Every teacher should be trained in basic first aid, kids can have accidents that require immediate attention and if you don’t know how to deal with them they could get worse. Being able to keep the situation under control can make a huge difference to the child’s recovery.
The first thing you need to do is check to see if the child needs to be moved out of any danger. If it looks as though something will fall on them or they are in the path of a fire, then they need to be moved immediately. If they have fallen and they lost consciousness then you should not move them, you could cause a spinal injury if you do.
Remembering your ABCs will help you deal with a first aid situation:
Airway – Is the airway clear?
Breathing – Are they breathing?
Circulation – Do they have a pulse at any of the major pulse points
If you can answer no to any of these things then you need to seek medical assistance. Call an ambulance immediately and listen to the instructions of the responder. They will be able to tell you what to do to help the situation.
All teachers should know how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) this can mean the difference between the life and death of a student. CPR should be done with your hands only, it is no longer considered effective to breathe into the patients mouth to inflate their lungs. To perform hands only CPR you must lean over the victim and place the heel of one hand over the centre of the chest and put your other hand on top your first hand. Push hard and fast at least one hundred beats per minute, the NHS recommends doing this to the tempo of the song “stayin alive” by the BeeGees. Do this until help arrives and let them know how long you have been doing it for.
The Heimlich manoeuvre can remove an obstruction from someone’s airway or prevent them from choking on it. To do this, you must get your victim to stand and your hands around their abdomen. Make a fist with one hand, the thumb of this fist should be pointing towards the victim, wrap your other fist around the first one and thrust upwards into the victim’s abdomen, this should cause any blockages to become dislodged. Please note that this should only be performed on children over one year old.
When a student burns themselves you should get them to run their injury under cold water immediately for at least fifteen minutes, this will help reduce the risk of any serious scarring. Do not apply anything to the burn until it has completely cooled, applying anything to a hot burn will make it much more painful.
When a child has a nosebleed, many people still tell them to tilt their head backwards, this should not be done because it can cause blood to leak into the throat and potentially drown the child. They should pinch the soft part of the bridge of their nose with their heads tilted forward. If bleeding persists for more than one hour, then medical attention should be sought.
Knowing some basic first aid can make you feel more confident about dealing with any situations that may arise and it can also mean you save the life of a student.