Baby girl behind a baby gate

Kid's first aid

Everyday first aid information

Be prepared to treat a child for loss of consciousness, or even to resuscitate, if their condition deteriorates from one of the following everyday situations. Familiarise yourself with Resuscitiation techniques and complete a St John Ambulance first aid course.

Injury & Possible Symptoms

First Aid



* Obvious external bleeding.
* If the wound is gushing blood an artery may have been punctured.

* Press firmly on the wound (with a clean cloth or your palm).
* Raise Injured Part to above the line of the heart.
* Lay child down keeping injured part high.
* Continue to press on the wound.
* Bandage a sterile dressing firmly, but not too tightly in place over the pad. If bleeding continues do not remove original dressing, place another dressing over the top and maintain pressure.
* Keep injured part raised and supported.
NOTE: DO NOT try to remove objects that are embedded in a wound as you may cause further damage and bleeding. Make a dressing around the injury.

* Seek medical attention.
* If bleeding does not stop treat for shock and call an Ambulance

NZ “111

Burns and Scalds

Note: DO NOT remove any clothing or material that may be sticking to the burned area.

* If no cold water is available, use another cool liquid such as milk.
* Cool burn with cold water (preferably running water) for at least 20 minutes.
* Remove cooled clothing and cool injury again. Cut around material that is sticking to the burn.
* Do not touch the burn or burst any blisters.
* Cover burn loosely with clean non-fluffy material, plastic bag or kitchen film.
* DO NOT give anything to eat or drink and watch for signs of shock.

* Seek medical attention.
* Call an ambulance if necessary

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* Breathing is obstructed.
* Sudden clutching at the throat.
* Face may turn blue.
* Trying to cry or speak, but making strange noises or no sound.

A Choking Baby
DO NOT shake a baby or hold it upside down.

* Lay the baby face down with its head low and chin supported by your hand.
* Give 5 sharp blows between the shoulder blades. If this does not clear the blockage give up to 5 chest thrusts.
* Chest Thrust for a baby.
* Place baby on its back on a firm surface.
* Place two fingers in the CPR compression position.
* Give 5 chest thrusts, sharper but slower than CPR.
* Check in the mouth for the obstruction.
* Call an ambulance if obstruction has not been cleared.
* Repeat steps until help arrives or the obstruction is cleared.
* Monitor breathing and pulse and be prepared to resuscitate.

A Choking Child

* Encourage the child to try to cough up the object if possible.
* Bend child forward and give 5 sharp slaps between the shoulder blades.
* If back blows fail commence chest thrusts checking to see airway is clear after each thrust.
* Chest thrusts for an older child: * These can be given either standing, lying or sitting.
* Identify the same point on the sternum as when doing CPR
* Place on hand on the back for support and one hand on the sternum if child is upright.
* Thrusts should be sharp and delivered at a slower pace than compressions.
* Look in the mouth for the obstruction after each thrust.
* Call an ambulance if the obstruction has not cleared.
* Repeat steps until help arrives or the obstruction is cleared.
* Monitor breathing and pulse and be prepared to resuscitate.

* Call an ambulance if obstruction has not been cleared.

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* Seek medical advice.

Febrile Convulsion

* The child may be flushed and sweating with a hot forehead.
* The eyes may roll upwards, be fixed or squinting.
* Face may look blue if they are holding their breath.
* The back may be arched and stiff.
* Fists may be clenched.

Baby or Toddler

* Place the child on their side on the floor or large flat area for safety.
* Remove objects from nearby that may cause injury.
* After the convulsion has stopped, remove excessive clothing to assist with cooling. DO NOT attempt to cool by sponging or bathing.

* Seek medical advice.


* DO NOT try to make your child vomit as this can cause further harm.
* Identify the poison the child has taken. Chemical/alcohol/medicine/plant.
* Call the Poisons Information centre 13 11 26 (AUS) 0800 764 766 (NZ).
* Follow their advice.

* Call the Poisons Information centre 131126 (AUS) 0800 764 766 (NZ).
* Seek medical attention.

Snake and Spider Bites

* A pair of puncture marks.
* Severe pain, redness and swelling around the bite.
* Vomiting.
* Disturbed vision and increased salivation and sweating.
* Breathing difficulties.

* DO NOT let your child walk.
* Lie the child down and keep still.
* Apply firm pressure to the bite area and bandage firmly from the fingers or toes, moving up the limb as far as can be reached.
* Redback spider bite – Apply Icepack to bite and call an ambulance.

* Call an ambulance

NZ “111

* Try to identify the spider or snake.

For more information see Child safety or Parenting


15/09/21 - min Read

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