A couple of weeks ago I went to a 3 hour first aid course for kids. Well, actually it was for the parents, but it was all about treating kids. The course was run by Kids First Aid and was probably the most valuable 3 hours I’ve spent in a long time.
Having worked for an airline in a previous life (as in before kids), I have done many first aid courses, but none of them have been specifically aimed at treating kids. It’s also been a while since my skills were updated, so this course came up just at the right time.
I invited one of my very lovely blog readers, Sam, to come along too, and the two of us sat in the back row with our note pads and pens ready to save some lives! We didn’t sit in the front just in case we were called upon as guinea pigs, but luckily for us there was a very willing dad in the class.
Our instructor Alan, who was a trained paramedic with HEAPS of experience and interesting stories, was fantastic. He couldn’t cover everything in just 3 hours, but covered enough for us to leave feeling very confident that we could help our kids in an emergency (god forbid it ever happen) while waiting for help.
I won’t give away too much as I REALLY think you should all the do the course, but I will tell you the top things that stuck in mind.
- The recovery position saves lives. Often when people come across an injured person they are too afraid to touch them in case of spinal injuries. We learnt that too often people have died totally unnecessarily while waiting for the ambo’s JUST because they were not placed in the recovery position.
- Burns and water go together. Any kind of burn should be fully immersed in water (where possible) for 20-30 minutes. Doing this has an almost 100% chance of preventing any scarring.
- Always note your child’s temperature. If you child has a high temperature, then just make a little note of it along with the time. Often they don’t develop into much and can be controlled with nurofen or panadol. However, on the occasion is does become something more serious, having a record of their increasing temperatures can be vital.
- In the case of snake/spider/octopus/or any other deadly aussie animal, it is imperative to keep the patient as STILL AS POSSIBLE. The poison actually needs to be in the blood or lymph to travel around the body. When you are first bitten the poison is only in the tissue around the bite. Keeping the child as still as possible (even by tying a splint to the leg or arm) you can significantly slow down the speed at which the poison travels, and have far more chance of a positive outcome.
I’m a lot braver than I used to be when it comes to creepy crawlies but I still hope I never have to deal with any of these!
- When doing CPR sing the BeeGee’s ‘staying alive’ in your head. The beat will give you the pace at which you have to do the compressions.
- Choking. If a child is choking but still making a noise, encourage them to cough. If they go silent, then immediately give 5 black blows and 5 chest thrusts twice before doing CPR.
- Secondary drowning does not exist. Drowning is always something that terrifies me, especially the silence of it. I have also heard so many rumours about secondary drowning where a child can still ‘drown’ a good few hours after the incident from water they’ve swallowed. I was very relieved to hear that this is just myth.
After the course, I chatted to Sam, who’s a mum of two gorgeous little girls, to find out what she thought of it.
How old are your children?
6.5 & 2 years old.
What did you learn during the session?
So much! Above all that being calm saves lives in an emergency and knowledge gives us the confidence to take charge of a situation and put into practice what you’ve learnt when it matters.
Alan the trainer ran through many scenarios, including basic CPR, attending to burns and protocol for choking, spider and snake bites and more. We covered a lot!
Have you ever been in a situation where having first aid knowledge could have helped?
Pre-kids my husband & I had a near drowning experience on holiday together in Thailand and were lucky to get away with stitches and scars. We both kept calm and handled the situation well, but it was a wake up call on how quickly things can turn.
Since completing the session, do you feel more prepared in the event of an emergency?
Yes, I feel that at least every parent should be armed with these response skills as so many accidents happen in the home. I also will continue to be very aware of water safety – a big part of our lives here in Sydney is based on enjoying the wonderful beaches, waterways and pools so this is a big priority for us.
What did you enjoy most about the session?
It’s a serious subject, but the trainer we had really put us at ease with his humorous delivery and anecdotes.
I also appreciated the large poster recapping all the important lessons for quick reference.
The Kids First Aid courses are run all across Australia and are only $85 for the 3 hours, which I think is real value for money. I honestly can’t stress enough how good it is to know basic first aid and I would really encourage everyone to do it. You never know when you might need it.
*Sam and I were gifted this course by Kids First AId, however, ALL of our opinions are our own.