Paediatric First Aid Courses & Training Guide

Paediatric first aid courses provide a specific set of skills required when caring for babies and toddlers. To be compliant with the law, settings must be sure that staff take correct course for compliance. This will be checked during an OFSTED inspection. Failure to have a correct qualification can result in the setting being closed or registration itself being suspended.

child with plaster on knee after getting paediatric first aid treatment

Our guide looks at what Paediatric first aid is, and what courses you need for childcare settings.

What is Paediatric First Aid?

Paediatric First Aid refers to the set of skills and understanding needed to deliver appropriate first aid to anyone under the age of 16.

First Aid refers to any assistance you can give until a patient is able to receive proper medical care.

When you work with children either in a childcare setting or a learning centre, it’s a legal requirement to have staff on site with a Paediatric First Aid Qualification.

Anyone who is First Aid trained should be able to present their First Aid certificate with the course details on it. First Aid Training in childcare settings must be renewed every 3 years as part of the EYFS requirements.

Paediatric First Aid in Practise

Paediatric first aid courses aren’t just about the serious scenarios you might be faced with when working alongside children. The courses will cover tough situations such as fitting, choking, and unconsciousness but it’s also about being able to treat minor incidents. When working with children, first aid often includes administering medication, treating cuts and bumps, and dealing with general unwellness.

By attending a certified Paediatric First Aid Course, you will gain the knowledge and confidence you require to look after children effectively.

It is inevitable in childcare settings that accidents or illnesses will occur. Proper training means you can fulfil the legal requirements as set out within the EYFS. Failure to have a valid First Aid Certificate may result in serious repercussions such as the setting being closed.

What Course Do You Need For Paediatric First Aid?

When you work with children in a childminding or nursery setting, it is a legal requirement to have a valid First Aid certificate.

This means participating in a course that is compliant with OFSTED and the EYFS. The Early Years Foundation Stage is a document that all childcare practitioners must adhere to as part of their responsibilities when working with children.

When settings book their staff on such courses, they should ensure first that it states it is compliant with OFSTED and the EYFS. When unsure of this, settings should consult their Local Authority who will be able to provide them with a list of genuine companies.

Paediatric First Aid Training Skills

When you attend a Paediatric First Aid course you will learn many new skills which will allow you to care for children.

Examples of these skills include:

  • CPR
  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Bee or wasp stings
  • Head bumps
  • Broken bones
  • Putting a child in the recovery position
  • How to help a child that is choking

Courses also educate on what a First Aid box should contain. Training is also given on issues like proper maintenance of emergency contact lists.

It is a legal requirement for settings to always have a person on site who is First Aid trained. It is the responsibility of management to ensure this happens. Most settings have a group of First Aid trainers so that when there are illnesses or holidays within the staff ratio, there is still someone trained on the premises. 

Looking after children in a professional setting comes with a whole set of responsibilities and the welfare of each child is paramount. By taking a Paediatric First Aid course, everyone involved in care of the child will be covered should an emergency arise.

Paediatric First Aid Training – What Do You Learn?

When you sign up for an approved Paediatric First Aid training course this will be carried out over 12 hours.

The type of training and how this is delivered will vary. Some will be classroom based and others might be a blended course.

Blended courses allow participants to carry out the theory part of the course online. They then do the practical part in person. Larger settings sometimes arrange for in house training where the first aid trainer comes into the setting to carry out the training.

What Does Paediatric First Aid Cover?

Whichever process you use, the content will be the same. Here’s a list of what you will learn when you attend Paediatric First Aid Training.

  • The specific role and responsibility of a First Aider in the setting.
  • How to adequately deal with emergencies that may occur.
  • How to deal with children who stop breathing or lose consciousness.
  • Choking – learning the differences between noisy and silent choking.
  • Head injuries
  • Seizures
  • Asthma and how to administer inhalers correctly
  • Burns and scalds
  • Allergies and anaphylaxis
  • Suspected or broken bones
  • Bites or stings
  • How to manage children with diabetes
  • Meningitis and its signs
  • Fevers and febrile convulsions
  • Poisons
  • Electric shocks
  • Drowning
  • Hypothermia
  • Recovery position techniques
  • Minor injuries such as cuts
  • Croup

Who Needs a Paediatric First Aid Course?

Anyone who needs to be OFSTED (or the equivalent) compliant will need to have Paediatric First Aid training.

Below is a non exhaustive list of settings that will require such training.

  • Private Nurseries
  • Childminders
  • Pre-school settings
  • School Nurseries
  • Schools
  • Childcare centres
  • After-school clubs
  • Holiday clubs

When is an Online Course Appropriate?

In this modern technological age, many courses are now conducted online which is hugely beneficial to many people. There are courses, however, that cannot be managed exclusively online and this is the case for Paediatric First Aid.

You will hear the term “blended courses” when it comes to such training that is a combination of online and classroom. This means as much of the learning as possible will be done through e-learning and then the practical side will be completed face to face.

If a First Aid course is advertised as purely online based then this will not be an OFSTED-approved course and should be avoided.

Paediatric First Aid Kits

All childcare settings should ensure there is a comprehensive first aid kit on the premises, ideally on every floor.

All staff should be aware of its location and it should be regularly checked to ensure all items are within their expiry date. Once the contents of the first aid kit reach their expiry date they should be replaced with new items. Of course, in the event of an item being used, it should be replaced immediately.

A first aid kit in the setting should include:

  • Waterproof plasters
  • Different sized dressings
  • Eye dressings
  • Triangular bandage
  • Wipes
  • Face Shield for Resuscitation
  • Disposable gloves
  • Microporous tape
  • Scissors
  • Ice packs

It is often far cheaper to buy these items separately rather than the workplace first aid kits you find online.


How long does Paediatric first aid training last?

The correct Paediatric First Aid Training Course will last for a total of 12 hours. The hours allocated to each session can vary but as long as it adds up to the full 12 hours this is fine. Some are done as a blended course with 6 hours online and 6 hours face to face. Others are done over 4 separate evenings or two-weekend sessions.

Is a paediatric qualification equal to a first aid at work course?

A paediatric first aid course is not equivalent to a first aid at work course. First aid at work courses covers adults in the workplace for any possible medical emergencies but is not specific to under 16-year-olds. When you are working with children or babies, settings must obtain a paediatric first aid qualification.

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