How to get prepared?
1. Know where the nearest hospital is
Do your research and identify the nearest hospital with a 24-hour children’s Accident & Emergency department (A&E). Familiarise yourself with the route, so you can get there as quickly as possible.
2. Make a list of important numbers
You don’t want to be fumbling with a search for contact numbers during an emergency. So take note of the following emergency contact numbers and have them within reach at home and in your mobile phone:
- A&E helpline number of the nearest hospital
- Ambulance number
- Taxi service
- Family members’ contact
Have these numbers easily accessible in a prominent place at home so that everyone has access to them – a noticeboard or on the fridge – or on speed dial in your phone.
3. Have an emergency bag packed
Have an emergency bag packed to save time in the event of an emergency A&E visit.
Items to pack include a change of clothes, pyjamas, toiletries, footwear, a favourite book, toy, or even some colouring pencils and drawing pad. Make sure everyone at home knows where the bag is, and where to find your child’s health booklet and birth certificate. This way, even if the child gets rushed to the A&E first, someone at home can collect these essentials without you having to leave your child’s side.
4. Keep your first-aid kit stocked and updated
You may need to administer some first aid as you wait for an ambulance or taxi to arrive. Always keep your first-aid kit stocked and check regularly for expired items.
5. Be first aid ready
You may not be able to anticipate an emergency, but you can know what to do in one. Early first aid intervention can make a difference to the situation when your child is waiting for professional medical care on the way to the A&E.
Identifying an emergency
If your child’s condition isn’t life threatening, such as a cold or a minor injury or small burn, a visit to your GP or a 24-hour clinic will suffice.
But as a parent, you know your children best. Here are 9 signs to note if your children should visit the A&E. If in doubt, bring your child to the A&E or call an ambulance for immediate medical attention.
Article reviewed by Dr Othello Dave, deputy medical director at Parkway Hospitals
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