I've been interested in first aid, ever since I was young and a member of the Sea Scouts, and I'd like to think that I would be useful in a crisis. However, the rules and practices of first aid are constantly changing, and the procedures I would have followed about 10 years ago are probably now quite outdated.
So on Saturday morning, Bob, Isla and I attended a First Aid Course specifically for babies and children in Finchampstead, run by a company called Daisy First Aid.
There were a few other parents there, two expectant mothers with their partners, and another couple with a baby.
When we arrived, Isla and the other baby were both peacefully asleep in their car seats, out of the way of all the plastic resuscitation dummies, lying around us on the floor.
The class started and our instructor Claire introduced herself, and we began to learn the fundamentals of first aid - the acronym DRABC.
Claire was great, she really knew what she was talking about, and was able to bring a personal touch to the class by using examples from her own life, as she had a young daughter too!
We began to practise techniques on the dummies, first using the baby-sized ones. Although this was a serious topic, it was quite funny when one of the dads, who was attempting to save one of the plastic babies, had the dummy's head come off completely and roll away on the floor, which made us all laugh and make jokes about how we hope that doesn't happen to him in real life!
At this point, Isla began to wake up and wanted to see what was going on. At first she was really calm and quiet, watching everyone doing their thing for about 10 minutes.
Then she decided she wanted to talk to us, babble away and do a massive poo, meanwhile the other couple's baby just slept and slept, not making a sound.
Our instructor Claire was not phased in the slightest, she just smiled at us and carried on teaching, while Isla sat there straining away and going bright red in the face!
Bob took her to be changed and we carried on the course, getting to the two topics about which I personally, have been the most concerned - Choking and Febrile Seizures.
Previously, I remember thinking 'Okay, I won't have to worry about choking till she is being fed solids, which is aaaaaaaages away...' but that time literally flew by. And it's not just the food I'm giving her that could cause her to choke, she is always picking things up and putting them in her own mouth!
I'm so glad I’ve had a refresher on all these topics, as I feel so much more confident now, and I know that Bob also feels much better about it; he had only ever been trained in adult first aid, which has quite different procedures from those needed for babies and children.
One of the great things about taking a course like this is that you get to meet other parents who are in the same situation as you, with babies of a similar age.
At the end of the course we all had the opportunity to chat and find out each other’s stories. By this time the other baby had woken up and she was so small compared to Isla. We began chatting to her parents who told us that she was 16 weeks old, and her name was also Isla!!!!!
I literally can't believe how many Islas I have met since naming my own daughter Isla. Before we named her, neither of us had ever met anyone else with her name. Since seeing the big sign at the registry office, listing the most popular names of the year, with 'Isla' coming in at number 4, we've heard it everywhere!
I am in two minds about whether to recommend doing a first aid course whilst pregnant or a few months after the birth. I have done both, and can see the pros and cons to each scenario.
When pregnant, assuming it's your first, it's an awful lot easier to get out and about quickly, rather than when you have a baby as your sidekick. Also not to have to worry about looking after your baby during the class, so that you're really able to concentrate and you're not disturbing the others from learning, is something to consider.
On the downside, it can be quite hands on at some points, especially when you're practising resuscitation on the dummies, which is actually quite a lot of hard work.
In both classes the instructors recommended the pregnant mothers to sit that part out, as they are trained first aiders, not midwives!
Having attended a first aid course whilst pregnant, and now this one with my 6 month old, it’s interesting to be able to compare the two. I feel that having had some experience of life with a baby, and therefore being more aware of the dangers that present themselves everyday, has made the topics we covered feel far more relevant and important to me, which may be the reason why you choose to do the course after you've had your baby.
Whenever you decide to take a first aid course is completely up to you and your partner. I would urge that, if possible, you should both attend a class together. You just don't know when something might happen, and if it does you both want to be prepared.
I thoroughly recommend taking a First Aid Course for Babies and Children run by Daisy First Aid, to all parents; whether your children are babies or older, it's just good, important stuff which everyone should know!
I have found that ever since having my own child, I've been plunged into this world of being surrounded by babies and children of all ages all the time, and in doing this course, not only will I be able to help my own child, but other peoples too.
At the end of the course we all had the opportunity to purchase a Daisy First Aid Kit and a Handbook detailing all the topics we had covered and more.
The first aid kit is very small and compact perfect for your changing bag, and contains some quality equipment and materials suitable for common emergencies, especially for stopping bleeding. I'm sure will come very much in handy someday although I hope I won't ever have to use it!
If you’re interested in taking the first aid course for babies and children that I took, here are the details:
It’s a 2 hour course with prices starting from £25 pp.
The company runs small classes locally to where I live in Berkshire, and also in other counties.
Contact Claire: firstname.lastname@example.org
x Louise x