This post is sponsored by the British Red Cross
I’ll never forget the first time I realized the importance of knowing first aid.
I was in Byron Bay on the east coast of Australia, relaxing and dozing on the beach. Nearby, a father and his three children were playing in the sand. I remember them clearly because they were the cutest little surfer kids with blonde curly hair and tanned skin. The two boys wore matching boards with their father, and the girl wore the same color swimsuit. It was really cute.
I don’t know what happened, but the girl started coughing. Then she coughs. Then she coughs. Her father was obligingly rubbing her back when he knew something was wrong.
Everyone on the beach sat up and watched while the other kids ran over in silence.
Her coughing stopped when her father picked her up and started patting her on the back. His stroking became more and more violent until he cried out, “Help me!” She’s choking!”
And you know what, not a single person moved on the beach.
I felt completely helpless as this poor man held his young daughter. I had no idea what to do if my child was choking. Have no idea.
As everyone trembled in silent horror, something flew out of her mouth as her father struck her one last time. Even across the beach from her, I could hear her sucking in a big lungful of air before she started crying.
And what a lament it was.
Other than George’s birth cry, that was probably the best cry I’ve ever heard.
So I decided I really needed to learn first aid. What would you do if you were alone with someone who was suffocating you? It’s very simple.
But like most good intentions, it quickly faded like an Australian sunburn and I never got around to taking a first aid course. Now that I have George and he’s reaching the age where everything he picks up goes straight into his mouth, I realize this isn’t something I should do, it’s something I have to do.
If George was choking on the beach, I wouldn’t know what to do. I don’t even know what to do if he gets burned or hits his head.
The British Red Cross runs a number of first aid courses for babies and children. If you are unable to attend a course, you can also study online. There is also a Baby and Child First Aid app that you can download. It contains lots of advice to help you in case of a medical emergency, and there are also videos to help you follow the instructions.
The British Red Cross has created a ‘Baby Wrap’ video that explains all about ‘how to give first aid’. Now that’s a sentence I never thought I’d say!
It’s cute and funny, but it’s about a very serious topic: addiction. All kidding aside, around 21,493 children a year end up in A&E after swallowing harmful substances, so it’s very important to know what to do if something like that happens is.
For more information on first aid for babies and children, visit the Red Cross website.