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Kids move quickly and never seem to sit still, which can keep a grandma watching her grandkids on her toes! While times with your grandkids should always be fun and carefree, mistakes can happen, so you should always be prepared in an emergency. Though the chances of your grandchild choking or severely hurting his or herself is low, I am here to remind you that it is always best to have a plan in place.
Here are ten possible emergency scenarios that a grandma may encounter and how to best handle them:
1. Choking Incidents
Choking is something we grandmas never want to think about, but sometimes, a child might bite off more than they can chew. If this happens, stay calm and give their back a firm pat. If they’re over one year old and this doesn’t work, try the Heimlich maneuver by standing behind them, placing your hands just above their belly button, and applying quick, upward pressure. Always, and I do mean always, contact emergency services just to be safe.
2. Allergic Reactions
Allergies can come up suddenly, can’t they? If your grandchild starts showing signs like hives, itching, or trouble breathing after eating something new or being in nature, it could be an allergic reaction. Call their parents and the doctor right away. If they have a prescribed EpiPen, use it as directed.
3. Swallowed Objects
Children are curious by nature, but sometimes this can lead to them swallowing small objects. If you notice this, do not try to make them vomit. Call your local emergency number right away, as they’ll be able to guide you on the best course of action.
During those hot summer days, dehydration can sneak up on us. If you notice your grandchild hasn’t been drinking much or shows signs like dark urine, fatigue, or dry lips, encourage them to drink fluids and take it easy.
5. Sprained or Twisted Limbs
With all the climbing and jumping they do, kids can sometimes sprain or twist something. If you notice swelling, difficulty moving a joint, or if they’re in obvious discomfort, apply a cold pack and elevate the limb. You should get in touch with their doctor as well, just to make sure it isn’t something more serious.
6. Head Injuries
Sometimes those tumbles can result in a bump on the head. If this happens, apply a cold pack to the area and keep an eye on them for any signs of confusion, vomiting, or loss of consciousness. Call their doctor for guidance, and if symptoms seem severe, don’t hesitate to take them to the emergency room.
7. Burn from Hot Objects
Despite our best efforts, sometimes the little ones touch something they shouldn’t. If a minor burn happens, run it under cool (not cold) water or apply a cool, wet cloth. Do not apply ice, butter, or any ointments. If the burn is severe, call emergency services right away.
8. Diarrhea and Vomiting
Occasional vomiting or diarrhea can be a normal part of a child’s life, especially if they have a stomach bug. Ensure they rest and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If symptoms persist for more than a day, or if they can’t keep fluids down, call their doctor.
Seizures can be quite scary to witness, but it’s important to stay calm. Do not try to hold the child down or put anything in their mouth. Instead, try to move them onto their side and clear the area around them to prevent injury. As soon as the seizure starts, look at a clock or your watch to time its duration and call emergency services.
10. Bee or Wasp Stings
Outdoor play sometimes includes an unpleasant encounter with a bee or wasp. If they’re stung, use a credit card to scrape out the stinger if it’s visible, then wash the area with soap and water and apply a cold compress. If they show signs of an allergic reaction, like difficulty breathing, call emergency services immediately.
Remember, your love and calmness in these situations will be a comforting presence for your grandkids. And remember to trust your instincts! When in doubt, it’s always best to seek professional medical advice.