When I applied to do this course with the British Red Cross I thought it would be handy with 3 children.
When I actually went to sign up for the course, I realised the course was 5 hours plus 1 hour lunch and 3 hours of travelling and I was wondering whether it was worth the effort. I thought it would be a long and boring day being taught things I already knew. I mean I have 3 children and have managed so far. Right? Wrong. I learnt so much more about dealing with emergencies with children.
I am so pleased that I went on the course as the experience was great and I think it is brilliant for parents, carers, nannies, Au pairs – anyone dealing with children.
The course was held at the British Red Cross Centre, Euston (just around the corner from Euston station, so easy to get to) and we had 2 lovely ladies taking the course who were paramedics previously. I was surprised to see that majority of the people on the course we’re expectant couples. Although, after completing the course, I know that it is a very wise move.
The course was introduced and we were told what we would be covering
- Dealing with an emergency
- Unconscious babies and children (breathing and not breathing)
- Sprains and Strains
- Severe Allergic Reaction
- Head injuries
- Swallowed something harmful
- Vomiting and Diarrhoea
which I think pretty much covered anything you may have to encounter when dealing with babies and children.
We were then taught, I think the most important part of the course – dealing with unconscious children and babies – Signs to look for to check if the child/baby is unconscious and breathing and Un conscious and not breathing, how to open up the airway and if the child was unconscious provide CPR. The great part of this is that we were given practical training on training dolls.
Yes you can read about CPR, you may think you know how to perform it – you have seen it on film, on telly or you can Google it and watch the video. I can tell you that actually doing it is quite different. It ensures that it sticks in your brain. You also know you are getting the technique right especially with the trainers to coach you through it.
We went through other common problems with children -choking and again what to do, how to perform the manoeuvre to help release the stuck object without resorting to turning the child upside down and all the while ensuring that you keep calm and perform the initial steps to be the patient’s life support while you wait for medical help.
We touched on different topics like drowning, anaphylactic shock, meningitis, febrile convulsions, swallowing harmful substances etc., and I was surprised to learn quite a few things.
For example, when someone swallows a harmful substance, I always thought it would be a good idea to give them something to vomit it out. We were told that this should never be done as it causes more harm than good. We should leave it to the hospital to do whatever they need to do to get it out.
We were told that in most cases when dealing with children it would be wise to call 999 so that they could be checked over even if the child regains consciousness, or
Personally, I came away from the course confident that should I be caught in a situation I can provide life saving first aid to a baby or child and rather than panicking till the ambulance arrives I can take initial action.
I go know personally of a case where a life of a child was saved because his mother knew CPR and basic first aid so I am doubly glad that I made the effort to complete the course.
I highly recommend the course especially to people who look after children – parents, grandparents, family members. It helps to know that you have been taught proper techniques of basic first aid that could in actual fact save a life.
The course costs £50 plus vat and is totally worth the price. You can book it online and is held at different locations and days – even Saturdays.
I was also really pleased to find out that there is a British Red Cross App (which is free) that one can download on phones, tablets etc that gives handy advice about dealing with emergencies and the best part is that it gives you that location of the nearest hospital, clinic etc which I think is a must have especially if you are away from home.
A big thank you to Mumsnet and the British Red Cross for making this course available to me.
Disclaimer: My course fees were paid for the purpose of this review. All ideas and opinions are my own.