** In partnership with Safe and Sound Health, we have been compensated for our time. **
If there is anything that I have noticed since lockdown began, it’s that Shaniah is very much accident-prone. I imagine that Shaniah’s fearless nature may have something to do with it! I’ve lost count on the number of times I’ve had to patch her up with a plaster while wiping away the tears.
Lately, Shaniah has become obsessed with all things NHS, quite often we find ourselves playing doctors and hospitals. We’ve been everyone from the people on the desks as you walk into the hospital, right through to a surgeon, we’ve had it all. Shaniah loves them all.
With Shaniah’s interest for doctors as big as it has ever been, Ryan and I decided to teach Shaniah some basic first aid while she’s still interested.
We gave her some dressings and plasters, and we slowly introduced different first aid tips, but with a fun twist. Personally, for us, I think that teaching Shaniah basic first aid is so important for when I hurt myself during a seizure. Hopefully, she won’t need to use her new-found knowledge, but it’s nice to have it installed.
I have also noticed since we’ve been doing this, Shaniah isn’t so upset when it comes to the scrapes and cuts that she produces while making memories in the great outdoors. I guess you could say she can now adventure fearlessly.
Talking about adventure fearlessly, Safe and Sound have asked us to take part in their latest campaign to get families and children confidently playing without worrying about the inevitable cuts and scrapes. Safe and Sound have a vast range of wound care and plaster products that can help families patch up those small bumps and get back to having fun.
Knowing first aid can be fascinating for children if we use the right methods. So, what can we do to make learning basic first aid fun? Want to know? Read the following 6 tips!
Explain what you’re doing
I treat wounds while explaining the steps for example, when Shaniah falls over, which she does quite often, I will explain at every step what I’m doing but at a level, she will understand.
I explain that before I look at the wound, I need to thoroughly wash my hands. I use Safe and Sound Foaming hand sanitiser because it’s not always possible to use soap and water when you’re out and about with family. This sanitizer foam kills 99.99% of bacteria and dries quickly without leaving any sticky residue.
I then clean the wound and explain how we need to remove germs and dirt. When I am out and about, I like to use Safe and Sounds antiseptic wound spray so that I can clean the wound and prevent it from becoming infected.
If I am at home and using water on a tissue, I will then pat the wound dry and explain how this is key to making sure that the plaster sticks and so too, protects. I then let Shaniah choose what plaster and help me to stick it on.
Remember, if you’re calm while giving first aid to your child, you can help them remain calm during medical emergencies too!
This idea came to mind whilst we were playing doctors. I replicate swelling using socks and cotton balls and showed her how to work with bandages.
Tomato sauce is also a brilliant way to imitate a wound, while of course, making it fun.
There’s no harm in being realistic with children.
I touched on this earlier, but it really is an age-old method which works! Playing doctors teaches your child about emergencies while bringing in a dose of fun.
I decided that this way is the perfect way to encourage first aid when Shaniah asked for a doctor’s kit at a recent shopping trip. She kept asking what certain bits were for. The perfect time to teach.
I have also turned the playhouse into a hospital so that she can make her play come to life.
Make a kit
Making a first aid kit together is such a brilliant idea. It’s a great way to explain what everything is inside the box and when you would need them. It’s also a great time to explain that the first aid kit is only to be used in an emergency and that it isn’t a toy. Anyone else have a child who is obsessed with plasters?
Making a kit together is a great activity as well as a vital learning session on the importance of first aid. We gave it a try, here is what we put in ours:
- Adult plasters, for those little accidents whilst cooking. We all have them!
- Kids fun plasters, I have unicorn plasters and dinosaur plasters, perfect for letting little hands choose their own.
- Antiseptic wound spray
- Foaming hand sanitiser.
I keep all these in a bag so that when we go out for adventures, I am able to simply pop it in my bag and then I know that I am ready for those unexpected bumps and scrapes.
Raise the alarm
Whilst for many, first aid is all about treating the problem. Children need to know that they must also call for an adult.
With myself being Epileptic, this is something that we had to install in Shaniah quite early on. You’d be surprised just how reliable youngsters can be when it comes to emergencies. On my phone, I have headshots of every family member linked to their contact details and showed Shaniah how to access my contacts and when to call in an emergency. She grasped it super quick. I pretended that I needed help and she practised calling her dad and grandparents.
They’re still children
Whilst you may be keen to teach them as many first aid skills as you possibly can, you must remember that they’re still children. Teaching BASIC first aid such as how to clean up a wound, and apply a plaster is perfect. But burns or severe injuries are not the business of young children. We teach them first aid to help the said child, that does not mean they need to go out and help others.