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your next group thing | do a first aid course


Until about four weeks ago, I had no clue how to save a life. The little knowledge I did have turned out to be incorrect, and, in one case, dangerously so. It took a morning’s learning to change that, and I feel honestly confident that if one of my kids choked, or had a fit, or fell from a climbing frame, I’d know what to do.

So, I’m suggesting that your next activity with your friends, whether its your NCT group, your running buddies, or your neighbours, should be to club together and get some first aid training at home.

Julie from Optimum First Aid got in touch before Christmas and offered us a private group first aid course. I didn’t think twice, replying, as I was, one-handed, with week or two old baby in my arms. The thought of anything happening to your kids, or kids you look after, is chilling. The afterthought that you should’ve known what to do, if something bad happens, well, that’s probably worse.

Julie is a great teacher. Unlike some courses where you feel like the practitioner is trying too hard with the jokes and the matey banter, being taught by Julie was smart, immersive and an enriching few hours. She absolutely knows her stuff. She’s from a very distinguished military background (which i find fascinating and is a total trust-winner) and is also a mum herself. Although we experienced her paediatric at home first aid course, she also trains adult first aid and works with businesses to train first aiders.

From our course, I learned to:

  • Perform CPR on a tiny baby and a school age child – if you’ve never practiced, do – my biggest learning was the depth of compression you need to stimulate the heart, and how bones may break but lives could be saved
  • Assess an unconscious casualty and when to place a casualty in the recovery position – this was an eye-opener, as what I thought was the recovery position would have probably made a casualty much more poorly
  • Help a choking adult and a choking baby – totally different things, both so simple to remember
  • Spot the signs of a fit – I didn’t even know people did give off signs before they have a fit
  • Assess and treat anaphylaxis – my husband had a reaction to shellfish that required an ambulance, so this was so useful
  • Febrile convulsions and their cause and effect – essential knowledge with newborns, in my opinion

Julie covers lots more in the usual four-hour course, but, what you cover depends on the speed of learning, as some people need more essential practice with the CPR, for example. Julie was so patient and totally not afraid to tell me where I was going wrong, thank God. Imagine a first aid practitioner who was afraid to point out mistakes!

£30 per person is what Julie asks for group training, and I would have paid it without question. I realised I’ve been a bit too blasé about making sure everybody that looks after my kids has first aid training. Julie pointed out that the course is excellent (if not essential) for grandparents and all those heroes who look after children within the family, as well as childminders and teachers. It would make a great present, come to think of it.

When I look at them together like this, I just want to keep them safe forever. So I kind of owe it to them to be able to do that!

Anyway, if you’re looking to make changes in 2017, this is a great one to add to your list at little cost. You can look at the Optimum Facebook page for more information, too.

We received our training from Julie in return for an article here on The Bristol Parent. All views and experiences are honest, and are my own.

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