The most important thing to know about Medical Emergencies in infants/children

By: Carmel Blue Infant CPR teacher, Fire Fighter Paramedic teacher Stephen Giacalone
A few days ago there was an emergency situation at Carmel Blue.  The emergency was made that much worse because it involved a baby.  Seems this baby was fighting a low grade fever and when the fever rose dramatically she had a Febrile Seizure.  Due to quick action (and proper preparedness) by those present we are happy to say the baby is fine.
As a result, Sharone asked me to prepare a little something about how to best approach or handle an emergency when that emergency involves a child or your child.
First of all – prepare yourself. Take an Infant CPR and Emergency response class regularly. Have a plan of action what you would do in case of an emergency.
In my experience as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), as a Paramedic, and as a Firefighter, I have seen many many things. Some good and some not so much. The five most common emergencies I have seen involving children have been:
1. Trauma
2. Seizures
3. Respiratory emergencies
4. Allergic reactions
5. SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
This list is by no means a statistical list!  It is merely what I have encountered most frequently. I do not want to get into the specifics of each of those items on the list.  That is a class in itself.
The message I would like to convey is this; as soon as you recognize that there is a problem, act on it! 
The biggest issue that contributes to poor outcomes in children is a delay in recognizing that there is a problem and then getting help.  That help can be in the form of a family member, friend, bystander, and just as important, contacting 911.
I completely understand that when it is your child it is nerve-wracking and scary.  Honestly, even I get extra wound-up when a call comes in for a sick or injured child, and I have been doing this job for almost 24 years!  The important thing to remember is try to stay calm and focus on the task at hand, and that task is helping your child. As parents, you are in-tune with your child or children more so and better than anyone!  Trust your parent intuition.  Recognizing that there may be or that there is a problem is crucial. Reach out for help immediatley and contact 911.  If it turns out to be nothing, then great!  But, if not, then you will have done the best thing possible for your child.
I hope this little article helps.  I am also pretty sure that this little article will elicit some questions.
That’s perfectly fine.  I am more than happy to try to answer them in the future.
Join me at Carmel Blue and learn to spot the warning signals and what you can do in response at our
Infant CPR and Emergency response classes offered monthly.