First Aid for all Parents…..

Since embarking on this blogging lark I have been pestering friends and family for thoughts regarding useful topics to blog about. Many of them have been overwhelmingly helpful, in fact too helpful as I don’t have nearly enough time to do all the posts I’m now itching to write. One of the first topics suggested was by one of my oldest and dearest friends, who has recently had her first (and utterly beautiful) baby girl. I gather that she and some of her new mum friends had been discussing their knowledge of first aid, or rather lack of it.

However I do wonder if she really is as clueless as she claims? My mate and I were ‘Brownies’ together and I distinctly remember us spending one Sunday afternoon in a rather dingy church hall studiously applying triangular bandages to each other’s limbs and rearranging ourselves into the recovery position. Whether or not we actually got as far as being awarded our first aid badge I don’t remember – so perhaps she is right to think about brushing up her skills!

According to a study carried out by Mother&Baby magazine in 2009, 8 out of 10 parents are not confident in basic first aid procedures. Data from the Royal Society of the Prevention of Accidents states that each year over half a million toddlers attend A&E following accidents occurring in the home. Tragically over 70 of these young children die as a result – rather a sobering statistic. The commonest emergencies’ affecting babies and toddlers are choking, burns, cuts and bruises, unconsciousness and breathing difficulties. I’ll be covering some of these areas in more detail in later posts.

I think when it comes to first aid training nothing beats face to face instruction. Many children’s centres and toddler groups run first aid courses specifically for parents, so it might be worth checking out what is available in your local area.

In terms of online resources, there is plenty to choose from. As always with the Internet there is some fab information and some less than reputable stuff. The two best sites I found were, perhaps not unsurprisingly, from The Red Cross and St Johns Ambulance.

The Red Cross have a really good selection of quick video tutorials on the most important aspects of infant and child first aid. See here for more information – it’s definitely worth a look. They also have a free app to download which gives similar information regarding emergencies. Included in the app are a hospital finder and a separate section to record your child’s regular medicines and allergies….great to have at your finger tips if your mind is in a blur. Although it probably wouldn’t be advisable to stop and check your phone for advice if your child was in a real emergency situation, for more minor problems or general information this seems a sensible and useful app to have.

St Johns Ambulance has been going strong for decades and is one of the country’s leading first aid training providers. They run many course up and down the land, and you can check their website to see if any courses are happening in your neck of the woods. In addition the website provides lots of useful basic first aid advice. This comes in the form of videos as well as more traditional step-by-step guides. The video tutorials include instruction regarding infant and child CPR, which arguably is worth every parent being familiar with. Have a peek at this for more information.

I hope this was useful and please feel free to comment or leave suggestions for future posts on my Facebook page, website or via twitter @thechattydoctor.

Coming up I’ll be chatting about surviving winter with snotty and grotty children, what every home first aid kit should include and how to spot Cows Milk Protein Allergy in babies…..

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