WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
Outdoor fires are part of growing up. I’ve got so many memories of watching the flames rise, roasting marshmallows and sitting around a backyard firepit with my family and we often have fires with our kids now.
It’s our job to inform children just how dangerous fires can be and to stay a fair distance away but sometimes accidents happen and kids can get too close to the fire, even hours after the fire has been put out. That’s why understanding the fundamental first aid for burns is critical for every parent.
“These terrible accidents can happen so quickly”
This is what happened to Dusty, the adorable little girl in the picture below.
Dusty accidentally tripped and fell into her backyard firepit. She suffered extreme burns to her arm and hand. The fire wasn’t going but it had been lit the night before.
As Dusty’s mum shares with Tiny Hearts Education,
The fire pit was used the day before. All the wood and ash had been removed and it had been hosed down. However the firepit stands 30cm in the ground, [so] the heat continued.”
Dusty’s mum recalls the horrific experience of finding her daughter and immediately springing into action, performing crucial first aid for burns. She called 000 and raced her daughter into the cold shower, which she had recently read was the best plan of action when it comes to first aid for burns.
The accident was horrific. I remember standing in the cold shower, 38 weeks pregnant holding my little girl as her skin peeled off and fell to the floor. She was passing in and out of consciousness as we waited for the ambulance.”
Dusty’s mum credits Tiny Hearts Education for helping her get through such a horrific experience and giving her the confidence to know what to do in this emergency.
11 months on, Dusty still requires 6-8 weekly skin grafting to rebuild her hands but she is progressing well. What a trooper!
Despite Dusty’s mum doing all the right things and extinguishing the fire from the night before, accidents still can happen.
It’s so important to instill firepit safety in everyone. Always monitor your children around fires. Explain to them how dangerous fires (and firepits) can be and keep them away from the fire, even after fires are put out.
“With fire and camping season upon us, it’s really important for everyone to be so vigilant and take those extra measures to ensure fires and put out and properly sealed off.”
What to do if your child suffers a burn
Tiny Hearts Education also shared this important first aid for burns infographic about what to do if your child is ever burned.
If you don’t already follow Tiny Hearts Education on Instagram, we suggest you do. Their advice on first aid for children is absolutely invaluable and they offer first aid courses that cover the main concerns parents have such as choking, burns and difficulty breathing.
First aid treatment every parent should know
What to do if your child swallows a button battery
If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, call an ambulance (000 in Australia) or go to your nearest hospital emergency department immediately.
It’s been proven that honey can also reduce the damage a button battery can cause but this is currently not a recommended plan of action if your child swallows a button battery. However, many experts do recommend giving your child honey as soon as possible before presenting to the ER. Read why here.
What to do if your child is choking
Tiny Hearts Education founder Nikki shares a really important video for parents who may be faced with a choking child, demonstrating step-by-step what you need to do:
- The first thing is to call triple-0, put them on speaker and get them coming your way.
- Grab your child, support their head, neck and jaw and place them in a downward position across your lap.
- Using the palm of your hand, deliver five sharp back blows in between their shoulder blades.
- Check in between each back blow to make sure the airway hasn’t been cleared.
- If the back blows don’t clear their airway, you’ll flip your child over.
- Put them onto your lap again. Using that downward position and gravity to help, place your two fingers where you’d usually deliver CPR compressions and deliver five sharp chest thrusts.
- Check the airway to make sure that it hasn’t been cleared.
- Alternate between back blows and chest thrusts until the ambulance arrives or your child becomes unconscious.
- If your child becomes unconscious, manually pump the heart of your child to move oxygen around and keep their organs alive.
Check out the video here. She also cites the things parents should not do, including starting First Aid before calling Triple 0 (call first), hanging the child upside down completely and sticking your finger in their mouth to try and remove the object. It’s also a good idea for every parent to consider taking a first aid course.