Emergency Department

202 S. Park St.
Madison, WI 53715

Current Estimated Wait:

First Aid for Children

In an emergency, call 911.
UnityPoint Health - Meriter hospital Emergency Department: (608) 417-6206 (Entrance on Brooks Street)

  Symptoms Treatment
Allergic Reactions Difficulty breathing, swelling around eyes, face and neck, hives on skin (red, raised rash with itching) Seek medical help immediately. If victim becomes unconscious, keep airway open and perform CPR if necessary and you are trained or being guided by an emergency dispatcher.
Amputated Body Parts Severe bleeding, pain, partial loss of finger or toe Control bleeding with pressure bandage. Wrap severed part in a cool, moist dressing, place in plastic bag and pack in ice. Transport to the hospital with child immediately.
Bites Deep jagged wounds, puncture marks from dogs and cats, teeth marks from humans. Bleeding, pain. Identify animal; alert proper authority for rabies evaluation. Wash with soap and water if minor. If profuse bleeding, control with pressure. If severe, bandage and seek medical aid immediately.
Breaks & Fractures Pain, swelling, bruising, deformation at site; pain with movement, possible protrusion of bone through skin. If bone protrudes, don't manipulate. Cover open would with gauze or sterile dressing. Immobilize with padded splint made from board or pillow wrapped around area and taped. Don't move if head or neck injury is suspected.
Burns: 1st and 2ndDegree 1st degree: Red or discolored skin. 2nd: Blisters or mottled skin. Electrical: Small blackened area. Immerse in cold water to relieve pain, cover with clean dressing - no creams or lotions. 2nd degree with open blisters: Dry loose dressing. Seek medical aid for burns of face, hands, feet, genitals. Electrical: Break contact with source, treat as 1st degree burn, seek medical aid.
Choking Difficulty breathing, gasping breaths, coughing, unable to talk or cry, blue lips (cyanosis). If child can cough, speak or breathe, do not interfere. If child cannot cough, speak or breath, follow the instructions below: 

Choking rescue for a child over 1 year old who can't breath, speak or is turning blue:
Step 1: Have someone call 911 
Step 2: If child is standing or sitting, stand behind child and place thumb side of your fist in child's abdomen midway between lower breastbone and navel. 
Step 3: Grasp your fist with the other hand; press fist into child's abdomen with quick inward/upward thrusts. Continue until child becomes unconscious or object comes out. 

For child under 1 year old:
Step 1: Have someone call 911 
Step 2: Place baby facedown over your arm with head below his/her chest. Support head and neck by holding jaw. 
Step 3: Give five back blows between shoulder blades with heel of free hand. 
Step 4: If object is not expelled, turn baby over. With baby's face up and head below trunk, use index and middle fingers to give five quick chest thrusts against breastbone (just below middle of nipples.) Repeat steps 2-4 until object is expelled or child becomes unconscious. 

 Begin CPR if you are trained or if an emergency dispatcher is guiding you. If you are not trained in CPR, call 911 immediately.
Cold Exposure Persistent or violent shivering. Slow or slurred speech. Loss of control of hands. Stumbling. Exhaustion. Drowsiness. Get child into warm place. Remove clothing. Put child in bed or sleeping bag. Give warm (not hot) drinks or soup. If necessary, seek medical aid.
Convulsions/Seizure Crying out, loss of consciousness, frothing at mouth; stiffening of body, then rhythmic jerking of limbs. Confusion, drowsiness afterward. Clear area of hard or sharp objects. Loosen tight clothing but do not restrain child. When convulsion subsides, turn child on left side. Watch breathing. Don't give food or drink during or after convulsion. Call doctor immediately.
Eye Injury (foreign object) Eyes tearing. Blinking eyelids. Pain and/or discomfort. Lay child down. Have child look down. Clasp upper lash between your thumb and forefinger and fold back over an applicator swab. Wash eye out with water. Seek medical care.
Eye Injury (laceration) Eye can be extremely sore and painful. Lids will probably be closed tightly. Seek medical aid immediately, preferably an eye specialist. Lie child down and cover both eyes loosely with gauze or clean cloth. Secure child's hands and avoid sunlight.
Fever Any temperature above 100°F (37°C); over 104°F may be accompanied by convulsions. Place child in bed, remove clothing. Lower temperature of over 104°F with tepid sponge bath. Provide liquids. Give acetaminophen if temperature is over 102°F. Call doctor for persistent fever or any temperature over 104°F.
Food Poisoning Severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, chills, decreased appetite. Check temperature, check stool for blood or mucus. Give fluids (Pedialyte, Gatorade). Consult doctor for vomiting or diarrhea that can't be controlled on liquid-only diet within 6 hours.
Frostbite Skin becomes red, then shiny, then dull gray-white in color; possible blisters. Numbness. Warm up affected area gradually in warm (NOT HOT) water, or cover lightly with warm towels or blankets. Do not rub area or break blisters. Give warm soup or tea (no alcohol). Keep affected toes or fingers separated with gauze or cloth. Seek medical aid.
Head Injury Headache, drowsiness, confusion, loss of consciousness, labored breathing, vomiting, clear fluid or blood running from ears, nose or mouth. Seek medical aid. Check for symptoms. If headache, allow child to rest in dark room for 1 hour. Observe for unconsciousness, breathing or swallowing difficulties. If discharge from ears or nose, place pad at area to absorb fluid.
Heat Exhaustion Temperature above 100°F (37.5°C), moist, pale skin, headache, dizziness, nausea, rapid pulse, cramps or muscle spasms. Place child in cool room and remove clothing. Have child lie down; cool with tepid sponging but avoid chilling. Give fluids. Recheck temperature. Seek medical aid if temperature is not down within 1 hour.
Insect Bites & Stings Welts or hives (white center on red base). Remove stinger. Wash area with soap and water. Apply ice pack, calamine lotion, baking soda or meat tenderizer. If child is allergy-prone, has difficulty breathing or swallowing, or severe swelling is present, seek medical aid immediately.
Nose Bleeds Blood running from nostrils. With child seated and head forward over sink or basin, apply firm pressure to nostrils for 5-10 minutes with your thumb and index fingers. Seek medical aid if bleeding does not stop within 30 minutes.
Open Head Injury Laceration. Bleeding. Seek medical help immediately. Do not attempt to clean deep scalp wounds of foreign matter. Control bleeding by lightly pressing gauze or clean cloth on wound. When bleeding is under control, bandage the dressing in place.
Shock Pale, cold, clammy skin, mottled in color. Breathing weak and shallow, or deep but irregular. Apathy. Nausea. Lay child down on blanket or bed. If trouble breathing, raise head and shoulders. DO NOT move if neck injury is suspected. Elevate legs slightly, cover with blanket. Seek medical aid immediately.
Sunstroke Body temperature is extremely high. Skin is flushed and dry. No sweating. Drowsiness, confusion. Reduce temperature slowly. Place child in partially filled tub of cool (tepid) water; sponge body until fever is down or wrap in cool sheets. Give fluids if alert. Put ice pack on forehead. Seek medical aid immediately.
Swallowed or Inhaled Poisons Sudden pain or illness, vomiting, headache, cough, very large or very small pupils, chemical odor on breath. Call poison control center immediately (1-800-222-1222 in U.S.) Save the poison container and a sample of the vomit, if any. During vomiting, turn child's head to the side. 

Emergency Poison Checklist: 
· Remain calm and think clearly. 
· Look for and identify the poison, either by brand or type of product. 
· Call the poison control center (1-800-222-1222 in U.S.) or emergency medical service. 
· Have the following information available if known: type of poison or product taken; amount taken; time since swallowed; symptoms; child's age and weight; any treatment given. 
· DO NOT give syrup of ipecac, food, or anything to drink, or induce vomiting unless directed to do so by a poison control center or doctor.
Ticks Tick may be visible on skin as a dark spot. Grasp head parts of tick as close to the skin as possible. Gently pull off. Avoid squeezing tick's abdomen. Wash bite area with soap and water.

CPR for Infants and Children

If a child becomes unconscious, have someone call 911. If alone with child under age 8 and you are trained in CPR, begin CPR and do 5 cycles of 30 compressions/2 rescue breaths, then call 911. If you do not know CPR, call 911 immediately.

AIRWAY: Tilt child's head back, lift chin. (In a choking victim, look for an object in mouth and throat.) Check breathing for 5-10 seconds. If none, begin BREATHING: Pinch child's nose shut, seal mouth with yours (for infants up to 1 year, seal mouth and nose with your mouth). Give 1 rescue breath. If child's chest rises, give 1 more breath and begin compressions. If child's chest does not rise with first breath, re-position and give 1 more breath. Then, begin compressions whether or not chest rises. COMPRESSIONS: Perform 30 rapid, firm compressions in center of chest. Reopen airway, give 2 rescue breaths, then resume compressions. Continue cycle of 30 compressions/2 rescue breaths until child resumes breathing or medical help arrives.

Begin CPR only if you are trained or an emergency dispatcher is guiding you. This information is not intended to replace a CPR training course.

This guide is not intended to replace a physician's guidance or services. The publisher disclaims all responsibility for the use or misuse of the information contained herein.

First Aid Guide for Children