Shortly after my first son was born, I attended a baby/child first aid course run by St.John’s Ambulance. I was petrified that if some emergency arose with his health that I wouldn’t know how to help him. So I learned how to do resuscitation, deal with choking, head injuries, bleeds and recognise the signs of illness in babies and young children.
That was 10 years ago and so this year I thought that an update of my knowledge was definitely well overdue and that it would be great to be able to offer first aid courses to local parents and parents-to-be, so I recently attended a first aid trainer course.
Baby first aid is often high on the list of topics that my clients want to know about in antenatal courses. In the NCT, some branches offer first aid courses and others do not. Of the branches which do offer courses, certainly in the North London area, these tend to be over-subscribed and run fairly infrequently.
First aid, should, in my opinion, be on the national curriculum. It’s as important as reading and writing, but many people lack either the skills or the confidence to help in the event of an emergency. Baby first aid in particular, is a skill which, if available to all new parents, could significantly reduce their anxiety levels in the first few postnatal weeks. Many parents say that they find it difficult to relax as they are always listening out for their baby’s breathing. This can cause extreme fatigue, which could even lead to postnatal illness (depression).
According to a survey carried out by Baby and Mother magazine, more than 80% of parents have little or no first aid knowledge and would not know what to do if their child stopped breathing, started choking or suffered burns. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) also has some alarming statistics. Every year one million children under the age of 18 are taken to A&E following an accident in the home.
Two hours of your time attending a local first aid course could mean the difference between life and death for a loved one or indeed a stranger in the street.
Basic baby and child first aid can be taught in groups of around 12-16, covering topics such as:
• assessing the situation
• primary survey of the casualty (checking the airway and breathing)
• Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
• recovery position
• head injuries
• fever/febrile convulsions
Class sizes should not be too big, so that everyone gets sufficient practice when it comes to learning the techniques of resuscitation and coping with choking.
Parent Partner is now booking baby first aid courses for all parents. We also run paediatric courses for nursery staff, childminders, teachers and other adults who work with children. Our baby first aid session lasts around 2 hours with an investment in your child’s long-term future health for as little as £25 per person (or £45 for couples). Can you afford not to learn?