Paediatric First Aid

What is first aid?

The British Red Cross defines first aid as help given to someone who has been hurt or is suddenly taken ill. It is the steps a person can take before the injured or ill person gets expert medical help. First aid can sometimes save a person’s life, but more often it is help given in an everyday accident or illness.

What is paediatric first aid?

Paediatirc First Aid covers particular first aid practice for babies and young children. For people who work in an early years setting, attending a paediatric first aid course is often the first step in gathering knowledge and experience in this vital area.

What is covered in a paediatric first aid course?

The emergency PFA course should be undertaken face-to-face and last for a minimum of 6 hours (excluding breaks) and cover the following areas:

  • Be able to assess an emergency situation and prioritise what action to take;
  • Help a baby or child who is unresponsive and breathing normally;
  • Help a baby or child who is unresponsive and not breathing normally;
  • Help a baby or child who is having a seizure;
  • Help a baby or child who is choking;
  • Help a baby or child who is bleeding; and
  • Help a baby or child who is suffering from shock. 

The full PFA course should last for a minimum of 12 hours (excluding breaks) and cover the areas set out above as well as the following areas:

  • Help a baby or child who is suffering from anaphylactic shock;
  • Help a baby or child who has had an electric shock;
  • Help a baby or child who has burns or scalds;
  • Help a baby or child who has a suspected fracture;
  • Help a baby or child with head, neck or back injuries;
  • Help a baby or child who is suspected of being poisoned;
  • Help a baby or child with a foreign body in eyes, ears or nose;
  • Help a baby or child with an eye injury;
  • Help a baby or child with a bite or sting;
  • Help a baby or child who is suffering from the effects of extreme heat or cold;
  • Help a baby or child having: a diabetic emergency; asthma attack; allergic reaction; meningitis; and/or febrile convulsions; and
  • Understand the role and responsibilities of the paediatric first aider (including appropriate contents of a first aid box and the need for recording accidents and incidents).