First aid skills not only give teachers the ability to know how to react in an emergency, it also boosts their confidence, communication skills, teamwork, and self-esteem. In some cases, it may help them save a life.
For early primary school students, the British Red Cross suggests that teacher focuses their advice on getting students to ask for help when an emergency occurs. They need to teach them about a range of incidents such as how to deal with nose bleeds and burns.
Prevention is better than cure, staying safe is the starting point in this lesson.
Focusing on identifying and avoiding danger, is perfect for children aged around 6 or 7. The following first aid tips help teachers to act when an emergency occurs:
1. How to respond when student breaks a bone
If it is an open fracture, then cover the wound with a sterile dressing, and tie it with a bandage from the first aid kit to secure the wound. Apply the pressure around the wound to control the bleeding. Support the injured limb to reduce any movement. Call for medical help. Don’t move unless the patient is in immediate danger.
2. If a student is bleeding
Teachers must be equipped with a well-stocked quality first aid kit. A variety of bandages and dressings should be on hand, so no matter the kind of injury, the teacher can act quickly to treat the wound. If a student suffers from huge blood loss, then apply pressure to the wound and raise it to slow down the bleeding, before calling for a help.
3. If a student suffers from asthma
It’s very much important to know which students are affected by asthma when they join the school or college. The following symptoms are signs of asthma:
i. Chest tightness
ii. Coughing (at night)
iii. Shortness of breath
iv. Trouble in breathing
A mild attack can escalate quickly, resulting in severe shortness of breath and possibly bluish lips. If the student is conscious, just help them into a comfortable sitting position and use an inhaler, giving them 4 puffs, administer one at a time with 4 breaths after each puff. If you still see the symptoms repeat every 4 minutes.
If the patient is still struggling for breath don’t hesitate to call the emergency services and inform them of the situation. Repeat the inhaler treatment until help arrives.
4. If a student is unconscious
Check the patient’s airway, pulse and breathing. If they are breathing and lying on their back, place them in the recovery position – carefully tilt the person towards to you, bend the top leg so both knee and hip are at right angles. Gently tilt the patient's head back, to keep the airway open.
If their breathing stops, then don’t wait, roll the person onto their back and begin CPR using the CPR kit from your first aid kit.
Give 30 chest compressions at a rate of between 100 -120 compressions per minute thus activates heart pump. Ensure you maintain the right pace then give 2 rescue breaths. Continue pumping and breaths alternatively until the help arrives.
The above tips should not be used as a substitute for first aid training. With smart thinking, first aid can make an enormous difference and sometimes the difference between life and death of a student in an emergency.
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