What is an HLTAID004 course and what does it include

Posted on: 6 June 2019

The HLTAID004 course is a first aid training course aimed specifically at caretakers of infants, children and young adults, and it has a special emphasis on CPR, first aid, asthma and anaphylaxis. It is intended for anyone who is working with these age groups in any capacity, which normally would be childcare, education, any primary care setting and carers who work with children in their own homes or residential homes. Completion of this training may be mandatory for certain jobs, but in any event, it is vital for any carer or teacher to know.

First aid courses can be delivered by a number of providers, and it is important to check that the modules delivered within the training cover the specific areas mentioned above. This kind of course is normally delivered as a one-day course, normally lasting from 6 to 8 hours, but it may also count towards one of the more specialised and generally recognised first aid courses that people may go on to do. Choice of a provider should be based on their competency to deliver the full range of modules required.

Assessment and Management

The HLTAID004 course should be designed to give participants confidence in two specific ways. First, how to assess and manage any type of emergency situation, and second, how to deliver appropriate emergency care to a child or young adult.

Any assessment of an emergency situation regarding children should already be part of the mindset of anyone working in education or a childcare setting. First aid training should build into this knowledge and experience. With children and young adults, two of the most common emergency situations that are likely to be encountered are when a child has an asthma attack or when a child has an allergic reaction to anything they might have been eating or drinking.

Management of an emergency situation is a crucial element of the training, and it is sometimes overlooked in favour of how to provide specific emergency care, but both are equally important. There should also be a special focus on infection control principles and procedures, as preventative measures that typically already form part of the protocols of the school or institution where the children are being looked after.

Risk Factors

Anyone working with an infant, a child or a young adult has a duty of care towards them, which involves knowing any significant medical condition, such as if they have asthma any known allergies.

Asthma attacks can take different forms, ranging from mild or moderate to severe, and should always be taken seriously. In some instances, a severe asthma attack can lead to death, so it is important for the carer to be aware of what the signs of an asthma attack can be, and be able to respond accordingly. Often children who have asthma and their friends will try to be responsible for knowing these signs and can alert a teacher or carer accordingly, but the carer should be aware anyway.

Specific emergency care

Aside from the management of an emergency situation, the course should include specific and detailed information on how to deliver emergency care and should provide practical experience on how to do it. This can include how to use an asthma bronchodilator and spacer, how to use an adrenaline auto-injector or epi-pen and other, more general first aid treatments. These can include how to deal with burns, bruises, choking or any type of obstruction in someone's airway, epilepsy or any type of seizure, head injuries etc.

Whilst these other areas of first aid can be useful, it is important that the course does not try and include too much information if it is only being delivered in one day. It is much better that the focus be on the specific areas that are relevant to an HLTAID004 course. Other first aid courses can always be taken as well and should be given a high priority in terms of any educator or carer training programme.