Pediatric First Aid Knowledge Among Parents : Pediatric Emergency Care

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Pediatric First Aid Knowledge Among Parents

Singer, Adam J. MD; Gulla, Janet RN; Thode, Henry C. Jr PhD; Cronin, Kerry A. MD

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Pediatric Emergency Care 20(12):p 808-811, December 2004. | DOI: 10.1097/01.pec.0000148028.53598.5c



The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has published simple guidelines for the first aid management of ill or injured children. We determined knowledge of these first aid practices in parents.


Design-Descriptive survey. Participants-A convenience sample of adult parents presenting to the emergency department. Survey instrument-Standardized collection of demographics was performed and adults were given a multiple-choice questionnaire concerning the proper management of stings and bites, burns and scalds, eye injuries, fractures and sprains, fever, head injuries, fainting, poisoning, dental emergencies, nosebleeds, seizures, and skin wounds. Outcomes-Percentage of adults responding to questions appropriately based on AAP guidelines. Data analysis-Descriptive statistics and χ2 tests.


Six hundred fifty-four adults were surveyed. Mean age (SD) was 38.5 (13.8), 56% were female, 69% were white, 56% had at least a high school education. None of those surveyed answered all questions correctly with roughly half being familiar with 60% of the questions. Knowledge of specific guidelines ranged from 21% to 92%. Subjects especially lacked knowledge regarding the need to rapidly remove all bee stingers (only 36% aware); keep wounds moist and covered (79% felt that drying wounds was beneficial); the need to cover victims of large burns (only 43% aware); and the need to seek medical attention after tick bites (only 47% aware). Knowledge was unaffected by age, gender, and education.


Many adults are unfamiliar with AAP first aid measures according to the AAP guidelines and most believe that wounds should be allowed to dry. Further education is required to improve knowledge of first aid practices.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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