Resolutions for New Year's
2021 has arrived, and there are various New Year’s resolutions you can make to keep you and your family healthy and well in the new year. A few of these resolutions include the following:
1. Become CPR and Basic First Aid-Certified
Participation in a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) class usually only takes a few hours. However, the benefits are ongoing and can last a lifetime. During a CPR class, you will learn how to give proper chest compression and ventilation or breath, use an automated external defibrillator (AED), assist conscious and unconscious choking victims and more. Finally, upon successful completion of the CPR class, you will receive a CPR certification card that remains valid for two years.
In addition to CPR classes, basic first aid courses are also available. A basic first aid class covers a wide spectrum of medical emergencies, including: allergic reactions, identifying stroke and cardiac arrest, bone and muscle injuries, identification and treatment of hypothermia, heat trauma, and heat stroke, seizures, and the identification and treatment of burns. Similar in class duration to a CPR class, a basic first aid course typically takes just a few hours to finish. Upon completion of a basic first aid class, you will then earn a basic first aid certification card.
2. Prepare Healthy Meals
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several tips to help families prepare healthy meals. For example:
A. Select fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contain nutrients, minerals and vitamins that support a healthy diet.
B. Choose whole grains as opposed to refined varieties. Foods labeled with “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” are healthier alternatives to foods that contain refined grains.
C. Add fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt to your diet. Fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt contains calcium and other nutrients and has less calories than whole milk.
D. Enjoy lean protein. Pork, chicken, beef, eggs and other foods high in lean protein will help you satisfy your hunger cravings.
E. Find healthy alternatives to high-calorie cream sauces and gravies. In order to avoid these high-calorie gravies or sauces when preparing meals; instead, use products with healthy alternatives such as low-fat parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon.
A proper combination of foods and nutrition will allow you to remain healthy in 2021 and beyond. Best of all, research shows that following a whole-foods-based diet may significantly reduce heart disease risk factors, body weight, and blood sugar levels, as well as decrease your risk of certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
3. Get More Quality Sleep
Getting adequate sleep is an important part of one's overall health. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation can result in serious consequences. For example, lack of sleep may increase your risk of weight gain, heart disease, and depression.
There are many factors which contribute to sleep deprivation. Consequently, it’s important to focus on a schedule and lifestyle that accommodates sleep quantity and quality.
Additionally, decreasing screen time before bed, reducing light pollution in your bedroom, reducing caffeine intake, and getting to bed at a reasonable hour are some simple ways to improve sleep hygiene.
2021 has just begun so set a New Year’s resolution. Take advantage of any of the aforementioned New Year’s resolution and place you and your family in position to enjoy a happy and healthy 2021.
4 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR TODDLER SAFE
Young children are often care-free, reckless, and don't seem to adhere to personal safety. Their newly-found motor skills can create a mixture of unknowing behavior that requires constant supervision. For new parents and caregivers, this can be both stressful and frightening. However, with the added knowledge and skills, you can be prepared for any scenario. In this article we will review four essential safety tips can that can help you safeguard and protect the livelihood of your child.
1. Become CPR certified and learn how to administer choking aid.
First on this list of child safety tips is CPR. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is a life-saving skill that can allow the preservation of brain function in the event of heart failure. CPR uses chest compressions and (often) artificial ventilation to ensure and maintain blood flow and provide oxygen to the brain. According to the American Heart Association, over 7,000 children suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest annually. The survival rates for children are dependent on the presence of an individual who knows how to perform a CPR immediately. To ensure that you are one of those individuals, it’s imperative to become CPR certified. During a CPR certification course with Help-A-Heart CPR, you'll learn how to perform CPR on adults, children, and infants so you’ll know just what to do in the event of a medical crisis.
CPR certification courses at Help-A-Heart CPR also teach students how to administer aid for another common emergency that toddlers often experience which is choking. The childhood fascination and interest in foreign objects approaching and/or entering the mouth can result in airway obstructions. Despite continuous parenting, choking events can and do occur. Should complications arise in that moment, you need to be ready. CPR courses teach you how to administer specialized choking aid for children and infants as well as adults.
2. Keep your home free of hazardous areas.
There are various areas and items within the common household that can pose serious safety risks to your toddler. The most common safety risk accessible to many toddlers are household cleaning products. Detergents, polishes, oils, and other synthetic chemicals can be lethal if ingested. It is important to keep these items securely locked up or stored on unreachable top shelves with child-safe caps. If your toddler does manage to swallow something poisonous, immediately notify the Poison Help hotline at 1 (800) 222-1222.
Second, firearms and weaponry are another class of dangerous items often found in homes. If you own a weapon, make sure it is securely locked and hidden from your toddler.
Lastly, it is critical to address general areas in your home that may lead to injury for adventurous toddlers. For example, the corners of tables and countertops (which can be padded with foam), large staircases (which can be protected with a child-proof gate), and windows (which should always be locked).
3. Prevent falls and burns.
There are additional areas, besides windows and stairs, that can lead to serious fall injuries for toddlers. These may include basement and attic entries, recklessly leaving chairs next to counters or tables, and many things that the child may experience outside.. While quick locking and rearranging can toddler-proof your indoor space, you also need to outdoor-proof your toddler when he or she goes outside. Always carry disinfectant and bandages on trips to the playground, and make sure your toddler wears a helmet if he or she attempts to ride a bike. Most importantly, keep a close eye on your little one at all times.
Second, fire is yet another major hazard for toddlers not just at home but also outside the home. The kitchen is one of the biggest sources of fire and heat. Consequently, toddlers should be kept away from the fire source and/or kitchen away while you are preparing food. Toddlers should also be kept away from heaters or other hot objects in bedrooms and living rooms. Finally, keep hot items such as cups of coffee or hot food out of reach of your toddler. Teaching fire safety to toddlers should be a point of emphasis whenever possible, but if he or she does get burned, keep cold water on the area for several minutes, then apply a dry bandage. Also, make sure all smoke alarms are working in your home.
4. Automobile safety.
Last on the list is automobile safety. The car is a potential safety hazard for all passengers, especially young children. In the United States, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children. In 2018, 636 children 12 years old and younger died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and more than 97,000 were injured. Of the children 12 years old and younger who died in a crash in 2018 (for which restraint use was known), 33% of the children were not buckled up. Child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. Unfortunately, an estimated 46% of car seats and booster seats (59% of car seats and 20% of booster seats) are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness. Parents and caregivers can make a lifesaving difference.
Always drive safely and ensure that your toddler is placed in a child-safety car set before even starting the ignition. Additional reminders are to never leave your toddler alone in the care, even if you’ll only be gone for a minute.
Would you like to learn more about pediatric and child safety? Are you ready to learn the necessary skills to keep your child safe in any situation? Our team at Help-A-Heart CPR is here to help. Email us or call us at (210) 380-5344 to get your questions answered and enroll in one of our pediatric and child CPR and First Aid classes today!
Why Your Fire Department Should BE ACLS and PALS Certified?
With the increase in for-profit paramedics in cities and counties across the United States, local fire departments are experiencing increased competition within Emergency Medical Services (EMS). However, if you are employed at the fire department there are various things you can do to outweigh the competition as an EMS or Paramedic in your area. Among these things are earning certifications in American Heart Association (AHA) ACLS and PALS. Learn more about these certifications and why your fire department needs them in the information below, and enroll in our empowering and knowledge filled classes here at Help-A-Heart CPR to get certified today!
As various cities and counties are easing their restrictions on which organizations can provide EMS, new healthcare provider organizations have begun to compete with existing fire departments and healthcare provider services in areas all across America. New for-profit paramedic services are expanding on what was once only for fire department EMS services.
What certifications SHOULD YOU ENROLL YOUR PARAMEDICS & EMT'S IN?
To exemplify the skills and experience of your EMS professionals, you should consider having your fire department’s EMS personnel become certified in both ACLS and PALS. The EMS personnel will most likely be knowledgeable of the topics covered in the ACLS and PALS classes from their real-world life-saving experience. Subsequently, it might be less of a learning all new subject matter through ACLS and PALS programs as opposed to just aligning with the best practices that the AHA is constantly updating through research in the field of cardiovascular care and emergency services. Through participation in this training, not only will your paramedics and EMTs have the most up to date training available, but they will be able to work more effectively as a team during cardiac arrest situations.
So, what exactly are ACLS and PALS certifications, and what do they mean? ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) is a certification provided by the AHA that expands on the foundation and curriculum which that BLS (Basic Life Support) courses provide. ACLS training incorporates team dynamics in cardiac arrest situations to help improve the outcome in medical crisis emergencies. This ACLS curriculum includes proper CPR protocol, choking aid, AED use, and more. During the ACLS class firefighters will continue to build on their skills and learn how to be both a team leader and a team member in a resuscitation effort. These skills will help your EMTs better assist their paramedics and make the code run more smoothly. The ACLS course also covers ECG recognition, ACLS pharmacology, and advanced airway management. PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) provides in-depth training similar to that covered in ACLS, but instead focuses on providing life support to infants and children. The PALS curriculum also focuses on the most common life-threatening pediatric medical crisis including cardiac and respiratory emergencies. A strong knowledge of these pediatric emergencies is key for all healthcare providers, and the various treatment methods are covered in the PALS class. Fortunately, healthcare provider teams that become ACLS and PALS certified as a group are often able to communicate more effectively and work cohesively in an emergency situation.
Through encouraging your fire department to become ACLS and PALS certified, these certifications will build confidence in your team to maneuver the various medical emergencies encountered by EMS providers. The presence of ACLS and PALS certifications will also showcase the commitment to excellence as displayed by your department.
Get your Team ACLS & PALS CERTIFIED WITH US HERE AT HELP-A-HEART CPR.
Are your seeking an effective and affordable way to earn your ACLS and PALS certifications? Fully endorsed by the American Heart Association and led by highly-experienced instructors with backgrounds in education, and medical care, we’ve earned our place as a premier provider of emergency response certifications. Help-A-Heart CPR has provided training to hospitals, schools, and organizations further further promoting large scale training for thousands of providers each year. For maximum convenience, we also offer onsite training options where we bring our certification courses to you. Check out our reviews to see what other individuals and professional organizations have said about our certification courses, and enroll your fire department with us today!
2020 AHA GUIDELINES
The American Heart Association (AHA) revises the recommendations, or Guidelines, for Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC), including CPR, every five years. These modifications were released on October 21, 2020, and will be implemented into AHA classes over the next few months.
A few of the major topics of change include the implementation of Deliberate Practice and Mastery Learning, Booster Training and Spaced Learning, Lay Rescuer Training, ACLS Course Participation, Opioid Overdose Training for Lay Rescuers, Disparities in Education, and EMS Practitioner Experience and Exposure to Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest.
The following is a summary of some of the key issues and major changes for Resuscitation Education Science and Systems of Care.
1. The use of deliberate practice and mastery learning during life support training, and using repetition with feedback and minimum passing standards, in order to improve skills retention.
2. A recommendation that booster training such as brief retraining sessions should be added to massed learning and traditional course based training to assist with retention of CPR skills.
3. For laypersons, self-directed training, either alone or in combination with instructor-led training, is recommended to improve willingness and ability to perform CPR. The increased use of independent and hybrid training may remove an obstacle to more widespread training of the general public in CPR.
4. It is advised that middle school and high school age children should be trained to provide high-quality CPR.
5. It is recommended that the general public and those in non-healthcare settings receive training in how to respond to victims of opioid overdose, including the administration of naloxone.
6. Bystander CPR training should always address socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic populations who have historically exhibited lower rates of bystander CPR.
7. CPR training professionals should also acknowledge the presence of gender-related barriers in order to improve rates of bystander CPR performed on women.
8. EMS systems should monitor how much exposure their providers receive in treating cardiac arrest victims and provide continuing education on a frequent basis.
9. All healthcare providers should complete an adult ACLS course or its equivalent.
10. Use of mobile phone technology by emergency dispatch systems to alert bystanders to medical crisis that may require CPR or AED use.
11. Incorporate the addition of booster training sessions including brief and frequent sessions focused on repetition of prior content to resuscitation courses as this has been shown to improve the retention of CPR skills.
12. Acknowledge that long term survival after a cardiac arrest event requires support from family and professional caregivers, and incorporate experts in cognitive, physical, and psychological rehabilitation and recovery.
Here at Help-A-Heart CPR we will be implementing these and other advised changes over the next few months so stay tuned. For more information about the 2020 AHA Guidelines, please visit AHA 2020 guidelines. To register in an American Heart Association ACLS, BLS, PALS, or PEARS class following AHA 2020 guidelines view the Help-A-Heart CPR training registration portal.
MANAGING AN AIRWAY OBSTRUCTION
Effective airway management is a topic that is is reviewed in an American Heart Association (AHA) ACLS certification course. Without proper airway management, an individual may suffer from a severe lack of oxygen as their airway is blocked.
An airway obstruction can result in a serious medical crisis even resulting in death. But an individual certified in ACLS is taught the skills to manage a difficult airway management situation and is trained in various ways to remove or prevent an airway obstruction.
To better understand the importance of airway management, we'll examine a few common ways a person’s airway can become obstructed, and why this topic is critical in ACLS certification training.
WHAT CAUSES AN AIRWAY OBSTRUCTION?
An airway obstruction prevents air from reaching the lungs and may occur for various reasons including the following:
1. Tongue. If a person is unconscious and lying in a supine position, the tongue can retract into the throat and block the airway, preventing air from entering the lungs.
2. Foreign Object. If a person swallows or inhales a foreign object, this item may block the airway, resulting in choking, coughing and wheezing.
3. Chemical Burns. Harmful chemicals that touch the skin may cause an acute upper airway obstruction negatively impacting the trachea, voice box and throat.
4. Smoke Inhalation. Breathing in smoke may result in a shortness of breath, coughing and noisy breathing.
Unfortunately, airway obstruction often occurs without notice and can be treated in many ways.
If an object obstructs the airway, a special instrument may be used to remove the item. In other cases, an endotracheal tube could be used to create a passageway into the victim’s lungs to help the victim breathe, while a tracheostomy or cricothyrotomy (an opening through the neck into the airway) also may be used for airway obstruction treatment.
AIRWAY OBSTRUCTION PREVENTION AND TREATMENT and Becoming ACLS Certified.
There are many ways to prevent an airway obstruction, including the following:
1. When eating, it is important to eat slowly and carefully to ensure any food is chewed and swallowed completely. For those individuals or loved ones who wear dentures, ensure the dentures fit properly for proper chewing and swallowing.
2. It is also important to keep small objects away from children to eliminate choking and swallowing hazards.
3. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption before or while eating.
The ACLS certification training provides a great opportunity to learn about difficult airway issues and how to prevent certain airway management problems.
ACLS classes focus on a number of key topics, such as:
Basic Life Support (BLS) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
How to initiate the ACLS process
The best ways to deliver airway management assistance
Recognition of arrhythmias
Use of appropriate medications and electrical therapy
When it comes to delivering airway management support, you’ll want to become ACLS-certified. By doing so, you will gain increased knowledge and confidence on the topic of airway management and be able to assist airway obstruction victims at any time.
Why You should choose help-a-heart cpr for ACLS CERTIFICATION?
An airway obstruction can be a life-threatening event. Fortunately, you’ll be able to receive valuable insights and information from experienced medical professionals if you enroll in an ACLS certification class from Help-A-Heart CPR.
One never knows when a obstructed airway emergency crisis may occur. However, by becoming ACLS certified you’ll be better prepared to provide airway management assistance quickly and efficiently. With our extensive ACLS certification training program, you’ll be able to discover what it takes to provide airway management support. You also may become a key contributor in an airway management emergency because you’ll be able to help airway obstruction victims.
This ACLS certification class takes approximately 12 hours to complete and provides a combination of hands-on lessons and classroom sessions to ensure you understand what it takes to provide airway management support. Upon successful completion of the ACLS Provider class, you’ll receive an American Heart Association ACLS certification card that will remain valid for two years.
An airway obstruction represents a serious problem that may cause harm or death. But with ACLS certification training from Help-A-Heart CPR, you can benefit from a superior learning experience that enables you to become ACLS-certified so you can provide lifesaving assistance in a broad range of critical situations.
SAFETY TOOLS FOR THE WORKPLACE
Accidents often occur in the workplace. A recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Illnesses and Injuries revealed approximately 3 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses affected private industry workers and 722,000 impacted state and local government workers in 2014.
There are various quick and efficient easy ways to improve office safety which include the following:
1. Focus on office safety. For example, if office chair breaks or a stairwell light goes out, employees should not hesitate to inform their employers. Employers should then act immediately to respond to workers’ on-the-job safety concerns.
2. Keep your office space clean. Dealing with a messy workplace negatively impacts all employees. If office staff members keep their workstations neat and tidy, employees can then reduce the risk of clutter in the workplace which may potentially results in falls, trips, and other on-the-job mishaps.
3. Provide workplace safety and health training. Education is an empowering tool for employees. If employers develop effective office safety training programs and update their programs consistently, employers can teach their employees methods to identify and address on-the-job crisis in an expedited manner.
4. Schedule regular employee meetings. Allow employees the opportunity to express their on-the-job safety concerns by scheduling monthly meetings. Workplace meetings can enable employers to share their progress as they strive to create safe, effective work environments designed to help workers become more productive.
Let's also not forget a few of the basic workplace safety tools which include the following:
A. Ergonomic Supplies: A regular office chair or desk may be insufficient, as either of these items may cause employees to suffer carpal tunnel and back and neck pain over time. The use of ergonomic supplies will allow an employer can help workers remain comfortable as they perform day-to-day tasks while minimizing the risk of long-term injuries.
B. Back Braces: Back braces should be available and used when the employee lifts heavy items. Not only do back braces allow employees to lift heavy items with ease but they are also a sound preventative measure to avoid potential back or neck injuries.
C. Fire Alarm: How will workers know of a potential fire or fire hazard in the workplace? If a fire alarm is in place, workers can receive an instant notification at the first sign of a fire. In addition, the fire alarm should also be monitored to ensure proper operation and necessary maintenance.
D. Fire Extinguisher: Employees must act quickly to minimize the damage of a fire in the event it occurs. With a fire extinguisher in a common place, employees can work fast to diffuse a fire. Subsequently, employers should keep all fire extinguishers in locations that are easy to find and ensure all employees are knowledgeable of how to use the fire extinguisher.
E. First Aid Kit: The first aid kit should include cold packs, disinfectants, bandages and other first aid items. If an on-the-job accident occurs, employees can then use the tools available in the the first aid kit to provide immediate assistance until advanced medical personnel arrive on scene. It is also important to ensure that the first aid kit is replenished when items are used.
F. Flashlights: Flashlights are important in the workplace in the event of a power outage and/or an electrical storm. Flashlights allow employees to find one another, even in the dark. Employers also should have plenty of batteries on hand to ensure these flashlights will remain operational in blackouts and other emergencies.
G. Gloves: Safety hygiene and protocol is critical, particularly if employees are tasked with cleaning up a workspace mess that involves bodily fluids.
H. Ladders: Ladders and stepstools should be made available in the workplace to ensure employees can remain safe when they reach for normally inaccessible areas. While using a ladder or stepstool, an employee who climbs the rungs should work and communicate with a fellow employee who remains at the bottom of the ladder or stepstool.
I. Warning Signs: A wet bathroom or tiled area can be dangerous, and even a single misstep can lead to long-lasting harm. Warning signs are easy to set up and can be used to help workers identify trip and fall hazards.
Workplace safety can have long lasting effects on employees regardless of a company’s size, stature or industry. Employers that wish to enhance their current organizational safety and wellness plans can provide on-the-job safety training which should include cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid training.
To learn more about CPR and First Aid training for your workplace contact us at 210-380-5344.
SO WHAT IS "BLS"?
"Can you tell me if I'm signing up for the right class?" That's a question we hear often at Help-A-Heart CPR. Due to various professions, work environments, and state licensing regulations, it can be confusing understanding the CPR class you need to take to satisfy all of the necessary requirements.
WHAT IS BLS?
BLS stands for "Basic Life Support", and is the basic CPR course for most professionals in the healthcare environment. The CPR protocol covered in the American Heart Association BLS class are applicable to all critical medical situations. Basic Life Support is just that. The basic CPR skills of compressions are reviewed as well as breathing, and AED use, for both one-rescuer and multi-rescuer situations. Modifications to these procedures that are not covered in lay rescuer CPR training include administering pulse checks, using bag valve masks (BVMs), CPR in the presence of an advanced airway, and addressing the various issues having to do with team dynamics.
WHO MIGHT NEED TO TAKE BLS?
Healthcare providers and/or those entering the healthcare industry are the students most often seeking the BLS CPR class. For the majority of healthcare professionals, basic life support training is a necessity. Since the few moments following a medical crisis are so critical, often meaning the difference between life and death, anyone charged with caring for patients must be prepared in the event of a life-threatening emergency. Some of the professions most often needing BLS include nurses, physicians, EMT's, paramedics, pharmacists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, medical students, nursing students, nutritionists, dietary aides, and mental health counselors.
In the U.S., there’s an American Heart Association-mandated protocol for the immediate treatment of critical events that must be closely followed by anyone licensed to practice medicine in any form. It is the responsibility of all those responsible for treating the public, to also renewal their BLS certification every two years. In addition, with periodic changes being made to the guidelines, timely renewal is also mandatory.
BLS CLASS OPTIONS
For newly licensed healthcare providers, we offer BLS certification classes that strictly follow the AHA guidelines for immediate, on-site treatment of life-threatening medical emergencies. The class curriculum includes training in adult, child, and infant CPR; conscious and unconscious choking protocols for all ages; Automated External Defibrillator (AED) operation; the employment of breathing barriers and bag valve masks; two-rescuer CPR instruction; cardiopulmonary emergency protocol; and special resuscitation situations. Upon successful completion of the course, students will achieve AHA BLS certification and be ready to pursue their medical career possessing the skills they need to save lives in an emergency situation.
With the specific needs of our students in mind, we also offer BLS certification classes in two other forms: one designed for those already deeply familiar with the protocols and simply looking to BLS renewal classes, and one blended learning program that takes into account the often hectic schedules of medical professionals. The Heartcode BLS certification involves the blended learning option and allows students to complete the online course and didactic portion at their own convenience. The students is then able to schedule the hands-on skills testing which typically lasts 20 to 40 minutes.
WHAT IS THE HANDS-ON BLS CLASS LIKE?
The American Heart Association BLS Provider class involves extensive hands-on practice. The intent is to reinforce the basic skills of healthcare provider CPR in an environment that is focused on learning while being supportive, structured, and supervised by an experienced BLS instructor. The face-to-face BLS CPR classes at Help-A-Heart CPR optimize skills development which allow for effective review, reinforcement, and when required, correction and modification. Whether you are seeking a BLS Renewal class or will be taking BLS for the first time, our classroom training will empower you with the skills to administer CPR effectively and with confidence. In addition, if you are continuing your training with the American Heart Association ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification, the skills you learn and develop in BLS will help you as proceed to gain the ACLS certification.
With the best resources in the field and a history of excellence, Help-A-Heart CPR represents the very finest in emergency education. Our courses are taught only by acknowledged experts in their fields with real world experience in the on-site treatment of medical emergencies. Our goal at Help-A-Heart CPR is to empower students and provide educational materials designed to make the learning experience as smooth and effective as possible. In our BLS CPR classes, we maintain a one-to-one manikin-to-student ratio to ensure that students are able to practice techniques effectively and at sufficient length. We’re proud to offer the best in life-saving training.
SAFETY HAZARDS IN YOUR HOME
Safety hazards occur in every home despite the size of the home or even the location. However, there are certain things that can be done to help identify and address household safety hazards before they escalate.
The following are 5 common household safety hazards, along with tips to reduce or eliminate these issues.
4 SIGNS THAT YOUR INFANT IS CHOKING
Healthcare providers are required to participate in pediatric advanced life support (PALS) training and have often trained in pediatric emergency assessment, recognition and stabilization (PEARS). However, most often parents and caregivers have not experienced this advanced level of training.
Deciding how to care for the new infant is often met with so many "unknowns" for new parents. A common fear of parents and caregivers is how to recognize if your infant child is choking.
Since infants make lots of different sounds but can't verbalize what they are experiencing, it can be difficult to tell when a noise is a sign of an emergency. However there are a few signs to look for to determine if your infant is indeed choking and especially when eating. If you recognize any of the following then seek emergency assistance immediately by calling 911.
1. The infant’s face gets darker or develops a blue tinge.
2. The infant cries, but there is no sound.
3. The infant begins to flail or thrash around.
4. The infant has to make an effort to breathe.
Here are five tips to help you deliver first aid to a choking infant:
1. Assess the situation. If a infant is unable to cry or cough, something may be blocking his or her airway. If the infant is coughing or gagging, the baby’s airway may only be partially blocked. If this is occurring, you should continue to let the baby cough in the hopes of dislodging the object.
2. Call 911. If you’re unsure about how to handle a choking infant, you should call 911 or have a friend or family member call 911 for you. The quicker you call 911, the quicker the infant can get the support that he or she needs to survive.
3. Use back blows. To administer back blows, place the infant face-up on one forearm and cradle the back of the head with the same hand. Then, place the other hand and forearm on the infant's front, use your fingers and thumb to hold open the infant's jaw and turn the infant over face-down on your forearm. With the heel of your hand, deliver five firm back blows between the infant's shoulder blades.
4. Perform chest thrusts. To perform chest thrusts, you should place your thumb and fingers to hold a infant's jaw open and keep the infant between your forearms to ensure maximum head and neck support. Next, place the tips of two or three fingers in the center of the infant's chest and push straight down on the chest approximately 1.5 inches. Administer five chest thrusts, and allow the chest to come back to its normal position after each thrust.
5. Repeat 5 back blows and 5 chest thrusts until the object is removed or EMS arrives.
Infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the next step to assist a choking infant if the infant becomes unresponsive. Here are three steps to follow to effectively administer infant CPR:
1. Determine whether a infant is unresponsive and not breathing. Tap the bottom of a baby’s foot and check for normal breathing. Call 911 immediately if the infant is not responsive.
2. Give chest compressions. Place one hand on the infant's forehead and two fingers on the center of the infan't chest. Then compress the chest by pushing straight down about 1.5 inches. Perform up to 30 compressions at a rate of one to two compressions per second and approximately 100-120 compressions per minute.
3. Give rescue breaths. Place one hand on the infant's forehead and two fingers on the chin and tilt the head back to a neutral position. Give the infant 2 light "puffs" of air by blowing into the infant's nose and mouth for about one second giving enough air to see the chest slighly rise.
CPR and First Aid classes are ideal for parents and caregivers who need the skills and confidence needed to recognize signs of an emergency and then provide assistance until emergency personnel arrive. Our CPR and First Aid classes at Help-A-Heart CPR allow parents to practice CPR techniques and use the AED while collaborating with other students and instructors on best practices.
To find out more information on our class schedule at Help-A-Heart CPR, give us a call at 210-380-5344.
MANAGING AN ALLERGIC REACTION
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year. Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system. Various reactions to allergies can occur due to bee stings, spending time around house pets, increasing pollen in the air and spending more time outside, or simply consuming peanuts. However, no matter how severe the allergic reaction, it is critical to address the problem as quickly as possible.
The first step in handling an allergic reaction is identifying symptoms and understanding any predispositions that an individual may have towards certain allergens. With this information and within the First Aid classes we provide at Help-A-Heart CPR, we will provide you with everything you need to know to properly handle an allergic reaction. Gain the necessary knowledge to stay safe in the face of allergies with our information below and gain the experience to turn your knowledge into action by enrolling in our Basic First Aid course.
WHAT CAUSES ALLERGIC REACTIONS?
The allergic reaction is synergy of an allergen and the body’s response to it. There are three primary types of allergies. The first are ingested allergies, which occur only when an allergen is ingested orally or intravenously. A few common allergens in this category include peanuts, eggs, gluten, certain types of fruit, and some medications, including penicillin. The second are contact allergies, which occur when an allergen comes into contact with the skin and causes swelling or irritation. A few common allergens in this category include soaps, detergents, hair dye, and latex. The final and most widespread type of allergies are inhaled allergies, which occur when an individual breathes in an allergen. Common allergens in this category include pollen and pet dander.
WHAT IS AN ALLERGIC REACTION?
The allergic reaction or the “overreaction” is essentially an overproduction of proteins called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies, which the body uses to try to suppress the allergen. When combined with the allergen itself, these antibodies then create histamine. Histamine is the substance responsible for the wide range of symptoms that can occur in body when an allergic reaction occurs. These symptoms include:
A. Itching on the affected area or over the entire body
B. A red or raised rash on the affected area or over the entire body
C. Hives (large, pink bumps or swollen areas)
D. Sneezing and watery eyes
E. A runny nose
F. Swelling in the mouth or throat
G.Difficulty breathing or rapid breaths
H. Nausea or diarrhea
In certain situations, multiple sites in the body can be effected at once. This is known as anaphylaxis and can result in anaphylactic shock if the individual is not treated immediately. Individuals experiencing anaphylactic shock may also become dizzy or lose consciousness. The symptoms of anaphylaxis may often begin 5 to 30 minutes after contact with an allergen or as long as an hour. Some individuals with known allergies, asthma, or a family history of anaphylaxis are at an increased risk of anaphylaxis. In addition, those individuals who may have previously experienced anaphylaxis also have a higher chance of anaphylactic reaction. If you suspect an anaphylactic reaction, address it quickly with the medication prescribed by your physician (usually Epinephrine and/or Benadryl) and an immediate visit to a doctor’s office.
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Dr. Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.