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  • Beyond Band-aids: Teaching Basic First Aid to Young Children

    Giving your children a crash course on first aid can make all the difference in life-and-death situations.
    by Dr. Natasha Balbas .
  • band aid

    As many precautions as we may take, some emergencies are unavoidable. Teaching young children basic first-aid tips can go a long way in helping to ensure everyone can enjoy a safe, fun-filled summer.

    Amazingly, children seem to recover from minor injuries with the blink of an eye, But even if they’re lucky enough to have supervision of someone with first-aid training, it’s still a good idea to prepare them for worst case-scenarios. Empowering a child with basic first-aid knowledge not only encourages personal responsibility but also fosters self-confidence.  

    Reassure them that safety is always first.
    If kids were up to no good, they may be hesitant to tell an adult if something bad has happened, for fear of being found out. They need reassurance from you, the parent, that they will never get in trouble for asking for help when someone gets hurt. Acknowledge and thank them for making the right decisions in seeking help for an emergency, and allow the dust to settle before you reprimand them for disobeying.

    Give them their own version of 911.
    Technology may have eradicated the need for memorizing phone numbers or addresses, but this may not be a good thing for your kids. If an emergency arises, and their cell phone is unavailable, will they know how to get a hold of you? At the very least, they should be able to memorize at least one emergency contact number, in case their yaya, lola, or other guardians are unable to call for help.

    Make it fun.
    Role-play different emergency situations with your kids, but do so in a way that will capture their attention. Pretend your child is a doctor, wear silly costumes, or act out different types of patients. Make up a game, or create a color book together that illustrates what they can do in specific emergencies. Involve everyone in your family so they too can learn a thing or two about responding to emergency situations.

    Don’t underestimate your children.
    If you present the information simply, you can teach your child even the most seemingly complex topics. It’s a good idea to start small, such as “If a person falls and can’t move, tell him/her to “freeze” (stay still) while you call for help.” If your child asks, “Then what?”, you may choose to continue teaching more complex tasks. However, remind them that even if they know what to do, they should always tell an adult about the incident, so that the injured person can be examined by a doctor, if needed.


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