Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 1: Staffing

1.4 Professional Development/Training

1.4.3 First Aid and CPR Training Topics Covered in Pediatric First Aid Training

Content in the STANDARD was modified on 5/17/2019.

To ensure the health and safety of children in an early care and education setting, staff should be able to respond to common injuries and life-threatening emergencies. Staff trained in pediatric first aid should be in attendance at all times. Pediatric first aid training is necessary to gain skills that allow caregivers/teachers to respond to emergencies and nonemergencies.1 First aid training should present a variety of topics, including accessing emergency medical services (EMS), accessing poison control centers, safety at the scene of an incident, and isolation of bodily substances (standard precautions). Procedures for parental notification and records of communications with EMS should be established.

Pediatric first aid training in the early care and education setting should include instruction on recognizing and responding to:

  • Abrasions and lacerations
  • Airway management, both blocked airway and rescue breathing for infants and children, with return demonstration by the learner (pediatric cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR])
  • Allergic reactions, including information about when epinephrine may be required
  • Asthmatic reactions, including information about when rescue inhalers should be used
  • Bites, including insect, animal, and human
  • Bleeding, including nosebleeds
  • Burns
  • Cold-related injuries, including frostbite
  • Dental and mouth injuries/trauma
  • Drowning
  • Electric shock
  • Eye injuries
  • Fainting
  • Head injuries, including shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma
  • Heat-related injuries, including heat exhaustion/heatstroke
  • Illness-related emergencies (eg, stiff neck; inexplicable confusion; sudden onset of blood-red or purple rash; severe pain; temperature above 101°F [38.3°C] taken orally, above 102°F [38.9°C] taken rectally, or 100°F [37.8°C] or higher taken axillary [armpit] or measured by an equivalent method; looking/acting severely ill)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Musculoskeletal injuries (eg, sprains, fractures)
  • Poisoning, including swallowed, skin or eye contact, and inhaled
  • Puncture wounds, including splinters
  • Seizure care
  • Shock

In addition, first aid training should include

  • Managing first aid interventions for children with special health care needs
  • Addressing the needs of all children in the group when managing emergencies in a child care setting
  • Moving/positioning injured/ill persons

First aid training provides instruction for simple, commonsense procedures that are intended to keep a child’s medical condition from becoming worse. Training in first aid is not intended to replace proper medical treatment; instead, it is for providing initial aid until EMS, medical professionals, or parents/guardians assume responsibility of the child’s medical care.1(p3)

First aid for children in the early care and education setting requires a more child-specific approach than standard adult-oriented first aid offers. A staff member trained in pediatric first aid, including pediatric CPR, coupled with a facility that has been designed or modified to ensure the safety of children can reduce the potential for death and disability. Knowledge of pediatric first aid, including the ability to demonstrate pediatric CPR skills, and the confidence to use these skills are critically important to the outcome of an emergency.2

Small family child care home caregivers/teachers often work alone and are solely responsible for the health and safety of children in care. Caregivers/teachers in these settings, who participate in pediatric first aid trainings, are better equipped on how to properly manage the supervision of other children during a medical emergency.


Additional Resources:

First aid information can be obtained from:

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training for Staff Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training for Swimming and Water Play Medical Emergency Procedures Guidelines for Taking Children’s Temperatures First Aid and Emergency Supplies Training Record
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics, National Association of School Nurses. PedFACTs: Pediatric First Aid for Caregivers and Teachers. 2nd ed. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2012

  2. Scott JP, Baptist LL, Berens RJ. Pediatric resuscitation: outcome effects of location, intervention, and duration. Adv Anesth. 2015;2015:1–9


Content in the STANDARD was modified on 5/17/2019.