F.A.S.T First Aid Training client Louise will never forget the day her 8-month old baby Jack had febrile convulsions. “I took him in the stroller for a walk with the dogs and he just went blue,” she says. “His eyes rolled back in his head and his whole little body went stiff”. Luckily, Louise had her mobile on her and got help quickly. But this common scenario asks the question – as a parent would YOU know what to do if this happened to YOUR child?
Mums like Louise often come to F.A.S.T. to do First Aid and CPR courses after a “near miss”. F.A.S.T. Director Sarah Shaw is surprised by how many parents lack the basic skills to react quickly in an emergency. Unfortunately, statistics tell us 50% of parents could not apply the right first aid in frequent childhood emergency situations. This is REALLY concerning … but the good news is that First Aid and CPR training is available, affordable, and easy for parents to access.
One of the big challenges is parents can be misled by media or have out-of-date knowledge. Let’s face it, many of us were taught the “basics” of First Aid and CPR in a boring school lesson 15 years ago. The closest we’ve come to it since is probably watching old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on TV!!
Take choking – another common childhood emergency. People with the best intentions will try and give someone who is choking the Heimlich Manoeuvre – STOP! DON’T DO IT! It’s the worst thing you can do! We haven’t taught that technique in Australia for at least 20 years! But it looks so effective on TV, right?
As a First Aid Educator, Sarah wants parents to be empowered to know the correct management for situations like choking and drowning – probably the two scariest childhood first aid emergencies. It’s daunting enough for any new mum or dad to learn how to parent a precious new life, but febrile convulsions, choking and drowning are just some of the situations you may face. The idea is not for parents to be panicked or paranoid … but, like the Boy Scouts’ motto says, “BE PREPARED”. The importance of First Aid and CPR training for parents can’t be overestimated. It’s as essential to any parent as putting a baby seat in a car.
It is also a really positive thing for you to do, as a parent. F.A.S.T. courses are about empowering and encouraging you to take on a PROACTIVE mindset. First Aid helps you set up your child’s environment to avoid accidents. If one happens, you won’t be standing helplessly on the sidelines waiting for an “expert” to take over. You will be taking charge, keeping calm and staying in control while you respond to your child’s needs.
Babies and kids don’t come with a manual – but you can be prepared, and even prevent accidents to your best ability. We all cherish our kids and the last thing we want is for them to get hurt. Sarah encourages you to take matters into your own hands like Louise did, and enrol in a F.A.S.T First Aid or CPR course that will help you keep being a POSITIVE, PREPARED, and PROACTIVE parent!