When the twins were about 9 or 10 months old I did a course on adult CPR and first aid skills, with the British Heart Foundation. It was an eye opener, that’s for sure.
We had a mannequin called Choking Charlie; an incredibly life-like rubber torso that was used for demonstrating the Heimlich manoeuvre.
It was SO life-like. His face was contorted as though he was choking; and it gave me the chills. I literally couldn’t take my eyes off him. When I mentioned this to the fireman who was taking the course, he said it was lifelike because the torso was based on a young boxer who had choked to death.
The mannequin was essentially a death mask.
Strong stuff indeed. Apparently his parents had had the foresight — and generosity — to donate his body to science. And his torso had been cast to create the mannequin that we use today.
I came home and became obsessed by the whole choking issue. The boys had recently started weaning and I found the ‘what to do when your baby is choking’ page in my book, typed and printed it out (in MASSIVE text) and stuck it on to the fridge door.
I figured that — in an emergency — flicking through a book, looking for baby first aid, may take up too much valuable time. Clear instructions, right in front of me, was a much better option.
Happily, the British Red Cross have just launched a brilliant FREE new smartphone app which negates the need for a giant poster on your fridge! It’s already received a 4 star rating on the Apple App Store and it’s easy to see why.
Covering so many topics, from choking to burns, to what to do if your child swallows a hazardous substance, it’s packed with useful advice, videos, animations and tips — all at your fingertips — so you’ll only be a couple of clicks from knowing exactly what to do in an emergency.
Help at your fingertips
Knowledge is power
As a parent you want to feel totally equipped for dealing with childhood emergencies.
Knowledge is power, as they say, and the British Red Cross want to educate and inform parents about the importance of learning first aid skills. As well as the app they’d also like to encourage parents to take a course in first aid (these are held across the UK – click here for more info); particularly parents who have kids aged between 0-12 years old.
Personally, I think learning first hand — about first aid — is such a valuable lesson. Taking part in the course with Choking Charlie really stayed with me.
This post has been written in collaboration with the British Red Cross; but, as ever, all thoughts, words and images are my own.