With more than 9.2 million children being treated by emergency departments for injuries, responding quickly and effectively is an essential skill for anyone who cares for an infant or child. The American Heart Association provides these skills with new online training on first aid and resuscitation.

Using real-life scenarios and interactive lessons, the self-paced, two-and-a-half-hour course teaches people to manage infants’ or children’s medical emergencies until professional help arrives. It covers critical skills for treating:

  • allergic reactions
  • asthma
  • bleeding and bandaging
  • cardiac or respiratory arrest
  • choking
  • diabetes and low blood sugar
  • drowning
  • dehydration
  • head, neck, and spine injuries
  • seizure
  • temperature-related issues

“Reacting quickly and effectively in an emergency is vital because unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death of U.S. children,” said Jeff A. Woodin, lieutenant firefighter and National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians Paramedic, Beaverton, Ore.

“This unique hybrid course with online and hands-on skill components educates childcare providers and parents about the four steps of first aid and a variety of first aid skills,” said Woodin, who is immediate past chair of the AHA First Aid Subcommittee and a member of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation First Aid Task Force.

The four steps of giving first aid are prevention, being safe, calling 9-1-1 and taking action.

The course includes how to use masks when giving infants and children CPR, and how to give CPR and use an automated external defibrillator for adults who suddenly collapse.

The online portion of the training can be combined with hands-on skills practice and testing by AHA instructors to satisfy most states’ CPR and first aid training requirements for childcare providers. Parents, grandparents, teachers and babysitters may opt to practice and test their skills, although it’s not required.

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