In our classes we frequently discuss other topics of interest to our parents. Over the next few weeks we’ve invited in various guest bloggers and friends to let us know more about some of these topics and to give you a point of reference.
Betty Gat is the director of BABY SAFE TRAINING, an organisation which provides first aid courses for parents. Here Betty talks about the importance of ensuring that you are well versed in simple first aid skills that could help you deal with an emergency.
Whether you’re an expectant parent or a seasoned pro, you should have the skills to deal with various emergencies your little one may throw at you. Raising children does not come with a manual, we figure it out as we go along and learn with every new experience. However equipping yourself with first aid skills is something that you can learn BEFORE an accident occurs. Often parents join my courses after a specific incident has occurred, and this is great, but having the knowledge before an accident is even better. Would you know what to do if your child cut themselves, swallowed pills, was choking, or worse, stopped breathing?
A lot of the time parents are endlessly provided with information regarding prams, car seats, sterilising equipment and other ‘must haves’ surrounding the arrival of a new baby. Whilst this is all useful information, most of it is trivial when you are faced with the realisation of not knowing what to do in an emergency. I don’t believe a lot of emphasis is placed on this subject and it’s importance, especially at antenatal classes. We are expected to take our baby home after a couple of hours and get on with it! But if the worst should happen?
There are various sources of information on first aid, such as books, dvd’s, phone apps and the internet. Whilst reading up on the subject is better than doing nothing, an actual course is by far the most effective way of learning these skills. A first aid course will provide you with the practical element of actually performing resuscitation and the techniques needed to deal with a choking casualty. And trust me, this is much different to what you see on TV! It is only when you are able to put these techniques into practise (on mannequins) that you realise how important and difficult it is to do correctly.
Having experienced, first hand, my child choking, I can safely say that I was so glad to have invested some time and effort, all those years ago, to take a first aid course. I immediately knew how to spot the signs of choking and take the correct action quickly and without too much panic!
I would also strongly advise parents who employ nannies, au pairs, babysitters and even grandparents, to make sure that those who have responsibility for looking after your children, in your absence, are equipped to handle an emergency. I have found that a lot of foreign speaking nannies and au pairs shy away from taking such courses because of the language barrier. This should not be an issue or an excuse as the course incorporates a lot of practical elements, not just theory.
In addition to taking a first aid course, your home and car should contain a good first aid kit. At present there are no strict guidelines on what should be included in a first aid kit, so you will find various versions out in the shops. I have a slight obsession with first aid kits and have looked at various products out on the market. In all honesty, I could not find one that had everything I wanted/needed for a fair price. I therefore took it upon myself to source a first aid kit which, I believe, to be a worthy contender! If you wish to have a look at the kit and it’s content please refer to my website, www.babysafetraining.com. This kit cannot be purchased in the shops so if you wish to place an order you can do so from my website. You will also receive a £5 discount if attending one of my courses – just mention Little Signers Club!
First aid skills are something that you should , hopefully, never need to utilise. However you should still possess them. You never know when they could come in handy! Don’t feel helpless when it really matters.
Betty Gat, Director at Baby Safe Training