A few months ago we had quite a serious choking incident with Pearl. She was sitting happily eating bread in her highchair, around 7 months old. She was loving trying foods and would always put way too much into her mouth, taking another bite before finishing the first. Taking another big bite, all of a sudden she just stared back at V with a absolute panic in her eyes, her mouth open, not making a sound – it was clear in that instant to see she was choking. She didn’t cough or splutter, it was just the look in her eyes that told us everything we needed to know. V took her out her highchair and gave her hard blows to her back and luckily the lump of gooey chewed bread was dislodged. The whole incident was probably just seconds but it felt like a lifetime. Obviously, she was fine – but this incident really has knocked our confidence when it comes to weaning and made me realised a situation can occur in seconds. I’m on my own a lot with the children so I realised I needed to be ready to tackle anything that could happen within seconds.
A couple of weeks later I had an email from Sarah – She runs Daisy First Aid Brighton & Hove. She asked me if we’d like to take a first aid course and explained the course would be two hours long in the comfort of our own home. She could even do evening times, which was even more perfect as there was no need to organise childcare as we could organise it for once the babies were in bed. Even though we had both done first aid courses in the past, I think it’s a skill that ALWAYS needs to be refreshed, whether you are an expert or a complete novice. I wanted to put those skills right at the forefront of my memory, so I would be ready should the worst ever happen.
So, last week Sarah arrived at our house in her bright turquoise t-shirt with the biggest, friendliest smile. From the get-go she was amazingly warm and friendly. We chatted over tea as she set up her equipment whilst V battled to get Pearl to sleep (because of course they didn’t go to sleep on time as we had plans!) and it was like having a friend over for a catch-up, Sarah makes you feel so comfortable and is just lovely. She is a trained nurse with 16 years spent in child protection, so is highly experienced and clearly knows her stuff, whilst being super passionate about it too.
The course covers everything you need to know to practice emergency life saving first aid as well as training to handle common illnesses and accidents too. As you can see, we just sat in our living room in a completely relaxed environment – toys, mess, cups of tea and all! The course topics include how to treat an unconscious casualty, CPR, recovery positions, choking, meningitis, burns, bleeding, head injuries and lots more – with each topic taught at a relaxed but informative pace, with lots of time to practice each technique or ask any questions along the way. I really liked how we were able to learn at our own pace and it wasn’t a test, Sarah was there to help and answer any questions, no matter how silly!
As the course progressed, I realised just how rusty my first aid skills were! It had been years since I took a course and it’s amazing how many little details you forget along the way. The guidance also moves and changes with the times and I realised some of my knowledge was way out of date too. The areas I really felt were helpful were learning and practicing CPR again – it was great to practice this hands on and putting each other in the recovery position too brought it all flooding back.
Obviously, the learning to deal with choking was a bit raw and brought back the fear I felt on that day, but I tried to look at it as a positive that I’d be more clued up on how to help, although I’m hoping I’d never be in that position again!
At the end of the two hours, Sarah presented us both with certificates to say we’d completed the course and when she left I felt happy and positive that we’d taken the time to brush up on our skills as I felt ready to deal with anything.
It was pretty good timing as just coincidentally that evening Violet broke out into a horrific fever and was vomiting repeatedly throughout the night – it turns out she had Scarlet Fever! This wasn’t actually an illness covered in the course, but just having that hands on first-aid practice earlier that evening helped me to feel calm and think through what I needed to do to care for her – I was able to use some of the skills learned that night to help and get through the night.
All in all, I’d wholeheartedly recommend any parents or carers to consider taking a first aid course with Daisy First Aid, whether you are pregnant, in the thick of two little ones like me or have older children – there is still so much to learn (even if you have done First Aid before) and you never really know what is around the corner – learning those vital skills could help to save a life!
For information on Daisy First Aid Brighton & Hove – please see their Facebook and Instagram pages here, Sarah also does a lot of charity work, especially with The Connor Saunders foundation who fund raise tirelessly to provide defibrillators to schools across Sussex making them heart safe – more info this can be found here.
Daisy First Aid is also taught at various locations around the country, so if you aren’t local find your nearest course here.
A big thank you to Sarah for taking the time out to visit us and teach us our vital First Aid Skills!
* We were kindly given a complimentary course in return of an open and honest review