Triage, Assessment & Treatment of Infants and Children


CERT Membership Meeting Presentation, September 24th, 2012
SPEAKER: Dr. Diane Bourlier

Dr. Bourlier saw first hand the kinds of injuries that infants and children sustain in a hurricane when she worked at Miami Children’s Hospital following hurricane Andrew.

“Initial injuries were from glass cuts, stepping on rusty nails, flying boards, etc.  What shortly followed was lack of safe shelter, running out of safe water, sunburns, burns from generator mishaps, falls and fractures in the older kids trying to help the family fix the roof.   The emotional devastation lingered in both adults and kids.”

Our FEMA CERT training was comprehensive, but focused on treating the adult victim. While most of the principles of disaster medical care will apply to infants and children, there are differences that we as the first rescuers on scene must be familiar with.

Here are some examples:

  • Assessing for shock in infants and children.
  • Maintaining an open airway in the field in unconscious infants and children. Is the head-tilt chin-lift done the same?
  • Children may not initially exhibit symptoms that would warrant intervention, but they may go downhill rapidly (i.e., head trauma, abdominal trauma). What should rescuers be on the alert for? 
  • What special considerations are there in conducting the head-to-toe assessment in infants and in children both in terms of technique and in terms of signs and symptoms?
  • How do infants and children exhibit signs of heat stroke and hypothermia? What should rescuers do to manage these victims until medical personnel are available?
  • What tips can be offered to CERT rescuers in dealing with the emotional reactions of children? How can rescuers make use of the child's family members in conducting the assessment and treatment?
  • Tips for the rescuer dealing with their own emotions when working with infants and children.

Click Here to download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation.
Click Here to download a copy of the presentation handout.
Infants & Children | Lakewood Ranch Community Emergency Response Team