What and When can I teach my child about first aid

First aid knowledge is crucial for all age groups, from infants to school-age children. Tailoring the teaching approach to the developmental stage of the child ensures that the information is comprehensible and retainable. 

This guide provides practical steps for teaching first aid to infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children.

Infants (0-12 months)

Objective:

Even infants can learn simple safety messages through non verbal and verbal cues from parents and carers

For children to feel safe, secure and model from parents in emergencies.

Teaching infants the basics of staying calm in emergencies lays the groundwork for how they will react in future situations. Even though infants may not fully understand the concept, early exposure can influence their natural responses as they grow older.

Practice:

Model calm behavior, create a supportive environment, and practice emergency scenarios so you can instill foundational skills that will benefit infants throughout their lives.

Toddlers (1-3 years)

Objective:

Introduce basic safety concepts and simple first aid actions.

Teaching first aid to your toddler is a crucial step in ensuring their safety and promoting their overall development. By starting early, you can instill important skills, build confidence, and create a foundation for a lifetime of safety awareness and preparedness. Through interactive and age-appropriate methods, your toddler can learn to recognize dangers, respond to minor injuries, and support you in emergencies, ultimately contributing to a safer and more supportive environment for everyone.

Image is of a toddler learning first aid. She is holding and epipen with a manikin

Toddlers respond very well to role play, songs and rhymes to help them remember simple first aid and safety measures

Key Topics:

Calling for Help: Teaching how to call emergency services (e.g., dialing 000 in Australia).

Bumps and Bruises: Applying cold packs to reduce swelling.

Nosebleeds: Pinching the nose and leaning forward.

Burns: Recognizing hot objects and what to do if they touch one. Practice cool running water with bath toys in the sink

Teaching Tips:

– Use songs or rhymes to make learning fun.

Role-play scenarios to practice calling for help.

– Use colorful bandages and stickers to make first aid less intimidating.

-Use dolls and teddies to role play

– Put together their own first aid kit with bandaids, bandages, a thermometer, stethoscope and medical outfit

 

 

Preschoolers (3-5 years)

Objective:

Build on basic first aid skills and introduce more complex scenarios.

Key Topics:

-Choking: How to identify choking and the basic steps to help someone.

– Small Wounds: Cleaning and covering cuts and scrapes.

– Basic CPR Concepts: Understanding chest compressions (not practical execution).

Image of a pre schooler bandaging a limb. Purpose to encourage viewers to help children learn through role play

Pre schoolers are starting to piece together more concrete concepts. Use hands on practice to help them understand and retain information around first aid and safety.

– Poisoning: Recognizing hazardous substances and the importance of not ingesting unknown items.

– Build on previous learned knowledge- how to call 000, Burns management, bleeds and bruises.

– Practice rainbow breathing to stay calm

– Practice nose blowing 

Teaching Tips:

– Use interactive stories and videos.

– Engage them in hands-on practice with supervision.

– Reinforce the “stay calm” message during emergencies.

– Use a pig pong ball to practice blowing (helpful for items stuck up noses and to aid blowing nose when sick)

 

School-Age Children (6-12 years)

Objective:

Equip children with the ability to perform more advanced first aid procedures.

Key Topics:

– CPR and AED Use: Basic CPR steps and introduction to using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

– Bleeding: Applying pressure and bandages to stop bleeding.

– Burns and Scalds: Advanced treatment for burns, including seeking medical help.

-Fractures: Immobilizing a suspected fracture and not moving the injured area.

– Allergic Reactio

Image of a school aged child using a snake bite bandage on another child. Purpose is to encourage school children to learn first aid concepts

School aged children are capable of learning first aid concepts and learning is retained through repetition and hands on practice.

ns and Asthma: Using an adrenaline auto-injector and inhalers.

– Bites and stings: Applying a snake bite bandage, removing bee stings

Teaching Tips:

– Conduct regular first aid drills.

– Use age-appropriate first aid kits for practice.

– Encourage group activities to foster teamwork and communication.

– Cognitive aids like posters around the home

 

 

 

 

 

Image of an older child learning choking first aid

Older school aged children can learn CPR, choking and more advanced first aid concepts like fracture management and bleeding control

 

 

 

General Tips for All Ages:

Repetition: Regularly review and practice first aid skills.

Confidence Building: Create a supportive environment where mistakes are part of the learning process.

Positive Reinforcement: Praise efforts and progress to build self-assurance.

Visual Aids: Use charts, posters, and videos to illustrate key points.

Parental Involvement: Everyone learn together…if you want a family course to do this, reach out! We provide customised courses so the whole family learns together and we make it develoipmentally appropriate for those in attendance.