unconscious child risk of spinal injuryYou hear the fall and find the child unconscious at the bottom of the stairs. What is the FIRST thing you should do?





You check for danger to yourself and the child before rushing over to her. The unconscious child has not responded when you call her name and tap her gently on the shoulder. Because the child has fallen from a height you worry she could also have a spinal injury.

Your very first priority is to shout for help then check that she is breathing.

Without moving her if possible, the first thing you should do is to look, listen and feel for breathing.

first aid pop quiz answer picture unconscious fall

If the child is breathing, keep her as still as possible and call 999. If you have to leave the child to make this call or if she vomits then you should put her into the recovery position to keep her airway open first. Keep the head and neck in line with the spine while you turn the child. Get help doing this if you can.

If the child is not breathing, you will need to perform rescue breaths and chest compressions. Follow the video and instructions on the St. John’s Ambulance website to remind yourself how to do this.


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About Kay Woods and Kids To Go

Kay Woods Kids To GoKay Woods has been writing and selling childminding resources through her company Kids To Go since 2008. Her products include the Ultimate Childminding Checklist, the Learning Journey Plus for planning, observation and assessment and best practice resources promoting diversity and childminding in the great outdoors (Forest Childcare). She is the author of the Start Learning book set published by Tarquin and she writes the free quarterly Childminding Best Practice Newsletter.

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