Annie shares information and a video demonstration of how and when to place a baby or child in the recovery position.
Unconsciousness is a state which occurs when the ability to maintain an awareness of self and the environment is lost. When in a state of unconsciousness, the body’s natural reflexes can be disabled, such as coughing and gagging.
If a baby or child is unconscious and laying on their back, the airway can become blocked by the tongue or vomit, if the baby or child is sick. For this reason, urgent attention and help is required.
Placing a baby or child in the recovery position protects the airway. The tongue will not fall backwards, and vomit is able to run out.
It is important to CHECK FOR DANGER before you approach your baby or child. It needs to be safe to approach, to ensure you can deal with the emergency, safely. Wear gloves for added protection if you have access to some.
Check for a RESPONSE. The simplest way to check if a baby or child is conscious is to clearly say their name as you are approaching, tell them who you are. As you approach your child shake their shoulders. With a baby touch their arms and legs. Do they respond to you?
If your baby does not respond to your voice or touch, they are unresponsive. We need place them in the recovery position. At this point SHOUT for help.
How do we place a baby or child in the recovery position?
Baby – Support your baby by holding your baby close to your body. The head is positioned lower than their body. This will ensure an open airway and allow any fluids such as vomit to drain out. You will also have good vision of their airway and breathing.
Child – Remove glasses and check pockets for items which could cause injury and remove them. Move the arm nearest to you outwards, elbow bent and palm facing upwards.
Take the furthest leg away from you, pull it up, keeping the foot flat on the floor. Hold the knee with your nearest hand.
With the other hand, use your thumb to loop around your child’s thumb. Bring their hand across the chest and hold the back of the hand to the nearest cheek to you.
Keep your hand pressed against the cheek, pull the leg, to roll towards you, onto their side.
Move the upper leg into a 90-degree angle, so the hip and knee are at right angles.
Ensure the head is tilted and facing downwards to allow fluids to drain from the mouth.