shoulder blades.

Next, turn the baby over on your lap so she's face up, resting on your forearm. Put two or three fingers between the baby's nipples and thrust straight down on the chest about half an inch to one inch, then wait until the chest returns to normal position. Give five of these thrusts in a row, and alternate with five thrusts between her shoulder blades and five chest blows. Repeat until the baby coughs up the object. If she coughs up the object and becomes unconscious, you'll need to perform CPR.

CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is used when a person is not conscious or breathing. Without oxygen-rich blood circulating to the brain, serious brain damage or death will occur within a few minutes. To perform CPR on your baby, tilt back the baby's head to open the airway. See if there is any air entering your baby's body by putting your head near her mouth. If not, give two small, quick breaths, and take care not to breathe too hard as this can easily damage a baby's delicate lungs.

If air is going into your baby, give two small breaths in a row, and pause to let it flow out. Next, with the baby still on her back, put two or three fingers between her nipples and push down about half an inch to an inch. Give 30 chest compressions at a steady rate of 100 each minute. Stop after every 30 and give two small breaths into the baby's lungs. Keep repeating this until the ambulance arrives.

You can reduce some first aid risks by taking precautions with your baby's environment. Never leave children unattended near water a small child can even drown in a small bucket of water. When feeding your baby, don't give foods like raw carrots, nuts or hot dogs until the age of four. Watch out for drawstrings on blinds, coins on the floor, or other foreign objects.



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