Basic first aid for your baby

Whether it’s a cut or a burn, get first-aid tips on how to help your baby during a medical emergency.

A new baby can bring much joy to your family, but with this comes the heavy responsibility of caring for him. And as much as you may babyproof your home, accidents can still happen.

Whether you are caring for your baby yourself, or a grandparent or nanny is looking after your child, you need to how to respond in an emergency.

Besides knowing how to act should an accident happen at home, you should also have a comprehensive first-aid kit at the ready. Click here to find tips on putting one together.

While we hope you never have to use this information, you should get familiar with the following first-aid skills.

Infographic: Lim Jae-Lynn

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Chest thrust and back blows (in cases of choking)
1. Carefully position him, face up, on your forearm, cradling the back of his head with that hand. Place your other hand and forearm on his front. Use your thumb and fingers to hold his jaw, then turn him over so he’s now facing downwards along your other forearm. Lower your arm onto your thigh. Your baby’s head should be lower than his chest.
2. Use the heel of your free hand to deliver five firm back blows between your baby’s shoulder blades to dislodge the object in his airway. Place the free hand on the back of your baby’s head with your arm along his spine then turn him over carefully.
3. Place the pads of three fingers (of your free hand) in the centre of your baby’s chest. Push straight down about 3cm, then allow the chest to come back to the normal position. Repeat the chest thrust five times.
4. Repeat and alternate the back blows and chest thrusts till the object is coughed up, if your baby starts breathing normally, or when help arrives.

CPR for babies
1. Flick your baby’s foot gently and call his name. If he doesn’t respond, call for an ambulance.
2. Place him on his back on a firm, flat surface. Tilt his head back with one hand and lift his chin slightly with the other. Check for signs of breathing by putting your head down next to his mouth and look towards his feet. Look to see if his chest is rising and check for breathing sounds.
3. Cover your baby’s nose and mouth with your mouth and gently exhale into his lungs till you see his chest rise. Each rescue breath should be 1 second long. Do this twice.
4. Place three fingers in the centre of his chest, and press down about 3cm smoothly. Do 30 chest compressions, at the rate of 100 per minute.
5. Repeat the rescue breaths and chest compressions till help arrives.

***At any time you are unsure of what to do, take your baby to the nearest doctor.

Photo: iStock

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