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Paediatric first aid is designed to teach how to deal with injuries and illnesses in children and infants. While infants are usually a similar size, older children come in many different sizes, children of the same age will not in many cases be the same height or size. There are differences in how you provide first aid treatment for infants and children, and with children you may have to adapt some procedures to suit the size of the child.

  • Infants are from birth up to 1 year old and how you provide first aid to all infants is the same
  • Children are defined for first aid purposes as those aged from 1 year to puberty
  • Older child is typically around puberty and up to 18 (however skills for older children may apply to larger children under this age)

You will learn during the course how to adapt some skills to enable you to provide the most effective first aid, one example would be CPR compressions, which you would use one or two hands depending on the size of the child.  Another example would be dealing with choking, how you do this could again depend on the size of the child you are treating.

In a situation where an infant, a child and an adult were to lose the same amount of blood due to injury, there is more risk and the situation is more serious for the infant than the child and adult and more of a risk for the child than an adult.

Many of the skills and first aid treatments that you will learn for the older child in this course, would be the same as you would provide for an adult, however the conditions that children suffer from would be different.

When a child is unwell, the situation can deteriorate much more suddenly than it would with an adult.  Also when dealing with children you need to be aware that they may not be able to explain how they feel to you, they may sometimes not tell you the truth.

Children have a lot of energy and are often very active and inquisitive, this makes them more prone to accidents. Some of the illnesses you will learn to deal with are far more likely to apply or only apply to infants and children.