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Basics of Infant First Aid

In conjunction with this month’s Bringing Up Baby Morning Talk, Bumrungrad would like to share more information about infant first aid. From handling minor cuts and bruises, tummy troubles, and even properly regulating body temperature, here are several safety techniques applicable to children under a year of age.

Minor cuts and bruises

Many minor cuts and bruises can be treated at home with proper care. For injuries such as cuts or scrapes that break the skin, wash the affected area with mild soap and water, gently pat it dry, and then apply ointment and a band-aid or plaster.

More serious cuts may require a doctor’s assistance and possibly stitches as well as a tetanus shot. Additionally, if an item is deeply lodged in the infant’s skin, do not remove it and instead seek medical care immediately. Seek professional medical assistance if the cut or scrape becomes infected or if your child develops a fever.

Bruises, the red or purple marks under the skin’s surface due to broken blood vessels, can be treated by gently applying a cold compress to the skin. This will slightly numb the area and decrease both pain and swelling. Ideally, use a small bag of ice wrapped in a damp cloth.

If the child shows signs of constant pain, swelling, or has a particularly large bruise or one on the abdomen, contact your doctor.

Tummy troubles

Some babies experience long-lasting periods of crying that are generally attributed to colic. Often parents believe this is due to stomach pain but there is not much known about what really causes colic. Doctors agree that otherwise healthy newborns will outgrow their finicky symptoms by 3 or 4 months of age.

The baby may show constant irritability by excessive fussiness, pulling up their knees to their stomach, and passing gas or burping often. Calm rocking, swaddling, encouraging the release of stomach gas with light back patting, or providing a pacifier can provide temporary comfort.

If the child shows symptoms of vomiting and/or diarrhea, it may be caused by a viral, bacterial, or parasitical infection. The former may clear up within a few days, but the latter two may require specific drugs to resolve the sickness. The main complication of acute diarrhea is dehydration, which occurs when the fluids lost are not replaced by the child drinking enough liquid. In that case medical attention is required.

If you suspect that an infant has ingested a toxic substance, whether or not he or she shows symptoms of poisoning, call your doctor immediately and listen to their instructions on providing an in-home remedy or taking the infant to a hospital immediately for professional treatment.

Regulating body temperature

Newborns up to 3 or 4 months old have a limited ability to regulate their own body temperature. Therefore, do not expose them to too hot or too cold of an environment and dress them appropriately for the surrounding temperature.

A good rule of thumb is to dress a baby in one more layer than what you are currently wearing. A thin layer of clothing can be easily added or removed to make your baby comfortable. Babies also lose heat quickly through their head so dress your baby in a hat, particularly when exposed to cold.

Bringing Up Baby First Aid Workshop

The Bringing Up Baby Morning Workshop will address serious emergencies and first aid procedures. It will be held on Saturday, September 26th from 9.30am to 2pm in the Conference Rooms A on the 21st Floor of the Bumrungrad International Clinic (BIC) Building. We encourage parents and parents-to-be to join.

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored content from Bumrungrad International Hospital, and it is reprinted here with permission of the hospital.

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