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First Aid and Safety Tips to Keep Kids Safe


What Does "First Aid" mean?

First aid is the immediate care given to an injured or suddenly ill person.  It is the temporary assistance that is rendered until competent medical care is obtained or until the likelihood of recovery without that care is certain.

Properly applied first aid can reduce recovery time and may mean the difference between temporary vs. lifelong disability for the victim.  Ultimately, in certain situations, it can mean the difference between life and death.

CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is a life-saving procedure that is performed when a victim's breathing or heartbeat has stopped, as in cases of drowning, suffocation, choking, heart attack or other injuries. 

How to do CPR on a child (ages 1-12 years)


How to Keep Yourself Safe When Rendering First Aid

Proper precautions for infection control should be used by all providers when there is any contact with body fluids, secretions, and excretions (except sweat). This involves proper hand washing, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and taking precautions when handling or possibly coming in contact with a child’s bodily fluids.

It is not possible to identify an infected child by their appearance or to always identify the source of body fluids.  A good rule to follow is to always place a barrier between you and any moist or wet substance originating from another person.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to block entry into the body.  The most common type of equipment is gloves.   Disposable gloves should be worn whenever there is a possibility that you will come into contact with a child’s body fluids.  Because some children are highly allergic to latex, non-latex (nitrile) gloves should be available. 

In a school or daycare setting, it is important to practice standard precautions at all times with all children.  Good common sense, updated shots and proper protective equipment are important.  Appropriately stocked first aid kits should be regularly maintained with an inventory check list and properly stored in a designated location.

Practice Good Hygiene - washing hands with soap and water at appropriate times.

Take extra care with blood - wear gloves, cover open sores and cuts, teach children (age appropriate) how to properly care for their own cuts and how to dispose of used band aids.  Clean up spills immediately with proper disinfectant.  Be familiar with additional protective devices such as protective eyewear, aprons, CPR masks, etc.  Bloodborne Pathogens training is highly recommended.

Proper technique for removing gloves:

  1. Grab the outside of the glove to be removed near the top of the glove with the other gloved hand
  2. Peel the glove slowly off of the hand, holding onto the glove once removed
  3. Using the ungloved hand, slide your fingers inside the top of the gloved hand and peel the second glove down over the first glove
  4. Dispose of both gloves in the appropriate container

Watch video on glove removal technique


Basic First Aid Guidelines

Once you have determined that there is an emergency and that your help is needed, the following are some practical and pertinent things to remember:


When to Call EMS

Call EMS if the child:

  • Is unconscious or becomes unconscious
  • Has chest pain or pressure
  • Has difficulty breathing*
  • Is bleeding severely or uncontrollably
  • Has severe pain or pressure in the abdomen
  • Is passing or vomiting blood
  • Has slurred speech, severe headache, or seizures
  • Has a possible head or spinal injury
  • Has possible broken bones
  • Has possibly been poisoned

* Respiratory Distress Signals:

  • Rapid breathing, >30/min
  • Irregular breathing
  • Wheezing, gurgling or is making a high-pitched noise when breathing
  • Shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Skin that appears flushed, bluish, or is pale in color









An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Indoor safety tips:

Kitchen safety:

Bathroom safety:

Outdoor safety tips:


NOTE: For child care providers, no information in this article supersedes any state regulations you need to follow. You must consult your state’s regulations when developing policies and procedures. Regulations for all states are accessible on the National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations.


For more information on first aid and children's safety, try our online classes:

Be Prepared

Child/Infant First Aid

Disaster Preparedness

Keeping Children Safe

Playground Safety

Transportation Safety