Keep your children safe from mini egg danger of choking this Easter!

As Easter approaches and supermarket aisles filled with brightly foil-wrapped chocolate eggs. These and other small spherical sweet treats are just the same size as a child’s airway and pose a choking risk which could prove fatal.

In fact, a whopping 85% of choking deaths are caused by food.

We’re already aware some foods are classic choking hazards because of their size and shape, such as grapes. In fact, grapes are deemed such a risk that many schools and nurseries ban them from packed lunches.  

Furthermore, foods such as mini tomatoes, blueberries, popcorn and the small decorations on the top of cupcakes can also lend themselves to being choking hazards,

However, many of us remain unaware some chocolate and sweets can also be choking hazards for precisely the same reason – they are the perfect shape and size to be inhaled into a small childs windpipe. 

Mini egg danger

Mini Easter eggs have a warning on the back of the packet which states the chocolate should not be consumed by children under the age of four. However, sadly many children of four and over can still choke, so care must be taken whatever the age of the child. 

Additionally, its not just mini eggs. Maltesers and Smarties are other small spherical chocolate with the potential to be a choking hazard for very small children.

Ten simple steps to minimise the risk of danger of children choking

Everyone wants to treat their children from time to time. Here are ten common sense rules to follow to keep your family safe this Easter:

When selecting a sweet treat buy larger, hollow eggs that are less of a choking hazard. 

If the Easter egg does contain a smaller packet of sweet treats, be sure to cut these in half to prevent them being able to block an airway.

Carefully supervise children whilst eating them.

Babies and young children can choke on anything small enough to fit through a loo roll. To prevent choking, keep small objects out of reach, cut food into very small pieces.

Refrain from competitions involving food. The popular game ‘Chubby Bunny’ where as many marshmallows as possible are stuffed into the mouth, has proved fatal.

Never play games with food throwing them up in the air and catching them in your mouth, or someone else’s mouth.

Talking, laughing or crying with something in your mouth can also lead to choking. The sharp intake of breath which happens when you gasp, is sufficient to propel an object from your mouth and into your airway.

Don’t eat or chew whilst exercising.

A further hidden danger of sweets and choking has been highlighted when children or adults first wear fixed dental braces. As their tongue and teeth adapt to the new appliance, their usual ability to control food items in the mouth – including chocolate treats – is severely reduced and has led to instances of choking. Extra care needs to be paid to this period of adjustment.

How to respond if you come across a child or adult choking

Many choking accidents occur simply though bad luck. They can happen quickly and be extremely worrying. Knowing how to respond quickly, calmly and effectively is invaluable and could save a life.

How to help adults or children who are choking. Firstly ask “can you cough”? 

If not follow this..

Image result for back blows and chest thrust diagram
*If the person loses consciousness, commence resuscitation and CPR.

Choking is life-threatening when a child is unable to speak or cry and struggling to breathe and is going blue.

Please don’t panic though. Although choking is very common and extremely frightening, it is still comparatively rare that it proves fatal.

Remain calm and encourage them to clear it themselves first by coughing.

Back Blows 

If not successful, bend them forward supporting their chest with your hand. Children can also be bent over your knee.

Perform up to 5 back blows, checking between each to see if the blockage has cleared before repeating.

If the obstruction hasn’t cleared after 5 back blows, phone 000 or get someone else to and start chest thrusts.

Chest thrusts

Try chest thrusts. Stand in front of the person choking and place one hand on the centre of the chest. Thrust 5 times (similar to performing one-handed CPR) then check for dislodged obstruction. Children will require two fingers or less force when performing chest thrust compared with an adult.

Perform chest thrusts up to 5 times, checking each time to see if the obstruction has cleared.

If the person is still choking, call 000 and alternate five back blows and five abdominal thrusts until emergency help arrives.

If at any point the person becomes unconscious, start CPR.

Hot Response First Aid Training provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. Hot Response First Aid Training is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that you attend a First Aid course with us to understand what to do in a medical emergency.

Trampolines – Some tips to avoid injuries!

The number of Australian children sustaining serious injuries at indoor trampoline parks has increased as the activity grows in popularity, a new report has shown.

Researchers analysed a range of injury surveillance databases and found nearly 500 children presented to hospital emergency departments across three Australian states from 2012 to 2017 due to injuries suffered at indoor trampoline parks.

Here are some tips to avoid those nasty injuries!

  • Trampolining isn’t suitable for children under the age of six because they’re not sufficiently physically developed to control their bouncing.
  • Trampolining injuries can occur to all parts of the body, including the neck, arms, legs face and head. Head and neck injuries are the most serious injuries associated with trampolines. The most common injuries are caused by awkward landings and include sprains or fractures to the wrist, forearm, elbow and collarbone.
  • Adult supervision is no guarantee of safety. More than half of all trampoline accidents occur whilst under supervision. However a trained ‘spotter’ can greatly reduce this risk.
  • Injury experts have warned that unless a mandatory Australian standard governs the safety of indoor trampolining, children will continue to be at increased risk of “catastrophic” spinal injuries and lifelong disability.
  • Never combine alcohol with trampolining! Children have been hurt while bouncing with adults who have been drinking at summer garden parties.
  • Whatever your ability level, join a local trampolining club to learn new trampolining skills, ranging from the basics of landing safely to advanced moves such as somersaults.

Trampolining is great fun, just make sure you take care and follow all the safety guidelines next time your kids go for a bounce!

Hot Response First Aid Training provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. Hot Response First Aid Training is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

Avoiding Medication Problems

1. Be actively involved in understanding health conditions and prescribed medications:

  • Talk with the healthcare providers
  • Ask questions
  • Read trustworthy, reputable online sites
  • Join health support groups
  • It is important that everyone involved in the care of an individual is active in understanding their condition, their medication and all the options available to treat them.

2. Have medication and/or a list of medications available at all times to show health professionals in case an accident occurs.

3. Write a medication list that includes:

  • Names of all medications (including any over the counter medications, dietary supplements and herbal remedies)
  • The doctor who prescribed each prescription medication
  • The purpose of each medication or the symptoms the medication is supposed to treat
  • Size and frequency of dosage
  • Should they be taken on a full or empty stomach?
  • When repeat prescriptions are required
  • Be sure to update the list if taking something new, a medicine is stopped, or the dose is changed. GPs and pharmacists should review all medications regularly. Remind them of any allergies or problems encountered with certain medicines.
  • Don’t stop taking prescribed medicine without checking with them first.

Avoiding Medication Problems

Know the following about each drug taken:

  • Medication name, exact spelling, purpose and whether it is the brand name or a generic substitution
  • The medication’s side effects and interactions and what to do if they occur
  • How and when to take the medication (i.e. on an empty stomach, after meals or at bed time etc.)
  • How long the medication is to be continued and if any blood tests are required for periodic monitoring
  • What to do if you miss or forget a dosage
  • How to store your medications (in a refrigerator or at room temperature etc.)
  • Read the information leaflets provided in the packaging of the medicine. These provide important information to help understand the medication and avoid problems.

For example:

  • What the medicine has been prescribed for
  • How to take the medicine correctly
  • Possible side effects and any interaction with other medications or food substances
  • Interaction with alcohol
  • Information on who shouldn’t take the medicine
  • Serious side effects that mean medication should be stopped
  • Information as to who is at an increased risk of suffering side effects
  • Storage instructions

 

It is strongly advised that you attend a practical first aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency. Hot Response First Aid training provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. Hot Response First Aid is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

Triple Zero kids challenge app

Triple Zero kids challenge app

Triple Zero kids challenge is a free app available for Apple, Android and Windows. Children engage in scenarios teaching them how to handle different emergencies.There are 9 different safety scenarios to explore, including simulated 000 calls.

 

Triple Zero kids challenge

The game looks at key things children should know in an emergency, from basic information like their addresses and telephone numbers to escape routes and safe meeting points. Parents can benefit from these as well if they had not considered them before. Children are taught to stay relevant when making calls. They are also shown the cost of making prank calls to these services.

There are scenarios for calling, police, fire and ambulance. By playing these scenarios repeatedly children call develop the necessary skills and confidence that they may need in an emergency.

Triple Zero Ambulance Emergency

Triple Zero Kids Challenge

Scenarios include dealing with a medical emergency like a suspected heart attack.

They are talked through the questions they will be asked.

  • Police, fire or ambulance.
  • What is your exact address? How to identify your location if the adress is unknown is also covered.)
  • What phone number are you calling from?
  • What is the emergency?
  • Tell me exactly what is wrong.
  • Are there other adults who can help you?

 

  • Always stay on the phone.
  • Do you know if the person takes special medicine?
  • Can you find it?
  • Can you help him take it?

Stay calm and talk clearly.

Understanding unconsciousness and how to get a response are also discussed.

Users are shown how to make emergency calls if a phone is locked.

 

Do you really need an ambulance?

The app looks at the difference between situations that require emergency services and those requiring simple first aid (refered to as big accidents and small accidents.)

 

Triple Zero Fire emergencies

Triple Zero Kids Challenge Fire

The following issues are covered in these scenarios.

  • What is your escape plan?
  • Every room needs two escape routes.
  • When there is smoke get down low and move.
  • Close the doors behind you.
  • Leave keys in deadlocks.
  • Know how to get out safely.
  • First aid treatment for managing burns.
  • Bushfire Survival plans

 

Triple Zero Police Emergency

Triple Zero Kids Challenge Police

Besides the information covered in the other scenarios this looks at.

  • What to do if approached by a stranger.
  • What to do if you see a crime.
  • What to do if you see an accident.
  • What if you don’t know which service you need.
  • What constitutes an emergency.

 

This is an excellent app for educating children and adults alike.

The Importance of a Smartphone Medical information ID

The Importance of a Smartphone Medical information ID

Ever wondered how the emergency services could contact a friend or relative if you were found unconscious with only your Smartphone for identification?

Medical ID or ICE stands for “in case of emergency,” and it’s what many of us have been taught to look for if someone needs medical attention in a first aid incident. Well, what if that person is you? Where is your ICE info? One of the easiest and most convenient places to keep emergency information is on your smartphone, but only if you know the right way to do it so that someone can see it without having to unlock your phone. Now is a great time to make sure you and everyone in your family has ICE info on their phone, especially with Christmas and new round the corner and smartphone-carrying students who might be heading back to school.

ICE on iPhone
If you have an iPhone, you can add emergency contact information and medical notes so that’s it’s accessible to anyone from your lock screen.

1. Open the Apple Health app, which is installed on all iOS devices running iOS 8 and later. This app can’t be uninstalled.

2. Tap on Medical ID in the bottom right corner.

3. Tap Create Medical ID.

4. At the very top, make sure Show When Locked is turned on (to green). Fill in as much information as is relevant to you. If you have no known allergies or aren’t taking medication, it still helps to write “None” or “None known” so that medical personnel don’t assume you’ve overlooked these fields.

5. Make sure you assign at least one person as your emergency contact person. You must save that person’s name and phone number in your Contacts app for the Health app to be able to include it.

6. Hit Done to save.

Now here’s how to test it to make sure it worked, and to make sure you know what to look for if you ever have to find someone else’s ICE info. Lock your phone. Now wake it up but don’t fully unlock it with the passcode or Touch ID. When you slide to get to the passcode screen, you should see Emergency at the top. Press it, and a new screen appears with a number keypad to dial, as well as Medical ID in the bottom left. Press Medical ID, and you’ll see your information appear along with a phone icon that, when pressed, will automatically dial your ICE contact. Note that while you can find ICE apps in the App Store, they are not accessible from a locked phone! You should always lock your iPhone with a passcode or TouchID for security reasons, meaning these ICE apps are useless in a real emergency. Use the Apple Health app instead.

ICE on Android 
Depending on which phone you have and which version of Android you’re running, you might have an emergency contact feature in your phone’s setting. Check there first. It might be under a sub-menu such as My Information.

If you can’t find an emergency contact field within the settings, there are apps for adding ICE info, but you’ll need one that has a widget accessible from the lock screen. Note that not all versions of Android support lock screen apps anymore. It’s tricky.

I also recommend not relying on an app that sends emergency information via text messaging. When a true emergency is happening, first responders need to know whether they’ve reached an emergency contact. They can’t wait around for someone to reply to a text message.

For Android 4.2 and later, the ICE: In Case of Emergency app ($3.99) seems promising (I haven’t personally tested it), I have the free medical ID app. It has a lock screen widget and lets you save important information as well as ICE names and numbers. Some user feedback suggests that it may disable alarms, however. If you use your Android as an alarm clock, you might want to consider other options before shelling out four bucks for this app.

The Top 5 Kid Injuries This Summer

The Top 5 Kid Injuries This Summer

Summer is usually the happiest time of year for Australian families. It’s a time when we enjoy extended holidays and sun-soaked Christmas celebrations, long days at the beach and barbecues with friends.

However, sunny days spent outside in the backyard or on the sand can mean injuries are more commonplace.

We’ve had a look at some of the most common injuries parents should be aware of this summer, and offer a few tips on how to treat them:

Drowning:

Gatherings around pools or at the beach are a valued tradition for many Australian families, but with that tradition comes the very real danger of drowning. Parents can reduce risks by always supervising children. When there are several families in one place, ensure you confirm with other parents who’s supervising. At the beach, ensure you always swim between the red and yellow flags. Finally, brushing up on your CPR skills is important for every parent. You can book yourself into our first-aid course covering CPR by clicking here 

Sunburn:

In our harsh Australian climate, sunburn is a very real problem. These days, most parents are very aware of the need to slip slop slap to keep the burns at bay – and prevention is the best cure – but sunburns can and do still happen. A 20 minute cool shower will help reduce symptoms and discomfort. Keep the area moisturized. And ensure you keep your child’s fluids up with water and seek medical help if the burn is bad, if there is extensive blistering, or signs of infection.

Bicycle, scooter and skateboard injuries:

Children should always wear the appropriate clothing for the activity they’re undertaking. A helmet is essential, and knee and wrist pads are also advisable for kids heading out on skateboards. When injuries do occur, act quickly to apply cold compresses to swollen areas. If you think your child has sustained a fracture, seek medical assistance.

Stings and Insect Bites:

When an insect bite strikes, there’s often not much that can be done to treat it. However, applying a cold compress can reduce pain and inflammation. For jellyfish stings, call Triple 0 or seek advice from a lifeguard if there’s one nearby. Apply vinegar liberally to the area, or seawater if there’s no vinegar on hand. Don’t use fresh water to clean the sting.

Snake Bite:

Thankfully this is a less common injury, but it’s most common in the summertime and is an important one to know how to treat. Snakes are active over the warmer months and snake bites can often occur while kids are out exploring, bushwalking or camping.  If your child experiences a snakebite, it’s important to keep them calm and call Triple 0 first. Firmly bandage the affected limb (if that’s where the bite was), starting at the foot or hand and working up towards the body.

Seeing Your Child In An Emergency Can Be Horrifying – Feeling Helpless is Worse

With the help of our training at Hot Response First Aid , you’ll sleep easy knowing that you’re prepared for almost every emergency.

  • If your child is burnt or scalded, you’ll be prepared.
  • If your child eats something and starts choking, you’ll be prepared.
  • If your child experiences a sudden seizure, you’ll be prepared.
  • If your child has been underwater and drowning, you’ll be prepared.
  • If your child is suffering from a super-high fever, you’ll be prepared.
  • If your child suffers a severe allergic reaction, you’ll be prepared.
  • If your child swallows poison or a household substance, you’ll be prepared.
  • If your child has an accident and breaks a bone, you’ll be prepared.

For the Price of a Restaurant Dinner, You Can Know PRECISELY How to Deal with Your Child’s Emergency…

Our most popular course is the First Aid 4 Kids — 3 Hour Course

This engaging and practical course covers the 10 most common emergency situations. At the end of 3 hours, you’ll know precisely how to deal with the emergency situation before the paramedics and first responders arrive.