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NAN: Checking on an Injured Child

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An acute injury is a sudden injury following a single event and is typically the result of trauma. Car accidents, falls, electrical shocks and burns are examples of acute injuries. 

According to the Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Ready Reference by the American Red Cross, when checking on an injured child, after checking the scene for safety, the first thing to do is to check for responsiveness. You can tap a child and shout “Are you okay?” or you can flick the bottom of an infant’s foot to check for responsiveness. 

If the child responds, call 911 or the local emergency number for life threatening conditions. Check the child over for injuries, ask the child what happened and obtain consent to give care.

If there is no response, call 911 or the local emergency number.  The American Red Cross advises that if the child is unconscious and face down, you should roll the child face up while supporting his head, neck and back in a straight line. If you are alone, the American Red Cross advises to give about two minutes of care before calling 911.

If the child is not responsive the American Red Cross advises to open the airway, check for breathing for no longer than 10 seconds and to give two rescue breaths. If the chest doesn’t clearly rise, the American Red Cross advises to re-tilt the head and provide another rescue breath. If the chest still doesn’t clearly rise, steps for dealing with unconscious choking should be taken. The American Red Cross also advises that if you witnessed a child suddenly collapse, you should skip rescue breaths and go right to CPR.

After the rescue breaths, the American Red Cross advises to quickly scan for severe bleeding, If the child is breathing, he should be monitored for any change in condition. If he is not breathing, CPR should be performed. 

Since a nanny never knows if a child in her care will suffer an injury and response recommendations can change over time, nannies should always maintain current CPR and First Aid certification. 

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Checking on an Injured Child