What is the role of a paediatric first aider?

The role of a paediatric first aider: Ensuring child safety and well-being

In a world where emergencies can arise at any moment, the importance of paediatric first aid cannot be overstated. This specialised form of care is crucial for responding to the health emergencies of children, from infants to adolescents. In this blog, Rose will explore the critical role of a paediatric first aider, unpack the necessary skills and training required, and highlight the legislative backdrop that supports this essential practice.

The importance of paediatric first aid

Paediatric first aid is not merely a skill but a vital safeguard in homes, schools, and child care settings. Statistics show that in the UK, accidents are the leading cause of death in children over one year old, emphasising the need for effective first aid readiness. Furthermore, a research indicates that over 40% of parents have witnessed their child in a life-threatening situation, yet less than 20% felt confident to respond effectively.

What is paediatric first aid?

Paediatric first aid refers to the immediate care given to infants and children who are injured or ill before professional medical help can be obtained. It encompasses a range of responses, from treating minor cuts and bruises to performing life-saving measures like CPR.

Key definitions and training requirements

A paediatric first aider is typically required to have undergone a comprehensive training programme that covers:

  • Basic Life Support (BLS) for children - This includes skills like performing child CPR and managing a choking infant.
  • Managing injuries and illnesses - This involves handling fractures, burns, allergic reactions, and other common childhood conditions.
  • Emergency planning and risk assessment - Understanding how to create a safe environment for children and anticipate potential hazards.

Training is often provided in accordance with guidelines from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other relevant bodies, ensuring that first aiders are well-prepared to meet the needs of children in different age groups.

Relevant legislation and regulations

In the UK, the provision of paediatric first aid is supported by various pieces of legislation and regulatory guidance:

  • The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 - These regulations 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.
  • Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework - It mandates that all newly qualified entrants to the early years workforce in England holding a Level 2 and/or Level 3 qualification must have either a full paediatric first aid (PFA) or an emergency PFA certificate before they can be included in the required staff: child ratios.

Best practices in paediatric first aid

Best practices in paediatric first aid include regular training updates, ensuring first aid kits are tailored to children, and maintaining a clear understanding of legal responsibilities in child care settings. Continuous assessment of potential risks in environments frequented by children is also considered best practice.

Recommendations for effective paediatric first aid

  • Regular training - Refresh skills biennially to keep up with the latest guidelines and techniques.
  • Customised first aid kits - Equip kits with items specifically needed for treating children.
  • Risk assessment - Conduct regular checks in environments where children are present to identify and mitigate potential hazards.


The role of a paediatric first aider is undeniably crucial in ensuring the safety and well-being of children. By acquiring the necessary skills and understanding the legal framework, paediatric first aiders can provide not just immediate care, but also peace of mind for parents and caregivers.

As we continue to advocate for the safety of our children, we invite you to learn more about paediatric first aid. Whether you are a parent, teacher, or child care provider, becoming a certified paediatric first aider is one of the most significant steps you can take towards ensuring child safety.

Take the step today to ensure the children in your care are safe. Click here to enrol in our accredited paediatric first aid course and be prepared for any situation. Join our community committed to safety and excellence in childcare.

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.

The role of a paediatric first aider: Ensuring child safety and well-being - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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