St John WA: Why Parents Need First Aid Skills

Medical emergencies can strike at any time, especially for parents with young children.

In these instances, a cool head and preparedness are necessary to prevail.

Children are naturally inquisitive. It’s not uncommon for them to experience burns, scalds, cuts, bruises and choking in a household setting.

Burns and scalds

Hot drink scalds are the leading cause of childhood burns in Australia – 74 per cent occur in children aged under two.

Alarmingly, it was recently revealed that more than two-thirds of toddlers burned in hot drink accidents are not treated with correct first aid.

A year-long study of children aged 0 to 36 months at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Queensland found only 28 per cent of children received correct burn first aid for hot drink scalds.

This was despite 66 per cent of parents reporting that they had undertaken first aid training in the previous 12 months.

First Aid Burn Tips

The correct first aid for a burn is to immediately cool the affected area for up to 20 minutes using cool running water from a tap or shower.  In the absence of water any cool clean fluid (beer, soft drink, etc.) can be used. 

Quickly and carefully remove clothing wet with hot liquid or affected by a chemical splash.

Things to Avoid

Some things you should never do include: break blisters or remove peeled skin, remove any fabric that is stuck to a burn, apply creams, ointments, lotions or butter to any burn injury.

St John WA first aid training general manager Aaron Harding said by applying basic first aid to burns, you can reduce the injury size , depth and scarring.

“St John wants everyone to train in first aid, not just parents. We see it as an invaluable life skill and we know it saves lives,” he said.

Be Prepared

St John offers a non-accredited course called Caring for Kids to give parents and guardians of children the opportunity to be prepared for any first aid situation – whether it be a near-drowning, fracture, bleed or shock.

The course teaches participants how to:

  • perform CPR
  • manage bleeds, burns and a range of childhood related illnesses and injuries.

The five-hour course focuses on asthma, choking, bites and stings. Participants will gain the confidence and skills to step in to assist children in these types of situations.

Upon course completion, all participants receive a free Tiny Tots first aid kit, valued at $35.

Refresh Your Skills

St John recommends that people refresh their first aid training every 12 months.

For information on training visit the St John WA website.

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