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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 6, Lesson 2

First Aid, CPR, and Management of Seizures

The ITDS will be asked questions by families and child care staff regarding safety and first aid. The ITDS needs a general basic knowledge of first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and the management of seizures. The ITDS then needs to know where to get information or where to refer families and staff for more information. An excellent web resource is Kids Health.

Please refer to the links below to access the required articles and fact sheets. These are samples of helpful information which the ITDS can share with families.

Bites and Scratches

Bites and scratches can be sources of infection and disease. Bites from animals can result in rabies or tetanus. Treatment of animal, as well as human, bites must be promptly sought through the child's primary medical provider. Steps to follow for bites and scratches are outlined below.

  • If bleeding, pressure is applied using gloves to protect oneself from blood borne disease.
  • Clean the wound with soap and water by running water over the wound for five minutes.
  • Cover the wound with a sterile pad.
  • Call the child's physician.
  • Call animal control to capture the animal. Do not try to capture the animal.
  • Access the emergency room if the bleeding does not stop, if the wound is deep or longer than a half inch, if the animal was acting strangely, and if any body part was severed. If a body part is severed wrap it in a sterile pad and take it to the emergency room with the child.


Cuts occur frequently during the toddler years. The same general principles apply to cuts as to scratches. Listed below are things to remember about cuts.

  1. Clean the wound with soap and running water for five minutes.
  2. If the cut is deep or longer than half an inch seek treatment immediately.
  3. If the wound is bleeding, apply pressure and raise the injured part.
  4. Do not apply a tourniquet.

First, Second and Third Degree Burns

Burns are classified as first, second, or third degree. First-degree burns cause redness, pain and swelling, but usually heal well if treated promptly. Second- degree burns blister and are very red. Third-degree burns are very deep and result in nerve damage and disfiguration. The first principle related to burns is prevention. Note the presence of candles, matches, lighters, stove burners, and flammable products in the home or child care environment and provide cautionary advice. If a child is burned:

  1. Remove the clothing unless the clothing is sticking to the body.
  2. Run cool water over the burn.
  3. You can apply a small gauze pad over the affected area for first-degree burns.
  4. If it is a second or third degree burn, seek medical help promptly and cover the burned area with a clean soft cloth.
  5. Medical help should also be sought for any burn that is caused by chemicals or electricity and for any burns that involve the face, head, hands, or genitals.
  6. If the burn looks very red, swollen or infected, medical help should be sought.


mother holding baby at beachSunburn is a burn that occurs when children are exposed to harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. This is the most preventable type of burn and the one often ignored by caregivers. The ITDS, when planning the daily outdoor routines with a family, can assist the caregiver with preventive information. The child needs to be properly clothed with a shirt, hat and sunglasses to prevent skin and eye damage.

Sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor of 15 should be applied at least every two hours while the child is outside. Sunscreen with a higher sun protection factor (30 – 45) provides a greater barrier from ultraviolet rays. If the child goes into water, the sunscreen needs to be reapplied immediately upon exiting from the water. If sunburn does occur, the child should be removed from the sun immediately. Cool showers or compresses over the affected area will relieve some of the pain. The child will need extra fluid for a few days to prevent dehydration. Do not put butter, lotion or crèmes on the burn. The child may need ibuprofen (Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) but only as directed by the primary medical provider.

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is mouth-to-mouth breathing in combination with chest compressions necessary to save a life when breathing and the beating of the heart stops. The first step in any situation is to call for help before you begin so someone can place a 911 call. If you are alone make the call yourself as quickly as possible before you begin CPR. In any situation you must then be sure the child is in a safe place to administer the CPR. There are three basic ABCs of CPR:

  1. Check the Airway to be sure that nothing is blocking the flow of air.
  2. Check to ascertain if the child is Breathing.
  3. Check to see if the heart is beating. (C for Cardiopulmonary)

It is recommended that the ITDS be properly trained to administer CPR. A class on CPR usually takes about four hours. Classes are often offered through the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association or in some instances, the County Public Health Department.


Seizures can be very scary to the child having the seizure and also to other children and adults in the environment. Most seizures last only a few minutes and are not life threatening. Febrile seizures occur in very young children and usually do not cause any serious long-term harm. Guidelines for seizures are as follows:

  1. If possible, get the child to the hospital or call 911 especially if this is the first time that the child has had a seizure.
  2. Place the child on the floor in a safe place and remove any dangerous objects that are close to the child. Place a soft pillow or cloth under the head.
  3. Loosen the child's clothing, especially around the neck and head.
  4. Do not try to prevent the child from shaking.
  5. Do not put any fingers or anything else in the child's mouth.
  6. Put the child on his/her side if vomiting to prevent aspiration.
  7. Do not give any food or drink.
  8. Call the primary medical provider and the family if the child is in the care of someone else.


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