So it occurred to me the other day that when I was considering which nursery to choose, one of my first (and only) questions was about first aiders- how many, what rooms etc etc. Yet as hung up on this as I was, I realised I have zero first aid training myself. Ok, that might be a lie, I think I did a class in year 5…you can guarantee almost everything I learnt is now redundant.
My eldest is now two and three months, my youngest one and four months. I have gone all this time, weaned two children, had a poorly premature baby who often just stopped breathing for no known reason, and I had never learnt any basic first aid. It didn’t occur to me until now but I feel almost irresponsible. I love my children, obviously, and would do anything in my power to keep them safe, but could I get that bit of pasta out of their throat?
So when I was asked if I would like to attend the launch class of Mini First Aid North Warwickshire, Coventry and Tamworth, it was a very easy decision to make. Yes.
Mini First Aid is a nationwide company that was set up by Kate Ball three years ago and has since sky rocketed. It offers, parents, grandparents, any care givers and children the opportunity to learn first aid from basics to burns, how to administer CPR, dealing with choking and meningitis awareness. Mini First Aid has expanded so much it is now franchised throughout the country.
Being Tamworth based, I attended the North Warwickshire, Coventry and Tamworth (and surrounding areas) class. This class is run by Emily Illston, a mum of two, who is due to leave her current day job in the New Year to run this franchise full time. Having spoken to Emily and got to know her a little better over the last couple of weeks, her passion for the cause really shines through. She has always wanted to be involved in the medical environment in some capacity and really believes in what these classes have to offer.
I can’t say I blame her. I attended the class a little nervous, I hadn’t been in this environment for some time. I need not have been though. I was immediately put at ease on arrival. Emily and Zoe (who ran the launch class with her) were warm and welcoming and I was put at ease.
They started with the big guns- CPR. We were shown how to perform the life saving skills on both infants and children and offered the opportunity to practice on the mannequins – if we wanted to, there was no pressure. I must say though that prior to taking part, I had no idea just how much effort you have to put into CPR. I now feel much more confident should I ever be in a situation where I have to administer it – GOD I HOPE NOT.
We also covered choking, and I have said before this was my biggest fear when weaning my two. It is why I opted for the puree route over baby led weaning – perhaps if I had undertaken this course prior to weaning I might have had more balls. Although my children are now past weaning, choking is of course still a concern. It was only last month when we were on a flight and the boy started to gag – something was clearly stuck in his throat. It turns out he had put a rubbery reusable Peppa Pig sticker in his mouth and tried to swallow it. How he got it there I’ll never know, he was on my lap after all. How did I miss him putting this bloody great thing in his mouth? The point is though, he did. Food is no longer our only concern when it comes to choking.
The course goes beyond these ‘biggy pray to God I never need to know’ skills as it also covers more everyday injuries, such as head bumps. Boy, if I had a pound for every time my speedy bum shuffler has bumped his head. So much so when we did go to Spain recently we invested in one of these bad boys…
…please don’t judge. Those floors are rock hard and we had a horrendous holiday a few months back in Menorca where we couldn’t let him down as he would bump his damn head. Now though the 16 month old bum shuffler has just started to find his feet and totter between furniture – cue more head bumps. I am however, thanks to Mini First Aid, now much better placed to deal with these and feel much more confident when he does have a mishap.
We also covered burns – I was embarrassingly lacking in knowledge in this department, other than the run under cold water trick. Cuts and grazes were also on the menu, which let’s face it every child encounters, especially those pesky fast ones or the Sir Ranulph Fiennes climber, adventurer types. Oh and every parent’s biggest fear- the M word- meningitis, along with much more.
I would, without hesitation, recommend this course to any parent, grandparent, carer – whatever your role. I certainly feel more confident in dealing with any emergencies that may come up along the way on my parenting journey.
I attended a class run by Emily from Mini First Aid North Warwickshire, Coventry & Tamworth, but these classes are available nationwide and only cost £20 for two hours.
Emily is running a Tamworth class on Wednesday 30th November from 11am – 1pm. The class will be held at St John’s/Sacred Heart Church. Anyone wishing to attend can book their place either by visiting the website www.coventry.minifirstaid.co.uk, ringing Emily on 07849 128460 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org . No childcare? Fear not, pre crawling babies are welcome at the class.
Alternatively, private classes are also available at the same price of £20pp for a minimum group of 6 people- again, please do not hesitate to contact Emily for more info.
So #whatwouldyoudo? Could you save your child’s life? Have been on a first aid course or are looking to attend one? Have you had an experience where you have needed these invaluable skills you have learnt? I’d love to hear from you.