We’ve all experienced or heard of emergency situations that required the Heimlich maneuver or CPR, and thought to ourselves that it might be a good idea to learn those techniques. Sure, we wake up every day and hope the day goes smoothly without any accidents occurring. But we all know that’s not the case. Therefore, I want to learn first aid skills! I understand that learning first aid skills won’t make my life easier on a day-to-day basis. However, just like anything else, when you start thinking about all of the medical techniques you could learn and feel like you ought to learn, it can get a bit overwhelming.

I want to learn first aid skills!  But I won’t use my first aid kit daily like I do my food storage!  So, learning first aid skills doesn’t really make my life easier on a day-to-day basis.  Just like anything else, when you start thinking about all the first aid skills you could learn and maybe feel you ought to learn, it can get a bit overwhelming.

First Aid Skills

When it comes to emergency procedures, I had to remind myself that the goal isn’t to become a doctor myself! Physicians go to school full time for years, and for most of us, that isn’t realistic! I just want to be able to offer the best assistance possible until I can get to a doctor. For example, what if your child starts choking and stops breathing? Of course, you are going to dial 911, but you should also know the necessary emergency medical procedures to perform while you wait for medical assistance.

Chances are, your child will encounter a minor injury or two, so let’s look at another example. Let’s say your child fell off of their skateboard at high speed and their skin is scraped up, and the wound is bleeding heavily. If you have a first aid kit, you can find the correct bandage and get them cleaned up yourself. If it becomes worse than expected, then you should take your child to a pediatrician. However, more than likely a pediatrician won’t be necessary for a situation like this.

Society would be a lot better if each of us took the time to learn a few essential medical skills. We’d be more equipped to help each other in minor emergency situations instead of waiting and hoping that help gets there in time. Furthermore, anyone with kids should keep a close eye on the health of their children and know how to assist in emergencies.

So, I read about basic first aid on sites like WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, and the Red Cross. I pulled out the survival pocket guide and first aid cards from my 72-hour kit, and I studied. It was important that I focused on the essential, life-saving skills first if anyone in my family encountered life-threatening emergencies. However, having these skills doesn’t mean you have to have a first-aid certification. It merely means that you know what to do in a critical situation.

Continue reading for a few general first aid tips when dealing with children:

  • Make sure you know how to get help.
  • Take the child is in a safe area.
  • Consider taking a CPR class. If disaster strikes, you will be able to help them continue breathing.
  • If the child is choking or having trouble breathing, be sure to put them in a position that their airway remains open.

5 important first aid skills for kids

A Helpful New Printable

After I did that, I created a list of everything I believed to be the most essential first aid skills. The list includes things that I would not want to wait for a doctor to arrive and do. Most are skills I’ve studied before, but I don’t regularly use, obviously. I wanted a way to remember them accurately if and when I needed to use them. Therefore,  I created a one page printable! Put one in the car, on your fridge, or in the pantry. Make sure babysitters know where to find it, along with other babysitter notes. You could even fold one up and put it in your wallet! It’s simple, easy-peasy, and not overwhelming. I love it. Download the free printable first aid guide by clicking on it:

Important:  Please know, you are more than welcome to use my printable above, but it is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, emergency treatment, or formal first-aid training. If you ever face a life-threatening medical situation, please call 911 as quickly as possible. This printable is the result of my personal online research and compilation of information I want for myself, my family members, and babysitters to have quick access to. Again, you are welcome to use it, but you may also consider learning more about hands-only CPR, taking a First Aid / CPR training course, and adding some of the below first aid apps to your phone/device:

related-post-printable-first-aid-kit-checklist

First Aid Apps:

Do you have any first aid resources for learning necessary, life-saving skills I have not mentioned that you love? Tell us about it in the comments!

The Most Important First Aid Techniques To Learn

I know a first aid guide has a lot of information, but if you’re stuck on where to begin, I’m here to help. Of course, it’s good to know every emergency procedure, but you shouldn’t burden yourself with that. Start by learning the ones that are the most common and move on from there.

1. CPR

CPR is one of the handiest first aid skills, and it has saved many lives. When a person is unable t breath, it’s serious. So, the quicker someone can get in there to help, the better. There are several ways to learn CPR— from local classes, online courses, and even YouTube videos.

2. Cleaning and Dressing Wounds

This is another very important skill to have. Cleaning and protecting a wound makes a huge difference in how well a cut heals and whether it becomes infected.

3. The Heimlich Maneuver

I’m sure you’ve seen the Heimlich Maneuver played out on many movies and TV shows as a joke, but it’s actually very serious. If a person is severely choking, you only have a few seconds to respond before the situation becomes life-threatening.

4. Treating Shock

A person can go into shock if they’ve witnessed something traumatic or endured a severe injury. Unfortunately, a person can still die from shock, even after their affliction has been treated. Therefore, it’s imperative to know the signs. You want to keep the person calm, elevate their feet, and keep them warm, so their blood pressure stays regulated.

5. Treating Burns

Burns are extremely painful and damaging, and it must be treated quickly. Depending on the severity of the burn, it can cause infection and loss of skin. You’ll want to know how to apply creams and properly wrap the wound.

How To Prepare For Emergency Situations

According to safetyed.org, safety kits are necessary for every home and vehicle. Not only that, but your family should be ready in case of a natural disaster or life-threatening incident. Here are a few pointers they provided on their website:

Prevent And Treat Poisoning

Young children tend to be very curious, so you need to poison proof your home. Keep harmful liquids out of their reach, and lock up medication, beauty products, and alcoholic beverages. If someone in your household eats, drinks, or inhales something poisonous call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. They can provide you with instructions on how to treat ailments and remove toxins from the body.

Prepare Your Home For Earthquakes

Unless you live in an area where earthquakes are common, you might not think much about them. However, we all know they can happen anywhere! Before a quake occurs, figure out the safest area in your home and where you can go once it’s over. Do research to learn if any fault lines in your area could potentially cause an earthquake in the future. You want to also make sure you have the correct supplies in your first aid kit, and that you can perform the proper medical techniques. Lastly, keep your home stocked with non-perishable foods and bottled water in case you get stuck in your home.

Plan Ahead In Case Of A Fire

It’s unfortunate, but fires are common, and you never know when one might occur. Sometimes you can prevent a fire from spreading— like a grease fire —other times you can’t. Therefore, your entire family needs to know what to do in case there’s an emergency. Map out where the exits are in your home and have an escape plan for every situation. You don’t know which area of the house that a fire can start, so be sure to to have different routes. Furthermore, take some time practicing with your family so that everyone is aware of what to do.

Prepare For A Tornado

The only good thing about tornadoes is that you usually have a little time to prepare. Most likely, your local news will warn the residents in the area before the storm strikes. That’s fine, but when a huge storm is on the way, you don’t want to be scrambling to get supplies or putting together a safety plan. Find a place in your home that doesn’t have glass, dangling ornaments, or anything that can cause cuts and injuries. Furthermore, there might be a power outage once the tornado passes, so make sure your home is stocked with non-perishable food items and bottled water.

Plan For A Home Burglary

This is another tough situation that a lot of people don’t like to think about, but it’s a harsh reality. We all hope that we’re not the victims of robbery, but everyone needs to be on guard just in case. First, you should get an alarm system if you don’t already have one. It will give you and your family the added piece of mind that you’re secure in case of an intrusion. Furthermore, prep your home when you’re away. Turn on the light or radio so that a burglar will think someone is home. And if you go on vacation, send your packages to a P.O. box or a loved one’s house. Obviously, you want to make sure that all doors and windows are locked, but you can also have cameras installed to catch anyone that’s snooping on your property.

Final Thoughts On Following A First Aid Guide

The reality of life is that none of us know when tragedy might strike, and knowing first aid techniques is not only beneficial for your family but others as well. When emergencies occur, most people have to scramble to find someone who knows CPR and other medical procedures, but wouldn’t it be great if you were that person who could do it? I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “ knowledge is power”, but that statement applies to everything, not just book smarts. You won’t learn everything overnight, but I encourage you to stick with it. I’d like to get your feedback. Do you have any first aid resources for learning life-saving skills I didn’t mention? Tell us about it in the comments!

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