****March 2016 Update*****
It’s been a while since I wrote this post and thankfully we haven’t had many medical emergencies during that time, but it’s always good to know that when something happens you are as prepared as you can be. The great news is that the same people who provided the training that I attended in Brisbane are now offering a Kids First Aid Online Course to find out more about the online course click here
First Published on 11 Jul 2014
Being at home on my own with three little people is a huge responsibility for many reasons, there are three people relying entirely on me for their nourishment, comfort and well being. If something happens good or bad I’m the one who will need to not only respond to that situation but also continue to ensure that all 3 are still safe.
In the past, the only first aid training that I’d participated in was basic CPR training for employees in the workplace.
When I came across a first aid course in Brisbane that was aimed specifically at the parents of babies and young children I signed up straight away. I organised for my husband to look after the trio for the afternoon and headed up to Brisbane for the course.
There were around twenty people at the workshop that I attended. Our workshop was presented by Katie who explained that she is a paramedic and that the course is deigned to teach parents and caregivers how to respond in an emergency situation so that the child is cared for in the best possible way until the paramedics arrive.
The workshop covered 10 different emergency situations and Katie talked us through each with examples of real events drawn from her extensive experience. She delivered the workshop with just enough humour to avoid traumatising us whilst teaching us the reality of what could happen to our precious little people and how to respond.
One of the things that Katie said that really stuck with me was that as a Paramedic she would rather attend a child who didn’t need to be hospitalised than have a child not make it to hospital in time because their carer didn’t dial Triple Zero.
At the end of the workshop we were all given a poster which outlines the key points that she had delivered, it also lists some emergency phone numbers and has spaces to write your own Doctors phone number and emergency contact numbers.
I went home and put the poster up in our living area where I now look at it every day.
A couple of weeks ago I experienced the first real emergency situation since the trio arrived. We’ve had bumps and scrapes and various virus’s and colds but this was different.
It was the middle of the night and I was the only Adult in the house. Michael suddenly started coughing uncontrollably and didn’t seem to be able to stop. He could hardly take a breath and I knew straight away that something was seriously wrong.
My first reaction was to pick him up, take him into the bathroom and run a hot shower in the hope that the steam would help his breathing. On the way to the bathroom I instinctively grabbed the phone and dialled my poor husband who received a quick panicked call from me during which we both agreed that I should dial 000.
Thanks to attending the kids first aid course I had no hesitation in calling for an ambulance.
I have no idea how long the Ambulance took to arrive but the operator stayed on the line and talked me through getting Michael into a comfortable position and calming him down. When the Paramedics arrived they told me that Michael had Croup, that he needed adrenaline to help control his breathing and that he needed to be admitted to hospital for observation overnight.
The logistics of getting to hospital and caring for all three children is another story, let’s just say that the Paramedics were helpful, patient and understanding of my situation and that I have a pretty awesome friend who not only didn’t complain about getting a phone call in the middle of the night but jumped straight in her car to come and help.
Looking back on that night I have to admit that I did panic a bit when I found my 2 yr old struggling to breathe but I got him the help that he needed as quickly as possible and I found a way to make sure that everyone was looked after during the whole process.
We had another emergency situation involving Michael only a few days later. He tripped and cut his forehead on a table edge. There was a lot of blood initially but I applied pressure to the wound with a clean cloth and the bleeding subsided I then applied an ice pack while I called the after hours doctor who came within a couple of hours and cleaned and taped the wound up. He did initially tell me that I needed to take Michael to hospital to get the wound glued together but when I explained my situation he decided to tape it up himself.
It just goes to show that you really don’t know what might happen and it’s much better to be prepared than not.
I strongly recommend that anyone with children or babies should attend a first aid course and preferably one that is aimed specifically at families and carers of children and babies.
To find out more about the Kids First Aid Online Course click here.