Baby First Aid: What You Need To Know

When it comes to caring for your child, preventing them getting hurt is always high on your list of priorities. It can be a scary and daunting thought: will I know what to do, can I handle any situation, what if I’m on my own and something happens? These are all natural thoughts to have, particularly when it’s your first baby. Our experts are here to help guide you through some basic first aid techniques and answer your most common questions.

Key things to remember 

  • Try to stay calm – feel confident that you can take charge of the situation
  • Make use of other people around you – ask for help if you need to
  • The quicker you act, the better the outcome
  • Within first aid, “babies” are children under one-year old. If they’re older, they are considered a “child” and may sometimes need different techniques.


What can babies choke on?

Liquids and solids. This includes vomit, milk or foreign objects – anything round or disc-shaped that can fit in their mouth can be particularly harmful as these can easily become stuck.

How do I know if I need to perform first aid for gagging/choking?

You won’t always have to intervene. If your baby is gagging, they will be making noise and are still able to take in oxygen, so they’re likely to be able to correct the problem themselves. However, if they start to choke, they may go blue and won’t be making noise, so you will need to help them clear it.

Remember: noisy and red – let them go ahead, silent and blue – they need help from you.

What do I do if my baby is choking?

If they can’t clear it themselves, perform five back blows using your hand between the shoulder blades. Lay the baby face down across your leg, supporting them with your arm underneath and perform the back blows. Remember to stop and check after each back blow to check if the blockage has cleared. If this doesn’t help, you may need to carry out five chest trusts:

  • again using your leg as support, lay the baby facing upwards
  • place two fingers on their chest just below the nipples
  • push sharply downwards

Remember: perform each five times. If this doesn’t help, call 999 and continue back blows and chest thrusts.


How do I know if my baby has a fever?

If the baby looks flushed, is sweating and has a temperature above 37°C.

Do I need to go to the doctor if my baby has a fever?

Their temperature should be monitored and you should seek medical advice if their temperature reaches:

  • above 38°C (babies under six months)
  • above 39°C (babies over six months)

If you are particularly worried about their condition and they aren’t their usual self, seek medical advice.

What should I do if my baby has a fever?

Try to reduce their temperature by removing excess clothing or blankets and ensure they stay hydrated. Treat with liquid paracetamol, if needed. Be aware not to remove all clothing, as they are not able to regulate their own body temperature. If a baby’s temperature goes from hot to cold too quickly, they may start to fit. 


What should I do if my baby bumps their head?

Get them to rest while you apply a cold compress, such as a Mr. Bump that’s been in the fridge or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a tea towel.

Should I call for an ambulance if my baby is injured? 

For head injuries:

If the baby vomits, becomes drowsy, feels sick or their condition becomes worse, call 999.

For bleeding:

If they are bleeding heavily, apply pressure to the injury and call 999 as soon as possible.

For other injuries:

If the baby is lying strangely or is in a lot of pain after a fall, they may have a broken bone. Support where they’ve hurt themselves so the area is kept as still as possible, then call 999.

These are some of the more common things you may have to act upon, but there are many other techniques we could teach you during our first aid workshops. Our specialists run these workshops throughout the year and are exclusively for parents whose children attend one of our six nurseries across Cheshire.

To find out more about our upcoming workshops or to register for a nursery place, please call us on 0161 980 0003 or email [email protected].