To be prepared for a medical emergency at home is to be confident that no matter what happens, whether you are present or not, your children and family will be okay.
The home is the place where one spends most of the time usually, especially for children. It is a dwelling-place used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual, family, household or several families. It is often a house, apartment, or other building consisting of one or more persons (old and young). With all these people and possibly the structure of the dwelling-place, caution dictates a plan in place to act in emergency situations.
Medical emergency is the sudden onset of a medical condition or accident revealing itself with varying symptoms such as pain, bleeding, vomiting, loss of consciousness etc. These symptoms are of such severity such that the absence of immediate medical attention could be expected to affect the casualty’s health with loss/impairment/dysfunction of bodily functions or death.
As accidents can occur at any time, safety should be planned for. An adequate response to an emergency medical situation will depend strongly on the prepared plan of action and available resources; hence, the need to make necessary plans to ensure safety before, the right help during and after the emergency.
These plans are important. It is important to note that preparedness is one of the four phases of emergency management. They are:
- Mitigation: Reduce the possibility of a medical emergency. Safety first always.
- Preparedness: Does everyone in the home know what to do and who to call if there is a medical emergency?
- Response: How can you help the casualty?
- Recovery: How do you access medical care, if need be or ensure the casualty is now okay?
Preparing for medical emergency at home involves four steps:
Acquire the right knowledge about medical emergencies at home. Attend a first aid class so you are better informed and have the confidence to act with the right knowledge and skills.
You have to know how to prevent accidents as much as possible by applying safety principles for the home; you have to know what to do during the emergency to help the casualty and you have to know how to assess medical care after first aid has been applied.
Make a plan
It is important to have a tailored plan of action that would be effective for you, the nanny or any caregiver in the home. It is also important that as soon as the children are old enough, they also know this emergency plan.
This emergency plan should involve:
- Communication in terms of numbers to call. These numbers should include parents, your primary doctor, family members and also backup numbers.
- Access to first aid kit and rescue equipment
- Safety drills
- Training and retraining in first aid.
Get a First Aid Kit
It is important to have a first aid kit, it is a necessity and not a luxury. It should contain plasters, bandages, gauze pads, sanitizer, a thermometer, pins.
Medication are not sold as part of first aid kits and though can contain over-the-counter-medication that you’ve noticed is useful to you and your family like painkillers, antihistamines etc.
This kit should be easily accessible in the event of a medical emergency.
Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility of all whether in the home, school, workplace or even club. Ensure everyone you share a home with, work with or even socialize with know what to do in the event of a medical emergency. Don’t be the only one with the knowledge because it might end up being you that needs to be helped.