With the school year starting up over the next several weeks, let’s take a quick look at two common childhood medical emergencies we might encounter on the playground or at a child’s sporting event.
Nosebleeds can occur when small blood vessels inside the nostrils are ruptured. Most nosebleeds are not serious and can be easily handled. Rarely does a nosebleed become life-threatening.
To care for a child with a nosebleed, have him sit up straight with his head tilted forward, chin down. Pinch the nose with thumb and index finger and hold it for about ten minutes.
Do not tilt the head back or have the child lie down. These actions may cause him to swallow blood and vomit. Have him spit out any blood that collects in his mouth.
If bleeding cannot be stopped, seek immediate medical attention.
A physical blow to the mouth can break, dislocate, or knock out teeth. If the tooth is still in place, get the child to a dentist without delay.
If a permanent tooth has been knocked out, early care can increase the chance that the tooth can be successfully re-implanted.
Control any bleeding. Have the person gently bite down on an absorbent pad. Handle the tooth only by the chewing surface, called the crown. Do not touch the root, the part of the tooth that embeds in the gum.
Gently rinse the tooth with water if it is dirty. Never scrub the tooth or remove any attached tissue fragments. If possible, place the tooth back in the tooth socket.
If not, keep the tooth moist. Have the child spit into a cup and place the tooth in the saliva. Milk, contact lens solutions, or commercial sports drinks can also be used. Avoid using water.
Get the patient to a dentist as quickly as possible, preferably within 30 minutes. The faster that action is taken, the better the chance of saving the tooth.
A tooth injury can often be accompanied by a lip or tongue injury as well. Control any bleeding to the lip or tongue by having the person bite down on a clean pad or dressing. Have them spit out any blood that collects in the mouth instead of swallowing. If bleeding is difficult to control or the injury seems serious, seek medical attention.
Mom and Dad, are you ready to respond in an emergency? It’s the perfect time to take that first aid and CPR class you’ve been meaning to make time for. Click the button below to find an ASHI or MEDIC First Aid Training Center near you.