Do I Need Child Pads for My AED?
Congratulations! You have decided to purchase an AED and are taking the first step towards preparedness. Now that you have the AED and the adult pads included in the package, do you need child pads for your AED? AED infant/child pads are used in emergencies on children 8 years or younger, or those below 55lbs. While we hope that a child will never need the service of an AED, emergencies can occur and it is important to have the right pads. Children requiring the use of a defibrillator need specifically designed child pads to inform the AED to make necessary changes. A child does not receive the same approach as an adult, and instead, changes are made to the shock power, placement, and further instructions – inserting infant/child pad (or an infant/child key) will do this automatically.
Difference Between Child and Adult Pads
Only in extreme cases where an AED is not equipped with child pads should the adult pads be an option. Although an adult pad can be applied to a child in emergency situations when no child pads are available, it is better that specialized ones are used. The child pads have their own connector so that, when inserted into the machine, the shocks, placement, and instructions will adapt to that of assisting a child.
Different Shock Strength
Once a child pad is attached to the Philips AED, the machine will instantly identify that child pads are in use. This then will automatically reduce the shock’s energy, as children do not need as much voltage to restart the heart as an adult individual would. The AED uses a shock of 150 Joules for adults, but decreases to 50 Joules for children. After the pads are attached and the machine identifies the pads, the AED will begin to give voice and visual instructions to assist the responder.
Because children are smaller, child pads are created with the size of a child in mind. An adult pad is built specifically for a large broad chest on an older individual, but these do not work as well on children. When an adult pad is used on a child, a single pad may take up half of their upper body. Child pads are smaller and also require different placement than the adult placement. To properly distribute the shock for a child, place the AED child pads in the middle of the child’s chest, as well as directly in the center of their back (image placement guide shown on all Philips Infant/Child pads).
Locations That Would Benefit from Child Pads
Not every location with an AED will have children nearby (such as an office or a worksite). Any public locations such as libraries, schools, arenas, etc., however, should seriously consider having child pads accessible. With the high number of children each location sees per day, preparing for an emergency involving a child could greatly increase their chances of survival. Ideally, if every AED has a set of child pads included in their package, all adults and children would be safe. The following are locations that should always have child pads on hand:
- Recreational Centers
- Sports Arenas
- Public Parks or Hiking Trail Centers
- Condo Buildings
- Childcare Facilities
For those who have an AED at their workplace, having child pads can still be a necessary precaution (bring your child to work day?). Although it is not crucial, purchasing child pads regardless will result in a safer, and more prepared workplace.
Does my AED Need Specific Accessories?
Depending on the type of AED you purchased (Onsite, In-Home, or FRx), the child pad accessory you require will vary. If you have the Heartstart Onsite AED or the In-Home AED, you will need to purchase the Onsite Infant/Child Smart Pads. These pads are easily stored with the AED in a separate Pad Pouch to keep them accessible as well as out of the way. On the other hand, if you purchased a Heartstart FRx AED, an Infant/Child Pediatric Key is available. Simply inserting the key into the defibrillator will decrease the shock energy and give the appropriate voice commands.
Having child pads for your AED will always help you stay one step ahead. If you keep these AED accessories on hand, you can guarantee you are doing everything possible to increase the survival rate of ANY individual. Do you have an AED already and want to purchase child pads for it? No problem! Contact First Edition First Aid Training Inc. to find out what pads work best for your machine and purchse them a-la-carte. Still trying to determine what AED you need for your location? Take a look at First Edition First Aid Training Inc.’s wide variety of Philips AED’s to find just what you need.