Bayo Ajibola


What do you do when faced with an emergency situation that demands immediate medical care? Put differently, what do you do before the doctor comes?

Well, the first thing to do in any emergency situation is not to panic.  Here are a few simple first aid steps to take before the doctor comes.


If the obstruction is obvious, carefully put your finger in your child’s mouth and take it out. If not obvious, follow the stepsbelow:

  •          Encourage him to cough (depending on the age of the child).
  •          Lay him face down on your forearm with the head low.
  •          With heel of your hand, give up to five sharp back blows between his shoulder blades. Check his mouth in between blows to see if the obstruction is in sight.
  •          Lay him face up and give up to five chest thrusts. This can be administered by placing two fingers in the middle of the chest and pushing them inwards and upwards.
  •          If the obstruction is still there after two to three cycles of back blows and chest thrusts, call the ambulance, doctor or take him to the hospital.


Burns and Scalds

Where any of these happens, the following steps need to be taken:

  •          Place the affected area immediately under cold running water for at least ten minutes.
  •          If a limb is involved, raise it to reduce swelling.
  •          Cover the burn loosely with cling film to prevent infection.
  •          Ifconcerned, seek medical advice.


Head injury

Where there is a head injury, here are steps to take:

  •          Apply a cold compression to the injured part (like frozen peas wrapped in a bag or towel). This will reduce external swelling and pain.
  •          If the child’scondition worsens, take him to the hospital for a thorough examination.



In this case, take the following steps:

  •          Pinch the soft part of the child’s nose and ask him to lean forward. Do this for about 10 minutes.
  •          Ask the child to breathe through his mouth and spit out any blood.
  •          If the bleeding continues longer than necessary, seek medical help.



If your child is unconscious but breathing:

  •          Open the airway by placing one hand on the forehead; then tilt the head and lift the chin with two fingers.
  •          Look along the chest for movements or breaths.  Place your cheeks close to the child’s mouth to feel his breath.
  •          If the child is not breathing, administer CPR immediately.CPR means Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. It involvesgiving chest compressions and rescue breaths to an unconscious person.
  •          Take your child to the doctor immediately.

How toadminister CPR:

  •          Place your child on his back on a firm surface.
  •          Open his airway (as already described above).
  •          Placing your lips over his mouth and nose, blow gently and steadily into it.Attempt this five times.
  •          Place two fingers in the middle of his chest and thrust down with 30 chest compressions.
  •          Continue with the CPR until medical help arrives or the child comes to consciousness.

Bayo Ajibola

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