This post is sponsored by British Red Cross
I’ll never forget the first time I realised the importance of knowing first aid.
I was in Byron Bay on the east coast of Australia and was lazily dozing on the beach. Nearby there was a dad and his three kids who were playing around in the sand. I remember them clearly because they were the cutest little surfer kids with curly blonde hair and tanned skin. The two boys wore matching boardies to their dad and the little girl wore a swimsuit in the same colour. They were absolutely adorable.
I’m not sure what happened but the little girl started coughing. And coughing. And coughing. Her dad was giving her an obligatory rub on the back when it became apparent something was not right.
The other kids fell silent and rushed over while everyone on the beach sat up to look.
Her coughing stopped as the dad picked her up and started patting her back. His patting became more and more vigorous before he shouted out, “Help! She’s choking!”
And do you know what, not one person on the beach moved.
I felt completely helpless as this poor man held his little girl. I had absolutely no idea what to do if a child chokes. Not a clue.
While everyone started in silent horror the dad hit her back one final time and something flew from her mouth. Even across the beach I could hear her inhale a lung full of air before she began to wail.
And what a wail it was.
With the exception of George’s first cry, that’s probably the best cry I’ve ever heard.
There and then I decided that I really needed to learn first aid. What if I was alone with someone who choked? It’s such an easy thing to do.
But, like most good intentions, it soon faded like my Australian tan and I never got around to doing that first aid course. Now that I’ve got George, and he’s getting to that age where everything he picks up goes straight in his mouth, I’ve realised that this isn’t something I should do, it’s something I must do.
I wouldn’t know what to do if it was George choking on the beach. I’m not even sure I’d know what to do if he burned himself or hit his head.
British Red Cross have lots of baby and child first aid courses. If you can’t go to a course, you can also learn online and they have a Baby and Child First Aid app you can download. It has lots of great advice if you have a medical emergency and there are videos to help you follow instructions.
The British Red Cross have created a ‘baby rap’ video all about getting your ‘first aid swagger’. Now that’s a sentence I never thought I’d say!
It’s cute and funny but is about the really serious topic of poisoning. With jokes aside, around 21,493 children a year end up in A&E after swallowing a harmful substance so it’s really important we know what to do if it ever happened.
Find out more about baby and child first aid on the Red Cross website.