CPR First Aid


Top Four Child Incidents in Australia

The top four child incidents in Australia are falls, choking, febrile convulsion, and burns. Like any other incidents, these may be treated with first aid. Knowing what first aid treatment to provide to these top child incidents may help you save them from the worst injuries or even death. These will be discussed in the following to help you take immediate action.

The Situation of Child Incidents in Australia

Child incidents are common in Australia. These child incidents may lead to hospitalisation and death. Statistics show quite an alarming rate of child incidents, hospitalisation, and death in Australia.

Child Incidents in Australia

Certain child incidents are more common in the younger ones. They are not that aware of their surroundings and may be unable to assess the possible risks and dangers. Child incidents that occur in older ones are affected by their physical and social environment as well as their risk-taking behaviour.

Child Incidents in Australia that Lead to Hospitalisation

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that in 2016-2017, there were about 66,500 hospitalised child injury cases. These children range from 0 to 14 years old. For every 100,000 children in Australia, there was a calculated rate of 1,445 child injuries.

Child Incidents in Australia that Lead to Death

The same government agency stated that in 2015-2017, child injuries in Australia led to an alarming death rate. There were 563 recorded deaths from injuries of children between 0 to 14 years old. The calculated rate was 4.1 per 100,000 Australian children.

The Top Child Incidents in Australia

Multiple studies and statistics have identified the top child incidents in Australia. These are falls, choking, febrile convulsion, and burns.


Almost half of hospitalised child injury cases in Australia are accounted for falls. There were 45.9% or around 30,500 falls recorded in 2015–2017 of children across all age groups according to this report. The World Health Organization defines falls as an event after a person comes to rest inadvertently on the ground or floor or other lower level. Fall-related child injuries may be fatal.

What Are the Possible Effects of Falls?

Falls may lead to the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Abrasions to sprains
  • Fractures
  • Head injuries
  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Scratches
  • Wounds
  • Haematomas
  • Lacerations
  • Fractures


Choking happens when a person’s airway suddenly gets partially or fully blocked, disabling them to breathe.

Common Reasons for Choking in Children

Children may experience choking by putting objects in their mouths, eating too quickly, or while talking. Below is a list of common objects that children choke on:

  • Popcorn
  • Candy
  • Pencil eraser
  • Gum
  • Peanut
  • Small toy
  • Coin
  • Household item

Symptoms of Choking in Children   

Below is a list of symptoms that may mean there is a foreign object inside your child’s body that causes their airways to be obstructed:

  • Stridor (high-pitched sound when the child breathes)
  • Worsening cough
  • Unable to speak
  • Hoarse voice
  • Blueness around the lips
  • Gagging
  • Wheezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Red face
  • Not breathing

Febrile Convulsion

Febrile Convulsion, also called Febrile Seizures, is a child injury that is more common in ages between 6 months and 3 years. This is a fit or a seizure that is caused by a fever that usually resulted from an infection. This child injury usually lasts for several minutes to an hour.

Signs and Symptoms of Febrile Convulsion

When your child experiences febrile convulsion, they may:

  • Lose consciousness
  • Have their muscles stiffen or jerk
  • Have their face turn red or blue


Burns are caused by heat, radiation, radioactivity, electricity, friction, or contact with chemicals.

Different Types of Burns

The different types of burns are classified as:

  • Thermal burns – burns caused by external heat sources (hot metals, scalding liquids, steam, and flames).
  • Radiation burns – burns caused by prolonged exposure to sources of radiation (ultraviolet rays of the sun and x-ray).
  • Chemical burns – skin and/or eye burns caused by strong acids (alkalies, detergents, or solvents).
  • Electrical burns – burns caused by electric current.

Different Levels of Burns

Burns are also categorized by burn levels according to the severity of damage to the skin. These burn levels are:

  • First-degree burn (superficial) – damage to the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). An example is a mild sunburn.
  • Second-degree burn (partial thickness) – damage to both the outer layer (epidermis) and lower layer (dermis) of the skin. An example is scalding with hot water.
  • Third-degree burn (full thickness) – damage to the outer layer (epidermis), lower layer (dermis), and innermost layer (subcutaneous tissue). An example is getting burned after getting in contact with a chemical course.
  • Fourth-degree burn – damage to all layers of the skin and deeper tissue (muscles and bones). An example is getting burned after exposure to open flames like a fireplace.

First Aid Treatment for the Top Four Child Incidents in Australia

The above-mentioned child injuries may be fatal. Your child may experience serious injuries that must be responded to accordingly. It is recommended to call 000 immediately. While waiting for emergency medical help, you may provide first aid to your child.

First Aid Treatment for Falls

If your child is:

  • Conscious
  • Not vomiting
  • Not having seizures
  • Not showing any obvious injury

You may do the following first aid response:

  • Place an ice pack on the bumps or bruises.
  • Apply firm pressure with a clean pad to any bleeding.
  • Ask them if they are experiencing any pain.

If your child is not breathing, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) must be done immediately if you know how to perform it.

First Aid Treatment for Choking

First aid treatment for choking infants (less than 1-year-old) and children (1-8 years old) are different.

First Aid Treatment for Choking Infants

Below are the first aid steps for choking infants:

  • Rest your arm on your thigh.
  • Place the infant face down on your forearm.
  • Give the infant five quick, forceful blows between the shoulder blades.

If the above first aid for choking fails, you may do the following:

  • Turn the infant on his/her back so that the head is lower than the chest.
  • Place two fingers in the centre middle of the breast bone, just below the nipples.
  • Press inward rapidly five times.
  • Continue this sequence of five back blows and five chest thrusts until the foreign object comes out or until the infant loses consciousness (passes out). 
  • If the infant passes out, tell 000 immediately. 

First Aid Treatment for Choking Children

Below are the first aid response for choking children:

  • Stand behind the child. Wrap your arms around their waist.
  • Make a fist with one hand, thumb side in. Place your fist between the chest and navel.
  • Grab your fist with the other hand.
  • Press into the abdomen with a quick upward push. Making the object or food come out of the child’s mouth.
  • Repeat these first aid steps until the piece of food or object comes out.
  • Once the object comes out, take your child to the doctor. A piece of the object can still be in the lung.
  • If the child passes out, tell 000 immediately. 

First Aid Treatment for Febrile Convulsion

Febrile Convulsion or seizures cannot be stopped by first aid. Below are the things you may do while it happens:


  • Stay calm
  • Place your child on a soft surface, lying on their side or back.
  • Watch exactly what happens, so that you can describe it to the doctor later.
  • Record how long the seizure lasts.


  • Do not restrain the child.
  • Do not put anything in their mouth, even your fingers.
  • Do not put them in the bath in an attempt to lower their body temperature.

First Aid Treatment for Burns

The first aid treatment for burns depends on the degree. So it may be helpful to identify the level of the degree before performing any emergency first aid.

First Aid Treatment for First-Degree Burns

The first aid treatment for first-degree burns are the following:

  1. Cool the burn with running water for about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove tight clothing or accessories from the burned area.
  3. Clean broken blisters with water and apply an antibiotic treatment.
  4. Apply lotion to prevent drying.
  5. Bandage the burn.
  6. Take a nonprescription pain reliever if needed.

First Aid Treatment for Second-Degree to Fourth-Degree Burns

Once these major burn levels occur, it is important to call for emergency help. Until then, you may do the following:

  1. If possible, take the person away from the source.
  2. Check if the person is breathing, and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if necessary.
  3. Remove tight clothing and accessories.
  4. Cover the burn with a clean cloth.
  5. Lift the burned area above heart level if possible.
  6. Watch out for the person as she/he may experience signs of shock. These may be asked from you once emergency help arrives.

Importance of a First Aid Course in Saving a Child’s Life

As mentioned above, the top child incidents in Australia lead not only to their hospitalisation but also to deaths. These may be avoided if you take precautionary measures as a parent or as a guardian. Knowing how to perform first aid management may also be helpful since these child incidents may be unavoidable. This may be done by enrolling in an accredited first aid course provider in Australia.

Acquiring the First Aid Certificate

The first aid certificate is the document you will acquire after you have completed first aid training. This proves that you are already equipped with the skills and knowledge in responding to the top child incidents in Australia, as well as other emergencies.

First Aid Certificate Expiry

The Australian Resuscitation Council (ARC) recommends having the general first aid qualification (HLTAID011 Provide First Aid) updated every 3 years and updating the CPR qualification every 1 year.

First Aid Course Near Me

You will find accredited first aid course providers in almost every location in Australia. You may want to check if there is one near you by clicking here.


There has been an identified top four child incidents in Australia. These are falls, choking, febrile convulsion, and burns. These may lead to hospitalisation and death. Performing first aid response may be done while waiting for emergency help.  The necessary skills and knowledge in performing these first aid steps may be acquired by enrolling in an accredited first aid course provider in Australia.

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