Monday 6 October 2014

5 reasons all parents should learn First Aid

I was lucky as a teenager that I learned First Aid at both the Red Cross and in Guides. I never really got the chance to use it in anger apart from the odd sprained ankle and a few rugby injuries though.. Once I became a parent I considered re-doing my first aid training but there never seemed to be time to do it. Luckily some of the basics had always stuck with me, so when my children had some potentially scary accidents I:

1) Didn't panic

When my son was 3 he had a tumble on a friend's trampoline and came into the house with blood everywhere from his head. Thanks to first aid training I knew that 

a) head wounds usually look worse than they are 
b) applying pressure with a clean cloth will reduce/stop the bleeding 

So I sat quietly with my son on my lap and he calmed down whilst the pressure worked - on this occasion it was just a large graze!

2) Reassuring for children

Both my children have had the kind of knocks and bumps that have required the simplest forms of First Aid with a clean up, a plaster and maybe something cold to sooth or take down swelling. They feel that I know what I am doing which is reassuring for them.

I was lucky that working in a school in the last few years I was given the chance to attend an up to date First Aid course. Interesting to discover how things had changed a lot! No more splints or major bandaging. CPR majorly simplified so that more people would be confident to use it. A fellow attendee also told a tale of how he had used previous First Aid training to:

3) Stop a child choking

He came home to find his toddler choking and instantly performed the techniques he had just learned and slapped her back hard enough to release the object. If he hadn't known what to do then his daughter would quite likely not be here today.

4) Quick treatment reduces chances of long lasting damage

This weekend my son managed to accidentally tip freshly cooked pasta shapes all down his bare torso and onto his thigh. I knew that you have to run burns under cold water but that this was too big an area for a tap. Therefore I had to get my protesting child into the shower and have him stand under the very cold water for 10 minutes. After a minute or so he was able to stop screaming and the water soothed the damage. I did get him checked out at the hospital but he didn't need any further treatment as my quick reactions had paid off.

5) Teach your own children

There are times as a single parent when I have accidents at home myself and do daft things like cut myself quite badly whilst washing up. I was able to talk my daughter through dealing with my injury whilst keeping calm so that she didn't panic!

There are plenty of places to get First Aid training. Why not try the Red Cross, St John's Ambulance or Millie's Trust? You never know when you might need to use it for your own child or someone else!

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