Important First Aid Skills to teach children

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There are many areas of safety that you can teach to your kids but the teaching first aid can make them aware of dangers as well as how to safely handle injuries that may occur. Even when you try to avoid mistakes and do everything right, accidents can happen.  Teaching kids about safety must start as early as possible.

It is important to teach them how to be safe and how to respond when emergencies happen.  Learning basic first aid skills will empower children to help themselves, and maybe help others too. Knowing that your child is well equipped to handle an emergency can offer you a certain sense of relief.  Plus, these are basic life skills and survival skills that every person should know.  Some common emergencies are simple cuts, abrasions, burns, and bruises.

Calling for help:

When children are old enough to know numbers, teach them to make calls. Make sure they know what numbers are to be dialed in an emergency and how to reach you or an adult who can help.

Memorize these emergency service numbers. Put these numbers down on a sheet of paper and put it up where the entire family can see.  Add numbers of parents, guardians and/or neighbours to this list as well.  Include your address and another emergency address too.

Here is a basic list of emergency numbers:

  • National Emergency Number – 112
  • Police – 100
  • Fire – 101
  • Ambulance – 102
  • For Children in need of assistance – 1098
  • Road Accident Emergency Service – 1073



Hitting against a hard surface causes bruises and may not lead to bleeding. The area may, however, turn blue-black in colour. Show how to apply an ice pack on the bruise. It would be a good idea to keep an ice pack in the freezer, but also teach how to use ice wrapped in a clean cloth as an ice pack.

Cuts and Injuries:

Teach children that applying mild pressure on the wound will help stop bleeding. Use a wadded up bit of cloth to press down with the palm on the wound. Talk about what constitutes a minor injury and what wouldn’t be and how to handle them.  Ensure children know that if they come across someone who has fallen or is complaining of a hurting bone, they should immediately call another adult to help. Calling for help is also first aid. First aid for fractures and sprains also means making the person who has fallen sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Not touching the hurting bone is the last, but most important rule.


Teach children how to cool a burn by running the burned skin under cool water and afterward clean it and slather on the aloe vera.

Fire Safety:

Fire Accidents can happen at any time. If the children catch their clothes on fire, they need to put them out immediately. Teach them how to Stop, Drop, and Roll.  Show how they can do this outdoors and indoors and how to avoid the risk of spreading the fire.  For example, if indoors, roll on the hard surface instead of on a carpet. Have the kids practice (without the fire, of course!)  so they’ll do this automatically if they need to.  You should also discuss how to get out of the area under fire – for example, run out to the street if the house is on fire, using the exit farthest from the fire. Teach about not using elevators and other electrical equipment during such cases too.

Water Safety:

Make sure children don’t swim alone and are always under supervision when in water.  Teach basic techniques to float or tread water until someone can pull them out of the water and definitely teach them how to swim.

Insect Bites:

Teach children to identify insect bites and how to relieve itching and pain. Guide them on the way to wash the area with soap and water and apply an ice pack to reduce swelling. You can also teach them to use calamine lotion on such bites.

You can also teach them basic home remedies.

Last but not least, have a frank conversation with your children about when they should contact emergency helplines. Let them know what to do if something happens to their primary caregiver (parents or grandparents).


Nosebleeds are normal during childhood. Show children how to remain calm and to pinch the soft part of their nose and to lean forward a little until the bleeding has subsided. If their nose still bleeds even after 10 minutes, they must contact you or the emergency numbers you have discussed with them.


Children (or Adults) can choke in a matter of seconds! Many times a simple cough may not be enough to get it out. It can be a great idea to teach your kids the Heimlich manoeuver if they are old enough.  Discuss why choking happens and why one must act quickly.


Even very young children should have a basic understanding of CPR. You should explain how CPR helps to stimulate the heart and causes it to start beating again. Teach them how to determine if someone has a heartbeat and is breathing on their own and stress the importance of calling the emergency numbers right away. It would help if the older children learn to administer CPR too.

When & How

The most ideal time to start teaching kids about First Aid is as early as possible. Learning and knowing about first aid can be made interesting to children. By introducing the topic early, kids will grow in their understanding and effective application of the skills.

Remember to keep calm and comfortable while administrating first aid as this will help your children remain calm during medical emergencies too.

Use every-day situations to explain first aid to your children.  For example, if your child has a fall and has bruised his/her leg, let them know what has happened to them and how applying an ice pack will help. Explain the process while doing it. Involving children hands-on in the act is the best way for them to learn to do it. Help them administer first aid to themselves and to others as well.

Do role-plays and go over scenarios with your children about situations in which they will need to call emergency or handle different emergency situations. Make a game out of it. You can play “doctor” with younger kids!

Keep a First-Aid Kit and make sure the family knows where to find it and how to use it.

Children feel a sense of pride when they not only know what to do but also are able to do it on their own. Empowering our children is one of the best ways we can equip them in times of need.


Take a dekko at this wonderful video about first aid for children. It is in Gujarati but has English subtitles. The subject of First Aid is explained in a simple manner. Situation specific first aid techniques are explained in order to understand the relevance of remedies. This short film can be a vital tool for teachers to provide basic First Aid education to children.

Another good video to teach kids about first aid. Check this out too.

The British Red Cross’s Life. Live It has loads of resources about First Aid Education for Children that you must check out.

There are many aspects of safety that you can teach children but the teaching first aid can make them aware of dangers as well as how to safely handle any injuries that may occur.

Disclaimer: Parents – Please use your own discretion to teach children about the activities based on your child’s age.

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