First aid for spinal injuries in children and babies

Ensuring safety: First aid treatment for spinal injuries in children and babies

Knowledge of first aid treatments for spinal injuries is paramount when it comes to the safety of children and babies. Accidents can happen unexpectedly, and being equipped with the correct information and skills can make all the difference in providing immediate care. In this blog, Rose delves into the importance of understanding spinal injury first aid for children and babies, outlining key facts, definitions, legislation, regulations, and best practices to ensure their well-being.

Key facts and statistics

  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), injuries are a leading cause of death and disability among children globally.
  • Spinal cord injuries in children and babies require prompt and appropriate first aid to prevent further damage and potential paralysis.
  • A study by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) found that falls are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in children under the age of 14.

Key definitions

  • Spinal injury - Damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal, often resulting in temporary or permanent changes in sensation, strength, and other bodily functions.
  • Paralysis - Loss of muscle function in part of your body, often caused by spinal cord injuries.

Legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 in the UK require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities, and personnel to ensure employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work, including training in first aid for spinal injuries.
  • The Resuscitation Council (UK) provides guidelines for first aid treatment of spinal injuries in children and babies, emphasising the importance of immobilising the spine to prevent further damage.

Recognising spinal injuries

  • Understanding the signs and symptoms of spinal injuries in children and babies is crucial for prompt intervention. Look out for complaints of neck or back pain, weakness, numbness, or loss of sensation in extremities, and difficulty breathing.

Immediate response

  • If you suspect a spinal injury, ensure the safety of the child or baby and call emergency services immediately. Avoid moving the child unless absolutely necessary, and provide reassurance while waiting for help to arrive.

Immobilisation techniques

  • Proper spine immobilisation is vital to prevent exacerbating the injury. Use improvised materials such as towels, pillows, or blankets to support the head and neck in a neutral position until professional medical assistance arrives.


  • Ensure that all caregivers, including parents, guardians, and childcare professionals, undergo first aid training that includes spinal injury management for children and babies.
  • Regularly review and update first aid protocols and equipment to align with the latest guidelines and best practices.


Injuries involving the spine in children and babies demand swift and effective first aid responses to minimise potential complications and ensure the best possible outcomes. By understanding the importance of recognising spinal injuries, following proper protocols, and staying informed about legislative requirements and best practices, we can collectively contribute to the safety and well-being of our youngest community members.

Empower yourself with the knowledge and skills needed to provide life-saving first aid treatment for spinal injuries in children and babies. Click here to discover our comprehensive first aid training courses today and make a difference in emergency situations.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

Ensuring safety: First aid treatment for spinal injuries in children and babies - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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