07/01/12 — Few items and knowledge can help keep child safe

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Few items and knowledge can help keep child safe

By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 1, 2012 1:50 AM

When packing a first-aid kit with Band-Aids, gauze, tape, ointments and other items required to take care of the lumps, bumps, cuts and bruises that children sustain, don't forget to include emergency numbers and a dose of common sense.

"I think having things at home is really important," said Dr. David Tayloe of Goldsboro Pediatrics. "So making sure that you have Tylenol or Ibuprofen, Motrin, whatever your favorite fever medicine is, having it on hand always helps. The other first-aid things are just to have Band-Aids, tape and little things for cuts and trauma that children experience."

Parents can prepare their own kits or purchase pre-packaged ones, he said.

"Then you can take it with you in the car or keep it in the house," he said. "I think that is essential that parents understand CPR and CPR tends to change. Taking basic CPR from Red Cross once a year is ideal. The local Red Cross can connect you to resources."

For vomiting and diarrhea, clear liquids are recommended, he said. But before inducing vomiting in children who may have swallowed something, he recommends calling a poison control center or Goldsboro Pediatrics, he said. Those numbers should be kept with a readily available list 0f other emergency numbers, he said.

Parents also need to know when to go to the emergency room.

"The indications to take a child to the emergency room would be if the parents are convinced that the child is really having breathing difficulty," Dr. Tayloe said. "Most of the referrals are breathing difficulties. Certainly if a child is not breathing it is a 911 call. If the child is having a seizure, it is 911. There are certain definite reasons to call 911 or consider going straight to the emergency department."

However, the vast majority of children who end up in the emergency department don't really need to be there, he said.

"What we try to stress to our patients is call us 24/7," Dr. Tayloe said. "If you call out here at 1 o'clock in the morning you will get an answering machine. You will get a toll-free number where you can talk to a nurse who uses computer protocols that we have approved to give advice to our patients about fever, or vomiting or diarrhea, or coughing, or rash.

"The nurse can talk you through and try to help you decide if you really need to go to the emergency department or not. Those nurses who take our calls know they are not supposed to send a patient to the emergency department without paging the doctor on call."