Friday, 26 October 2012

First Aid Challenge with the British Red Cross

How confident are you as a parent about your First Aid skills?
Sooner or later most kids will have accidents, some are minor, some are serious. To prepare yourselves for any emergencies it is highly recommended to take a first aid or CPR class.

A couple of years ago, when I was heavily pregnant with our second child, my husband took Sasha out to their favourite cafe where Sasha usually enjoys a slice of a banoffee pie. On that day, all of a sudden, Sasha fainted. My husband wasn't sure what to do, I believe he started to panic and forgot what he was supposed to do. Nobody offered to help. The staff just watched them, everybody was too busy or indifferent to help.
He carried Sasha out, hailed a taxi and took him home. By then Sasha was as white as a sheet of paper, and his eyes were opening and closing. I was terrified, we called the emergency number and waited for the ambulance. I knew that he needed to lie on his side in the recovery position. The ambulance arrived, by which time Sasha has started slowly to gain a bit of colour on his cheeks. They checked him and decided we should leave it as it was, but if he fainted again, we should call them. We never found out what has triggered this, but it was scary. Later I told my husband off for taking Sasha in the taxi, I said he should not have been in the sitting position or if he were, his head should have been down on his knees. My husband was distraught and confessed he was so worried, he forgot everything he has read. I don't know how I would have behaved in this situation and whether I would have panicked as well.

When I used to work for a busy Uni department in Oxford, I had to take the first aid course, but it was over 12 years ago, and I'm afraid my skills are a bit rusty.

Taking a day off to go on a class is not feasible for me now, that's why I think signing up to the First Aid Challenge is a great idea for busy parents like me.
  • New nationwide campaign to get all parents learning first aid begins at Earls Court Baby Show, 26 October 2012 and runs to the end of the year.
  • The British Red Cross is launching the first UK-wide first aid campaign aimed at parents, in response to a survey showing that most parents don’t feel confident about what to do if their child were injured.
  • 96% of parents agree all parents should have basic first aid knowledge – but two thirds don’t feel confident, or worry they would do something wrong.
  • For free first aid advice, videos and to sign-up to the First Aid Challenge, go to

In a survey of over 2,000 parents [undertaken by Bounty’s Word of Mum™ panel], 96% of respondents agreed that all parents should have some first aid knowledge. The study identified the main fears of parents as choking, treating an unconscious baby or child and meningitis – however despite this, many parents struggle to find the time to learn how to treat these cases.

The British Red Cross has launched its First Aid Challenge campaign, which aims to get thousands of parents across the UK to learn first aid skills and feel confident enough to use them.

Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross head of first aid education, commented:
“We know that the majority of parents want to learn first aid, but may not get round to it for all sorts of reasons. We’re asking parents to set themselves this challenge – learn something, no matter how much time you have. Even 15 minutes is enough to learn something that could make all the difference in an emergency."

The website will also launch the same day, featuring free videos, emergency advice and information on first aid courses around the UK – the campaign will also encourage parents to download a letter to send to head teachers to ask local schools to teach first aid in the classroom.

Signing up to the First Aid Challenge is completely free and each participant will receive information on how to deal with day-to-day mishaps confidently and updates about free first aid demonstrations across the UK. Alternatively, if parents prefer to keep a how-to hard-copy in the house, a brand new First Aid manual focussing on treatment for babies and children is available now, priced £10.99.

Tracey Turner from the British Red Cross said:
“We hope this challenge will make all parents stop, think and decide to learn some first aid. We all know that as children grow and explore, inevitably they will have some kind of accident, be it big or small. We are passionate about giving everyone the skills and the confidence to know what to do.”

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