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New parents and grandparents can adequately prepare themselves for first aid for babies by enrolling in a first aid class. In such a class, you will learn how to administer various types of first aid to small children, as the techniques may vary from first aid for adults. First and foremost, it is important to understand that babies are highly susceptible to injuries and illnesses, so first aid for babies should almost always involve getting professional medical attention for the child as quickly as possible. Head injuries should be treated especially quickly, as the heads of infants are quite soft and susceptible to damage very easily.
One of the most common injuries that will require first aid for babies is choking. If a child begins choking, it is important to take action immediately; unlike first aid for an adult, however, you will need to use less force when performing a Heimlich maneuver. This type of first aid for babies is conducted differently than it would be for an adult. Place the baby face down on your lap with the child's head lower than the rest of the body. Then, bring your hand down on the child's back in an attempt to dislodge whatever is stuck in the child's throat. If nothing comes out after a minute or two, call emergency services. If you suspect the blockage is due to an allergic reaction, contact emergency services immediately.
Bleeding from cuts can be treated similarly for babies as it would be for adults. Pressing a clean dressing against the wound will help clot the blood and stop the bleeding. Direct pressure is best, but be careful not to apply so much pressure that the baby's sensitive skin and bones are damaged. Clean the wound to prevent infection; use an antibacterial ointment or iodine, but try to avoid using peroxide, as this may kill healthy bacteria that is helping heal the wound.
First aid for babies in the event of a blunt trauma or burns should involve getting the child to a medical care facility as quickly as possible. If the baby falls or is hit by a solid object and becomes unresponsive, try not to move the child, as spinal injuries may have occurred. Burn victims will be especially susceptible to infections, so it is important to keep the baby clean and protected, and to remove the child from any further harm as quickly as possible. Seek medical attention quickly, as these are considered very serious conditions for a baby.
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