“Children are curious. They learn by playing in and exploring the world around them. This is a wonderful way to grow and develop… However, the problem is that your children lack the ability to understand danger and consequence” – Sarah Hunstead
Almost every parent has one of those stories, (baby’s first bump on the head, toddler grabbing a hot coffee cup off the table or locking the car door on a hot day…) – and many of us have been told about the time we were raced to hospital by one of our parents when we were little.
Although it’s important to do everything we can to avoid an accident from happening in the first place, of course, sometimes accidents and emergencies do happen.
Paediatric nurse and founder of CPR Kids, Sarah Hunstead, is committed to empowering adults to be able to respond appropriately when the worst-case scenario presents itself. This way they know that they have done everything they could to protect their little one. In partnership with H&M here are Sarah’s top 3 tips for parents when things don’t go according to plan.
3 tips for staying cool when things don’t go to plan
1. First aid course: knowledge is power
It’s a good idea to undertake a first aid course before your little one is born (add it to your ‘to-do’ pregnancy list). Sarah Hunstead started CPR Kids because, as a paediatric nurse, she knows that what a parent or carer does to help in the minutes before an ambulance arrives, can directly impact the health outcome of their child. Empowering yourself with the knowledge of what to do and how to act when your baby or child has been, for example, stung, bitten, burned, injured, concussed or showing signs of serious illness – is a game-changer.
2. Know the resources around you to help
Before any sort of incident occurs, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the healthcare resources available to you and around you. You might want to think about:
- Closest Children’s Hospital
- Closest 24-hour pharmacy
- Other family members and friends nearby who you can call on if need be – if you have more than one baby/child, you may need to call on someone to look after your other child while taking baby/child to the hospital
3. Know the signs to look for if your baby isn’t well
The first few times your baby is sick is unnerving for most parents. Because your baby hasn’t been exposed to all the germs and viruses that older children or us adults have, they are vulnerable to getting sick – just ask every parent whoever sent their baby/toddler to Childcare! The important thing is to know the signs to look out for:
A fever is an increase in body temperature; it’s part of the body’s normal response to infections and plays an important role in fighting them. A fever is a body temperature over 38 degrees Celsius. However, as there are several types of thermometers on the market now – including digital varieties, with varying accuracies, the general rule is:
- In the armpit – Above 37 degrees Celsius
- On the forehead (temporal artery thermometer) – Above 38 degrees Celsius
Make sure you have a thermometer at home. The digital ones are non-intrusive and can make taking your little one’s temperature less of a drama.
Parents should understand that fevers can mean different things for babies at different stages of their development.
- If your child is older than 3 months then a 38-degree temperature or lower is considered normal.
- If your child is 3 months or younger with a temperature of 38 degrees or higher, it’s recommended to call your baby’s doctor immediately.
- A temperature of 38 degrees or higher in an infant less than 29 days old is considered a medical emergency.
- If your baby is 3-6 months old, call your baby’s doctor if your baby’s temperature exceeds 38.5 degrees.
- If your child is over a year old, call your baby’s doctor if the fever lasts longer than 24-48 hours – or sooner if the fever is accompanied by other worrisome symptoms.
- Not eating or drinking fluids.
If your baby refuses to eat or continually misses feeds, it may be a sign of a more serious illness. Therefore, if your baby is resisting food/feeds and/or fluids, we recommend you call your baby’s doctor.
Diarrhoea and vomiting
Diarrhoea and vomiting are signs that your baby may have a bacterial infection of the intestine, an obstruction or another problem related to their digestive system. Diarrhoea and vomiting also present a concern of dehydration. Definitely call your baby’s doctor if your baby has persistent diarrhoea or vomiting.
On average, your baby should wet at least 4 nappies a day. If your baby isn’t wetting their nappy that often, we recommend you look for these warning signs related to urination:
- Is your infant showing signs of distress or discomfort while urinating? This could be a sign of an infection or problem related to the urinary tract.
- Do you notice pinkish stains on your baby’s nappy? This could be a sign of highly concentrated urine but isn’t cause for concern. If this staining is persistent, talk with your baby’s doctor about investigating other underlying causes.
- Is there blood in the urine? If so, we recommend you call your baby’s doctor immediately.
- Listless, sluggish and unresponsive.
If your baby is listless, sluggish and unresponsive, they may well be sick and require medical attention. We recommend calling your baby’s doctor.
Knowledge is power and your ability to know how to respond to the situation can directly impact the health outcome of your baby or child. Sign up for a first aid course, know the resources available to you and the signs to look for if your baby is unwell. You’ve got this.
This is a paid partnership between Kiindred x H&M