There’s a saying that does the rounds whenever there’s some sort of disaster – be it terrorism, natural disaster or accident.
“Look for the helpers.”
I was thinking about this today when it occurred to me to wonder who the helpers are?
Sometimes, the helper is a professional. It’s the nurse who dresses your wound at A&E, the paramedic who helps your child when they’ve taken a nasty tumble. But often it’s friends, family members and neighbours. The people who step in to help until the professionals arrive.
My friend Jeanette is a fellow Scout leader. This week she was directing traffic after a road accident in a nearby town. A couple of weeks before that, she was giving first aid to a lady who had fallen backwards through a window. Before that, she was giving emergency first aid at the scene of a motorcycle accident. She’s a helper. And thank goodness for it.
Life’s unpredictable, but if we’re in a position to help when the unexpected happens, I think that has to be a good thing.
I took a paediatric first aid course just after Flea was born. I was amazed how little I knew about what to do if Flea was in trouble. I’m now an adult leader in Scouts, and have regular first aid training. It’s essential because I’m basically neurotic about these things.
Our Beaver Scouts are only six and seven, but they learn the basics of first aid. They start out learning how to put someone in the recovery position, to dial 999, and reassure a patient that help is on the way.
Accessing first aid training can be hard, though. The well-known courses are fantastic but may not happen near to you, and they can be time-consuming and expensive. So I was really happy when Mini First Aid got in touch.
Mini First Aid Workshops
Mini First Aid operates in 40+ locations across the UK. They run first-aid workshops for families, community groups and children of all ages. If you can get together a few friends at someone’s house, a school or community centre, then it can cost just £20 per person (based on 10 attendees) for a two-hour paediatric first aid course.
A lovely trainer – Paula from Mini First Aid Lancashire – came to my house. I invited four blogger friends to join me, and try out the workshop. We were horribly chatty and probably asked FAR too many questions, but Paula was brilliant. We worked methodically through a series of topics, from CPR and choking to burns and broken bones.
Paula brought along CPR models of babies and children to practice our techniques. It’s surprising how much pressure you need to apply when you’re doing chest thrusts or compressions. Having the opportunity to try those life-saving techniques in ‘real’ life is so important.
We practiced CPR on the models, and learned the rhythm and positioning. Paula helped us to perfect our chest thrusts (used when a baby is choking) and abdominal thrusts (for adults and older children).
As a side note, I’d like to apologise to Paula and Mini First Aid for the appalling liberties that Teddy took (repeatedly) with all the models.
Even if you’ve done first aid, the official advice changes regularly. This means it’s important to keep your training up-to-date.
For example, it’s absolutely not to use Sudocrem on burns because the oil basis with actually keep the injured area burning for longer. Our Mini First Aid session also ran through what should be in a family first aid kit, which was very useful.
I honestly cannot recommend Mini First Aid enough. The quality of information given was absolutely brilliant, and I love, love, love that the classes are affordable, accessible and convenient.
So many of us don’t know what to do in an emergency, and training can be hard to find, or involve taking time off work to travel to a training centre. What Mini First Aid provides is the chance to cover all the basics of paediatric first aid at a time and place to suit you, whether that’s a play group or your own front room. And at £200 per session, it won’t break the bank.
Mini First Aid runs sessions for kids of all ages, too. They can visit a Scout or Guide group, a play group or school. Lots of Year 6 classes book sessions after SATS, apparently.
Whatever age you are, I like that first aid training gives us the confidence that when something happens we can BE the helper, not just look for someone else to play their part. And isn’t that pretty amazing?
If you’d like to know more about Mini First Aid then you can check out their website here, or follow their Twitter or Facebook accounts. And if there isn’t a Mini First Aid near you, then do take some time to check out the St John Ambulance YouTube channel – you never know when something you watch there might help someone else.