Dr Mark Porter MBE is the medical correspondent for The Times and presenter of BBC Radio Four's Case Notes. Recently he's been working with Elastoplast, who've produced a series of fact sheets for parents. This is in response to their new research which revealed that dads don't do first aid.
A third of dads say they don't feel confident when it comes to first aid. Sixty per cent of fathers, and over a third of mothers say they haven't dealt with an emergency situation as well as they could have done. With over 70% of parents having had to call an ambulance or take their child to A & E, these are vital skills we can't afford to ignore.
Here are your essential family first aid tips to help you deal with an emergency:
Some general rules for emergencies:
- Stay calm and smile. Your child will sense if you panic but will be reassured if you show you are in control and are there to help them
- Check your surroundings are safe. Don't put you or the child at risk
- Reassure the child and keep them warm
- A cuddle and a kiss can work wonders too!
- Try to avoid children seeing blood. The sooner a child's got a plaster on, the better they'll feel
- Prevent infection. If possible wash your hands before applying dressings or wear disposable gloves.
- Be prepared. Ensure you have a well stocked first-aid kit and replace anything you use as soon as possible
How to deal with small cuts or grazes:
- If the area is still bleeding apply pressure
- Wash the area and pat dry with a gauze swab
- Clean it with an antiseptic wash or wipe
- Apply a plaster that has a pad larger than the wound
- Take the child to hospital or your doctor if the bleeding doesn't stop, if an object is embedded in the wound or the wound was caused by a bite or dirty object
To find out more about first aid for your family you can download some free factsheets produced in conjunction with St John Ambulance from the Elastoplast website