By Kathryn Dunmore, Canadian Red Cross

I love how careful my nephew is; he doesn’t induce as much panic in me as when I babysit my daring, boundary-pushing niece. My nephew is much more careful in his play and, while clumsy enough to gather a few, he has had a lot less bruises and scrapes than his cousin. However, this weekend, I had a couple panic-inducing situations with him where I was very glad I had the Canadian Red Cross First Aid app on my phone. It helped mitigate some natural-born panic and saved my nephew some pain since my natural instincts were in direct opposition to what I should do to properly care for him.

My nephew loves to cookFor instance, when he was helping me cook spaghetti (he loves helping to cook and bake), my nephew accidently touched the hot stove element, leaving an angry welt that quickly bubbled into a blister. Though he was trying to be so brave, I could tell how badly it was hurting and took a quick internal trip, direct-flight, into panic. So when the wails started, unfortunately, my first instinct was to plunge that little burnt finger into butter.

While he stopped screaming long enough to wonder at what I was doing, an educated voice in my head was telling me this is not what I should be doing to properly address his burn. So, while taking deep breaths of my own to invite rationality, I pulled out my phone, opened my First Aid app, and went to burns where I quickly realized my error and moved to running, cold water. It’s a common misconception to put a burn to butter but, in reality, the oils could trap the heat in longer. Cold water, along with cold compresses, helped minimize the pain/panic we were all experiencing, and soon we were able to continue with our dinner. Although the burn itself would be a topic of conversation for the next couple days while it healed.

Then, in another instance, this weekend, as we were driving up to see my niece, my nephew proclaimed from the back seat that he needed a tissue for his nose. While this may seem like a common enough request, the panic I heard in his voice had me looking at him to see that he was experiencing a nosebleed. It was a first for him and while my heart jumped into my throat with impressive speed and force, I managed to remain calm, pulling the car over into a parking lot so I could help him with his nosebleed.

His panic was slowly increasing as he realized his “boogers” were red so while I got him a tissue, I checked the First Aid app. Luckily I did as I was moving his head backward as I had seen countless times in movies to stymie the blood flow, but in reality, this could allow blood to get into his windpipe and block the airway, or get into his stomach and cause vomiting. So leaning forward, he breathed through his mouth and pinched the bridge of his nose as the bleeding quickly receded, while I was able to tell him that nosebleeds can be common in kids (thanks to a quick Google search on that).
 

Did You Know?

The Canadian Red Cross First Aid app is free to download and really does help you respond to everyday emergencies. Available for Apple and Android mobile devices, download the app on your smartphone or tablet to get instant access to videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice to help you maintain your life-saving skills and respond when needed: www.redcross.ca/firstaidapp

Also, especially if you’re around kids often, consider taking a course in First Aid - there is likely a course near you: www.redcross.ca/firstaid


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