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First Aid courses – are these just for the overprotective parent or are they really necessary – read on to find out our thoughts and then, make up your own mind!

So how many times in our lives do we feel a bit helpless and unsure? As a parent daily right? One mum friend of mine recently found herself in this very situation when she was feeding her little one – now everyone knows of the dangers of grapes and recent horrific events have led to parents slicing grapes into the most miniscule segments or better still not giving their children grapes at all. The fear that grips us when talking about these fruits is palpable but actually, there’s plenty of other windpipe sized fruits, vegetables and foods out there that should also have us quaking… the cocktail sausage, the cherry tomato, the lollypop, the bitesize chicken kiev. All perfect sizes to become lodged in your child’s windpipe preventing them from breathing. The mum friend luckily knew enough to be able to dislodge the offending item of unchewed food with a few sharp back blows, but the experience left her shaken and a little traumatised. What did she do immediately following this incident? Vow to get herself booked onto a first aid course because she never wanted to feel that helpless ever again.

Now, I am not for one minute suggesting that we should be blending our children’s food for the rest of their lives, no, children have got to learn to chew and to swallow and to eat properly. The more we dice up children’s food, the more problems we potentially cause in later life as children at some point or another will encounter food that is in fact larger than the crumb sized portions you’ve been serving up. Your child has to learn to encounter larger pieces of food and learn to chew them properly (a lesson some adults still need to learn but that’s a different blog post…!)

What I am suggesting is that as a parent, its really useful to attend a first aid course. Whether you are on your first or fourth child it is really useful to pop along to your nearest class and reacquaint yourself with the skills needed to potentially save a life.

Through attending our first aid course, two parents on two separate occasions have done just this when their skills learnt on our first aid course came flooding back and they were able to prevent a little one from choking. You see, once you know what to do, in an emergency situation all of the knowledge, skills and practice comes flooding back. What you’ve learnt lays stored away in your subconscious mind until you’re faced with an emergency situation and bam… there it is… right there waiting for you.

Most people only attend first aid courses when they have had a massive shock, when something has happened and they’ve felt so shaken and scared about not knowing what to do, or not having been able to help that they then spring into action and book themselves onto a course. They never want to feel that helpless dread again. To know enough to be able to help in an emergency is vital for everyone. So vital in fact that the government are popping this back onto the agenda for schools. Children will also be trained in administering basic first aid. An amazing idea. But as we educate our children, what about our parents, our grandparents, those who run services that mean they come into contact with children and babies regularly. The training is out there, but its up to you to access it. Its down to you to make the decision to learn what to do in an emergency. Its down to you to book the course, to practice the skills, to purchase your first aid kit for the home and the car and to keep it restocked and replenished.

For most people, the most first aid they will ever administer is a cold compress, a few hundred plasters, some antiseptic spray/cream and some pain relief… for others, they’ll be faced with a situation that requires them to intervene in order to save a life. They’ll find someone unconscious, they’ll be first on scene at an accident, they’ll discover someone unresponsive or having a seizure, they’ll watch the fear on someone’s face as they choke… and they’ll need to know what to do to help.

Our first aid courses are running monthly and cover CPR, choking, febrile convulsions, recovery position for baby and children, bumps to the head, and we answer all your questions too. You’d be so very welcome to book on – we would love to have you with us! Education is power.