The role of parents during rescue

4.30pmArrival.The area is secured.Patient evaluation: 6-year-old boy conscious. Suspect trauma to lower limb.Immobilisation manœuvres start but…
… the child is terrified. He won’t stop screaming and moving, hindering the immobilsation manoeuvres.His eyes are fixed on his dad, who, paralysed by fear, is crying desperately with his head in his hands.The man doesn’t understand the rescuers’ language and keeps shouting something incomprehensible.
Have you ever found yourself in such a situation? How would you proceed?This kind of situation has been referred to us by various rescuers and together with them we have come up with different solutions.
Problem number one: calm the young patient down in order to immobilise him.In actual fact, calming the young patient down requires the parents’ intervention.Remember you will always be a stranger for the child and the uniform, sirens and ambulance won’t make it any easier.You will notice that the child’s gaze is always seeking out their parents’ gaze as it is through this that they learn to explore and interpret their surrounding environment by emulation.So if the parents look calm or happy, the child will be too. If they look worried, the child will cry and be scared.
So, what can we do?In these emergency situations the parents’ anxiety derives not only from their worry but also from their frustration about being helpless during the rescue. They will feel helpless due to the fact that they can’t help their child and have to hope the rescuers doing it are doing it right.
Solution: make the parents an active part of the rescue.
We have come up with what we think is a good way to achieve this. Together with our paediatric cervical collar Wizlok Jungle you’ll find a fun album with animal stickers to distract the child during rescue. Thus you gain two benefits: first parents play an active role in the rescue and won’t get in the way during your rescue manoeuvres, second you will probably have a calmer child.Another rescuers’ request that we have satisfied is help in communicating with foreigners who don’t speak our language. In fact, on the back of the album you’ll find a series of questions that you may need to ask the parents translated into the most common languages in the world. This will help communication with the parents.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? What do you think?

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