First Aid: “Better to know & not need, than need & not know.”

I worked for an affluent family while living in London some years ago. They had a little brood of three children, all under three years of age. At the time, I wasn’t a parent but I do remember thinking that the Mom was a little OTT (over the top) when it came to the safety and well-being of her little ones.

I oversaw the installation of stair-gates, fire-extinguishers, smoke detectors and spent hours researching various options of how to ensure the wooden balustrades’ and spindles of the staircase in their 18th Century house wouldn’t collapse under the weight of a tiny human falling against it!

The cherry on top, however, came when I was asked to arrange private pediatric first-aid training, for them to undertake in the comfort of their home over the course of a weekend. The couple would be joined by their Nanny and the children’s Grandmother who often visited both were often alone with them for extended periods of time.infant-cpr

I balked at the idea, citing it “a crazy waste of time and money.”

And then I had my own child. And suddenly the idea didn’t seem crazy at all.

Doing a first-aid course had been on our list of things to do since our son came into the world. And I’m happy to say that both my husband and I completed our Save-a-Child First Aid Course run by EduCare (branches nationwide) earlier this month.

The opening statement made by our instructor, Liesel Pottas, stuck with me, “First Aid” she said “it’s one of those things that it’s better to know and not need than need and not know.”

You hear horrific stories, from friends about friends of a friend who lost their child tragically in the family swimming pool. Or the quiet child being left, strapped in her car-seat for hours by an absentminded parent. Or the little boy found unconscious under the edge of a jumping castle at a birthday party. Or the toddler who inadvertently played with a nest of baby cobras only to be fatally bitten by the mother trying to protect her young. Or the toddler and his childminder being found in the swimming pool when his parents returned from work. These stories are sometimes so far removed from our sense of reality that while you sympathize you think to yourself “that could never happen to us.”

And the truth is; those parents whose lives and hearts are forever shattered were just ordinary people. Like you. Like me. Like us.

As parents, it’s our duty to ensure that we’re equipped with the knowledge and understanding of how to look after the well-being of any child in our care. It’s your responsibility.

It’s also your responsibility to ensure that your children’s childminder is given adequate training and support about what to do in an emergency.

Yes, time is in short supply. And money these days, even more so. However that could be the difference between knowing something when you need it most or not knowing it at all.

The first-aid course we undertook was in-depth and covered everything from CPR and choking for babies and toddlers, drowning and resuscitation, safety around the home, bleeding, breaks and sprains and a vast amount of knowledge sharing.

If I could sum up the course in one word it would be – invaluable.

We’ll soon be winding down after a busy/stressful year, spending time with family and loved ones. Taking that important and well deserved VaCa (holiday) or StayCa. However, this is the time when we, as parents, need to be on guard and truly vigilant. There are too many tragic stories about unnecessary, completely avoidable, accidents, during the holidays.

Since doing the course I’m suddenly, acutely aware that silence is not necessarily a good thing. Especially when you have a 10 month old in the house like we do. Just the other evening our son was playing in the lounge, I was in the kitchen starting dinner and my husband was at his desk. We were both less than 5 steps away from our baby boy. I looked up from where I was standing and noticed he had something very small in the palm of his hand that was being sucked on (yes, everything goes in his mouth). Now I know he doesn’t have any toys that size so I knew immediately that he had something he shouldn’t have. We both ran to his side to discover 2 AAA batteries lying beside him with the 3rd in between his chubby little fingers in his mouth. He’d managed to covertly extract the batteries from one of his toys. I understand from other, more experienced parents, that this happens often!

It sends a chill down my spine to think of what could’ve happened, if I’d looked up 30 seconds later or not looked up at all.

And that’s just one scenario in a whole heap that I’m sure we’re going to experience as parents. And I’m sure you have a few you could share about your little one. The only difference is that I feel slightly more at ease that I’m equipped with the knowledge of what to do if the scenario were to turn out differently.

So if you can’t think of anything to buy your partner this year for Christmas, buy them a gift that will last them a lifetime and hope that they never ever have to use it. Sign them up to do a First-Aid course.

Or better yet, sign yourself up.

Educare Logo[3]

EduCare are offering a 10 % discount or a ‘Buy 3 get 1 free’ on their Save-A-Child first aid course. Prices are dependent on the region you live in but start from around R350 per person. You must quote “Cute Baby” when booking.  

If you are on Discovery Health and are a Vitality Member you could earn yourself 2,500 points for completing a first-aid course.

EduCare have branches nationwide so contact your nearest one for more details.


A Save-A-Child First Aid Course plus a  First-Aid box equipped with all the bits & pieces you might ever need in an emergency. This prize is valued at R600 & is up for grabs to the WINNER of our November 2014 Competition.

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