Paediatric First Aid: Dealing with Childhood Accidents & Illnesses

Would you know what to do in the event of an accident or emergency involving your child or a child in your care? How should you react if your child bangs her head or starts to choke? How would you recognise the signs and symptoms of Meningitis? When should you call an ambulance, and what should do while you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive? HR & Safety Connections share their tips on paediatric first aid: dealing with childhood accidents & illnesses.

hr connections_accidents_rAccidents happen, especially in the home where your children spend the majority of their time. All the fun things like climbing, swings, and trampolines all bring their own hazards. A child who is sick or injured may be frightened, and not understand what is happening to them.

#1. Reassure your child

If your child is frightened by doctors and nurses in uniform, or simply by the number of people around them, your gestures, body language and tone of voice will be vital in gaining their trust. Maintain eye contact, reassure your child, and explain everything that is happening around them.

# 2. Position yourself at child level

It may help to position yourself at the child’s level so that you are not towering above them when you are talking to them.

#3. Give your child a sense of security

Familiar objects such as a favourite toy or teddy, or familiar faces such as a friend or family member can help give the child a sense of security.

#4. Have a First Aid Kit in your home

Having a well-equipped first aid kit in your home and in your car is an essential for all parents, grandparents and carers of children, so that in the event of accidents or incidents you will have the items you need to help.

#5. Have a list of emergency numbers to hand

Keeping a list of Emergency numbers on your fridge door or in a prominent place in your kitchen can really help in your response to an accident. Download our handy Emergency Contact Numbers List here.

#6. Attend a Paediatric First Aid Course

Keeping your child safe is your number one priority, and attending a Paediatric First Aid Course can help you learn how to protect your child both inside and outside the home, and equip you with life-saving and first aid skills to help you deal with a range of childhood illnesses and accidents.

You will learn what to do if your child is choking or has an allergic reaction, or what to do in the case of febrile seizures (a convulsion triggered by a fever). With Meningitis, early detection and rapid medical attention is vital, so you will learn how to recognise the signs and symptoms of Meningitis and how to act appropriately.

Knowing you have the skills to deal with an accident or emergency can help you stay calm and ensure that you deal with the situation in the correct way.

HR and Safety Connections One Day Course

The one day course will talk you through a wide range of scenarios, not to scare you, but to prepare you, and give you the techniques and confidence to deal with a wide variety of situations.

hr connections_first aid_rYou will practice with various sized mannequins, learning the different techniques for infants and children, and you will receive a free Paediatric First Aid book to take home with you.

The course is suitable for parents, grandparents, babysitters and child-minders and is delivered over 1 day or over 2 evening sessions. Courses are run regularly throughout the year, and cost is €75.00 per person.

Course content covers a range of childhood accidents and conditions, and certification is valid for 2 years. The course is delivered by OFAAA certified instructors and complies with HSE guidelines.

Health & Safety Courses

HR & Safety Connections also provide a full range of public Health & Safety Courses including the 3 day Occupational First Aid, FETAC Level 5 course. They have recently introduced a programme designed specifically for Crèches , Pre-school and Childcare providers called the ‘Safe Crèche Programme’, which includes modules on:

  • Paediatric First Aid
  • Childcare Manual Handling
  • Food Safety / Allergy Awareness
  • Fire Safety

For further information on any of the above, please call 091 447200, or email

Keep up to date with HR & Safety Connections on their website, facebook and twitter.

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Have you completed a First Aid Course ? Let us know in the comments below.

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Jennifer, our Editor, has 1 son and admits to munching a Cadbury’s Turkish Delight now and again.