Top First Aid Tips from the British Red Cross

British Red Cross shares top first aid tips for new mums…

Tracey Taylor, First Aid Education expert at the British Red Cross, said:

“Having a baby or toddler can be an anxious time for any new parent – from weaning and teething to encouraging little ones to explore the world around them. But by learning simple first aid skills, parents can feel confident that they can help in an emergency should they ever need to.

Our research shows that three out of four parents don’t have the skills and confidence to help a choking baby. No parent wants to be in the situation where their baby is injured or ill and they don’t know what to do, but helping is easy when you know how.

At the British Red Cross we believe that all mums and dads should be able to act in a first aid emergency. These are simple skills that could make all the difference.”

Key stats

Many parents don’t have the simple first aid skills that could save their child’s life in an emergency. From our research we found that:

  • 65% of parents wished they had learnt some first aid skills before having a baby[1].
  • Three out of four parents in the UK would not be able to help a baby who’s choking. Only 24% of mums and dads are confident and knowledgeable enough to help a choking baby*.
  • More than 40 per cent of parents who took their child to A&E went because they were worried and didn’t know what to do**.

How to help a baby who is choking

If a baby is choking, they won’t be able to cry, cough, make any noise or breathe.

  1. Give back blows: hold them face down along your thigh with their head lower than their bottom. Hit them firmly on their back between the shoulder blades up to five times.
  2. If back blows do not dislodge the object, give chest thrusts: turn them over so they are facing upwards and place two fingers in the middle of their chest, just below the nipples. Push sharply downwards up to five times.
  3. Call 999 if the object does not dislodge. Continue with cycles of back blows and chest thrusts until the object dislodges.

How to help an unresponsive and breathing baby

1.Check for breathing. Tilt their head back and look and feel for breaths by looking at their chest to see if it’s moving and feeling for breaths on your cheek. If they are breathing, move on to step two.

2.Hold the baby on their side with their head slightly tilted back, supported and lower than their bottom.

3.Call 999.

How to help a baby or child who has a burn

  1. Cool the burn under cold running water for at least ten minutes.
  2. After the burn has been cooled, cover it with cling film or a clean plastic bag.
  3. Always seek medical advice if a baby or child has been burned.

How to help a baby or child who is having a febrile seizure

Febrile seizures are caused by a fever or high temperature. When a baby has a febrile seizure they may arch their back, stiffen their body and have clenched fists. They may be red faced, hot to touch and sweating.

  1. Protect them from injury, but do not restrain them.
  2. Cool them by removing outer clothing and opening a window if the room is hot.
  3. When the seizure is over, help them to rest on their side with their head tilted back.
  4. If the symptoms continue or it is their first seizure, seek medical advice.

How to help a baby or child with meningitis

  1. The baby or child may have flu-like symptoms, a headache and a high temperature. They may also complain of a stiff neck and be sensitive to light. At a later stage, a rash may form (that does not disappear when a glass is pressed against it)
  2. If you observe any of these symptoms, call 999. A baby or child with meningitis can deteriorate very quickly. It is potentially very serious and needs immediate attention.
  3. Give them constant reassurance while waiting for the ambulance.


For more information about the British Red Cross visit @BritishRedCross

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