Here is a case to illustrate why parents or caregivers (like teachers, grandparents, babysitters, etc) should always carry a tourniquet for children in their first-aid bag.  Below are some recommended tourniquet options.

Six year old killed by active shooter in South Carolina

Sadly, the six-year-old boy who was shot in the Townville Elementry School shooting has died from his injuries. The first-grader, Jacob Hall lost 75% of his blood after being shot in the thigh by a teenage shooter. As a result of his injury, he had severe brain damage from the massive blood loss.

Jacob Hall, a first-grader at Townville Elementary School, had been in critical condition since the Wednesday shooting. He died around 1 p.m. on Saturday, Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said.

“God took his strongest soldier,” Gerald Gambrell, one of Jacob’s adult brothers, wrote on Facebook. “Jacob will be with us forever and always in our hearts. I love you little brother and I can’t wait till the day we meet again.”

The boy sustained major brain damage from the massive blood loss, and was placed on life support when he went into cardiac arrest, his family said.- New York Daily News

First-aid for the entire family: Make sure your tourniquet can fit children
Jacob Hall, image courtesy of Daily News

Preventable deaths such as Jacob Hall’s remind us as parents or caregivers to prepare for the worst situations imaginable. It is extremely import to incorporate tourniquets for every member of your family in either your everyday carry (EDC) or first-aid bag. The Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) currently recommends the Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) or  Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet-Wide (SOFTT-W) , which may not effectively be applied to smaller children. If the diameter of their extremities is too small, the tourniquet may not effective stop life threatening bleeding resulting in shock and preventable death. Larger children could have a CAT to SOFTT-W effectively applied. Consider these alternative tourniquets for small diameter individuals.

R.A.T.S Tourniquet

First-aid for the entire family: Make sure your tourniquet can fit children

The R.A.T.S or Rapid Application Tourniquet  is a good option because it can be used on children, adults, and even K9s. It is pretty simple to use, the stretchy bungee cord is repeatedly wrapped around the injured extremity and secured in the metal cleat. See the video below.


First-aid for the entire family: Make sure your tourniquet can fit children

The SWAT-T or Stretch Wrap and Tuck Tourniquet is another good option because it can also be applied on children, adults and even K9s. It can be effectively used as both a tourniquet and a pressure bandage making it a multi-functional simple and an affordable option. See the videos below.

Having a properly fitting tourniquet can mean life or death for severe traumatic injuries to the extremities. Jacob Hall tragically died from losing 75% of his blood in a matter of minutes, likely damaging his femoral artery. If a tourniquet had been promptly applied, his death may have been prevented. If you are a parent, teacher, grandparent, or just want to be better prepared, include a tourniquet for not only yourself but for your children in your EDC or first-aid bag.

Originally published on SOFREP by Desiree Huitt