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August 22, 2013

Responding to Childhood Injuries with Pediatric Emergency Care Training

Injured Boy, Childhood Injuries

The general statistics on childhood injuries are sobering. According to the Centers for Disease Control (from data spanning 2000-2009):

  • Every hour, one child dies from an injury
  • About 1 in 5 child deaths is due to injury

  • Every 4 seconds, a child is treated for an injury in an emergency department

The World Report on Child Injury Prevention (UNICEF, 2008) brings a global perspective as they discuss the five categories of childhood injury worldwide:

“In 2004, approximately 950,000 children under the age of 18 years died of an injury. The majority of these child injuries were the result of road traffic collisions, drowning, burns (fire or scalds), falls or poisoning. These five categories, classified as unintentional injuries, make up 60% of all child injury deaths. A further category, labelled ‘other unintentional injuries’, includes smothering, asphyxiation, choking, animal or snakebites, hypothermia and hyperthermia. This group accounts for 23% of childhood deaths, a significant proportion.”

It’s a fascinating, detailed report that really reminds us why common injuries can be so much more devastating when they occur to young victims:

Being prepared to respond to pediatric emergencies isn’t a “one size fits all” training situation; the techniques taught in an adult CPR, AED, and first aid class don’t fully prepare the rescuer for an injury sustained by a child.

“Other physical characteristics make children vulnerable to injuries. The skin of infants burns more deeply and quickly and at lower temperatures than the thicker skin of adults. Smaller airway size increases the danger of aspiration. In addition, certain physical characteristics of young children may affect injury outcomes. For example, children’s larger ratio of body surface area to volume means that not only will the size of a burn – for a given volume of hot liquid – be greater than for an adult, but also that there will be more fluid lost from the burnt area, thus complicating the management of the injury. Similarly, a given amount of a poisonous substance will more likely be toxic for a child than an adult because of the child’s smaller mass. Children’s smaller size also creates a risk of entrapment of body parts, most dangerously for the head. Many products and settings do not properly take these risks into account.”

Being prepared to respond to pediatric emergencies isn’t a “one size fits all” training situation; the techniques taught in an adult CPR, AED, and first aid class don’t fully prepare the rescuer for an injury sustained by a child.

ASHI’s Pediatric CPR, AED, and First Aid program and MEDIC First Aid’s PediatricPlus provide ideal training solutions for camp counselors, youth sports coaches, daycare staff, and others who chaperone and care for children. The programs cover emergency care for all ages, but focus primarily on pediatric emergencies.

These programs are accepted for use in all states. Be sure to check our regulatory tool in Otis to see if your area has additional requirements that must be met for your target audience. By the way, if you offer classes to the public, the regulatory tool is a great resource to find new markets and audiences for your courses. 

Need to take a pediatric emergency care class? Visit our Find a Class interface!

Login to Otis and Buy Pediatrics    Find A Class, ASHI, MEDIC First Aid

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