You are out with the kids and suddenly one of them stops breathing. What do you do? Major panic and helplessness can immediately set in. This will bring about no help to the one that really needs some fast thinking. What is needed is for fast action to kick in from the adult(s) or even older kids. Someone calls 911 (this may mean running a ways to get a signal). Determine if is there is a pulse and start CPR. Sounds very complicated. Well, is really is not. All you need to know how to do is basic CPR. You will automatically stay calm when you what to do to help.
Here are some of the common extreme emergencies that may arise:
- External bleeding that is easily stopped
- Stopped breathing (choking)
- Internal poisoning
With these life threatening events, you may be the first responder.
With external bleeding, you must do everything you can to stop the flow of blood. Take charge. Send someone to call 911 or get help if very close. Keep the victim laying down. Try to stop the bleeding by applying pressure (try to avoid direct contact with blood).
Know CPR. Take a class from your local Red Cross. There is also many local organizations that teach and certify for basic CPR (fire departments, YMCA, etc).
Have a basic first aid kit with you. Someone usually has day pack when you go off the beaten path where not a lot of people are seen. Make it standard practice to take a first aid kit with you in that day pack. Carry one in the car. And have one in the house.
You can turn this very serious issue into a family activity. You can make a very good first aid kit with a lunch box and some store bought items (most you may already have at home). It is a great time to spend time with the kids while talking about what to do in an medical emergency. You can certainly tailor the discussion depending on the age of the kids. I have heard more than once when a 3-4 old saves their mom or dad by knowing to call 911 if they see someone hurt or not breathing.
Try taking a CPR/AED and first aid class as a family activity. You will be amazed on the interest you will get from the kids. Always remember that panic can easily be replaced with calmness when you know what to do in an emergency.