First aid training for babies and children was something I had always wanted to do but with the arrival of Jake and the whirlwind of becoming a first time Mother it meant it became one of those things I just kept (naughtily) putting off. Then when William arrived 8 weeks early, it seemed to be the only thing I could think about. My perspective on child emergency care had vastly changed and when he was allowed to come home with us after 3 weeks in NICU, I was extremely nervous that something would happen and I wouldn’t know what to do. The hospital were amazing and provided us with basic CPR and choking knowledge before his discharge but I felt that I needed more in-depth training which would cover other possible accidents or medical situations, so when Alison from Mini First Aid Berkshire got in touch about attending one of her 2 hour classes, I jumped at the chance.
Mini First Aid was first set up by Kate Ball in 2014 after she saw a gap in the market for parent first aid training. She worked hard to build her idea and it has since grown to offer franchises all over the country.
Alison began running Mini First Aid Berkshire after becoming a Mother herself. Having worked as cabin crew for 12 years, the work no longer fitted in with her family and she needed a new venture to keep herself in work but she also had a burning passion to help other parents and what better way than to help them keep their children safe? First aid was a big focus for her in her previous job so it was a natural move for her to take up the franchise in Berkshire. Myself and my husband popped along to one of her classes in Bracknell over the weekend.
On arrival, we were greeted by Alison who was very warm and friendly. She was clearly organised and the class started right on time. She introduced herself and told us about how she started and why, and her passion for first aid was clear. She handed out information booklets on what the course would entail which also had plenty of space for our own additional notes. To quickly try and break the ice with the other course attendees (it was a nice sized class of approximately 12 people) Alison asked us to work in groups of 4 to jot down what we thought should be in a first aid kit at home. Cue a few blank faces and every single one of us jumping to plasters as our first answer! It is a basic thing but when you actually sit down to think about what is important it can be very easy to forget items which could be vital. Luckily, our booklet had all the answers and we could also purchase Mini First Aid’s first aid kit on the day too.
The next topic was the big one– CPR. It is the one none of us ever want to have to use but it is so important to have that knowledge just in case. You never know, it may not even be for your own child, you could end up helping somebody else’s one day.
Alison had 2 CPR dummies, one a baby and one a child. She confidently explained and demonstrated how to perform CPR and showed the difference between carrying it out on a baby under a year and on children aged 1 and up (to approximately 12/13). After showing us exactly what to do it was over to us to have a go…
The main pointers are to assess the dangers, make the area safe, check if the baby is responding to your voice, check they are breathing and if not, begin CPR. You should start with an initial 5 breaths followed by 30 chest compressions. On a baby, you would cover their nose and mouth with your mouth and perform the compressions using 2 fingers. In a child, you hold the nose and only breathe into their mouth and you perform the chest compressions with the heel of your hand. After the first round, you only need to carry out 2 breaths each time but continue with the 30 chest compressions. Learning on dummies like these made me realise how hard you really do have to press to get the right technique which surprised me because I would have naturally wanted to be more gentle. Knowing the theory is all well and good but having this type of practice has made me feel so much more confident in being able to perform it correctly.
We went on to also cover how to treat burns, shock, convulsions, bumps to the head, broken bones and how to spot the signs of meningitis. All of which were informative and insightful and there was so much I really didn’t know!
The other main part of the session was, of course, learning what to do if your baby or child is choking.
For this, Alison used her dummies again to demonstrate the techniques we could use– back blow and chest thrusts. Once she had taught us we all had a go…
This dummy was a great tool because if you got your technique right, the choking object was blasted out of the tube on the front! I was surprised to discover that when performing chest thrusts you actually go lower than I had thought and it is more of a ‘scooping’ move than an actual pull back. We also had the chance to wear vests and perform this on one another. The hubby received treatment from me which was hilarious and really showed me how hard to can be to get the right positioning if you were attending to a choking adult.
This course covered everything I felt I needed as a Mum, especially to 1 active boy and a baby, and I feel so much happier about knowing what to do if the worst was to ever happen. 2 hours out of my day to learn the essentials is nothing compared to leaving it to chance, is it? The course is also completely affordable at £20 per person and if you can’t make one of Alison’s group sessions she will happily book you in for training at your own home (as long as 6 or more attend).
I really enjoyed the day, we all learnt so much and had a laugh doing it, and it is something I would highly recommend to all parents and grandparents.
*Thank you, Alison, for the use of some of your photos for this blog post.
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*We attended this course free of charge in exchange for a blog review. As always, view and opinions remain honest and my own. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.