First Aid training – is it a priority?

Emma Hammett with Mannequins First Aid for Life

 

Would you know how to cope with a medical Emergency? Every day children die needlessly in the UK – when basic first aid would have saved their lives. Would you know what to do?

The recent national “Save a Life Survey” involving over 2000 people, showed that a third of all parents have had to rush their child to hospital at some point.

The survey, carried out by Mother and Baby Magazine in association with supermarket chain Tesco, in September 2009, found that 82% of mothers and fathers would not have a clue what to do if their child fell over, started choking or was burned.

Mother and Baby’s editor, Dani Zur, identified a crying need for parents to educate themselves on all aspects of the safety and welfare of their children. ‘It should be top of every parent’s list to learn basic life-saving first aid.’ She also felt parents would worry less about their children if they knew what to do should something happen, she is quoted as saying that; ‘Mums worry constantly, yet they would be able to alleviate some of their worries if they felt confident that they would know what to do in an emergency.’

Therefore it is quite alarming that eight out of ten parents don’t know basic first aid procedures that might save their child’s life. Every parent should know what to do in an emergency. A fact of life is that children do have accidents and although most are thankfully minor it should be top priority to learn first aid. In excess of half a million toddlers are rushed to accident and emergency each year following accidents in the house – with an average of 76 under 4s dying as a result. Furthermore, a further quarter of a million toddlers are injured or killed in garden-related incidents.

The following RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) statistics make alarming reading:

  • 500,000 children need to go to casualty annually after accidents in the home
  • 125,000 children are killed or injured in garden accidents.
  • 20,000 children end up in casualty departments with burns
  • 5,804 children are injured in road accidents.
  • 3,227 children are injured as car passengers
  • 100 children die from severe burns every year
  • 70 children are killed on the roads every WEEK!

Most common emergencies for babies and toddlers:

  • Choking
  • Burns and Scalds
  • Cuts and Bruises
  • Unconscious or not breathing

Accidental injury is one of the biggest single causes of death in the UK for children over the age of one. More children die each year as a result of accidents than from illnesses such as leukaemia or meningitis.

Every year one million children under the age of 18 are taken to accident and emergency units after being involved in accidents in the home. Many more are treated at home or by their GP.

Many of the accidents that happen in and around the home can be avoided. By identifying and understanding potential accident risks in the home, you can take some basic safety steps that will keep your children safe and give you peace of mind.

Most young children have some injuries and accidents. Most will be minor, but it’s sensible to know what to do if the accident or injury is more serious.

General Safety Advice from RoSPA

  • Children should be supervised at all times.
  • Keep floors free of toys and obstructions that can be tripped over.
  • Always use a securely fitted safety harness in a pram, pushchair or highchair.
  • Never leave babies unattended on raised surfaces.
  • Do not place baby bouncers on raised surfaces – they could fall off with the movement of the baby.
  • The use of baby-walkers and table-mounted high chairs is not recommended.

Children need to be able to explore and enjoy their environment, they shouldn’t be wrapped in cotton-wool. However basic sensible precautions to keep them safe, along with the knowledge as to what to do if an accident should happen, will make a difference.

First Aid is not one of those areas that can be learnt from a book, there is no substitute for attending a practical course and having a go at resuscitating a mannequin or removing an obstruction from a choking baby.

DOWNLOAD FREE HELPSHEET:  “Help my child of choking

 

Emma Hammett
First Aid For Life
www.firstaidforlife.org.uk

Disclaimer: The information in this article should not be used as a substitute to obtaining medical advice.  If you have any medical concerns, you should discuss these with your GP, or visit the NHS Choices Website which provides detailed information on what to do in an emergency.

 

 

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