First Aid training – Why knowing what to do saves lives

Here is a great article by our guest blogger and first aid trainer Emma Hammett on the importance of first aid.

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I first truly appreciated the importance of First Aid Training when I was working in the Burns Unit at Queen Mary’s Roehampton. I was looking after a little boy undergoing desperately painful skin graft treatment for his burns. His Mum had panicked when she spilt hot coffee on him and run outside to get help rather than treating his burns. If she had calmly run the area under cool running water – he may not even have required hospital treatment.

Basic First Aid can mean the difference between life and death and can make a huge difference to the extent of someone’s recovery, the amount of pain they are in and how long they need to be in hospital. Prompt First Aid can help sometimes someone recover completely without the need for medical intervention at all!
Accidental injury is one of the biggest single causes of death in the UK for children over the age of one. More children die each year as a result of accidents than from illnesses such as Leukaemia or Meningitis.

The recent national “Save a Life Survey” involving over 2000 people, showed that a third of all parents have had to rush their child to hospital at some point.
The survey, carried out by Mother and Baby Magazine in association with supermarket chain Tesco, in September 2009, found that 82% of mothers and fathers would not have a clue what to do if their child fell over, started choking or was burned.

Mother and Baby’s editor, Dani Zur, identified a crying need for parents to educate themselves on all aspects of the safety and welfare of their children. ‘It should be top of every parent’s list to learn basic life-saving first aid.’ She also felt parents would worry less about their children if they knew what to do should something happen, she is quoted as saying that; ‘Mums worry constantly, yet they would be able to alleviate some of their worries if they felt confident that they would know what to do in an emergency.’

Therefore it is quite alarming that eight out of ten parents don’t know basic first aid procedures that might save their child’s life. Every parent should know what to do in an emergency. A fact of life is that children do have accidents and although most are thankfully minor it should be top priority to learn first aid. In excess of half a million toddlers are rushed to accident and emergency each year following accidents in the house – with an average of 76 under 4s dying as a result. Furthermore, a further quarter of a million toddlers are injured or killed in garden-related incidents.

The following RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) statistics make alarming reading:

500,000 children need to go to casualty annually after accidents in the home

125,000 children are killed or injured in garden accidents.

20,000 children end up in casualty departments with burns

5,804 children are injured in road accidents.

3,227 children are injured as car passengers

100 children die from severe burns every year

70 children are killed on the roads every WEEK!

Most common emergencies for babies and toddlers:


Burns and Scalds

Cuts and Bruises

Unconscious or not breathing

Every year one million children under the age of 18 are taken to Accident and Emergency units after being involved in accidents in the home. Many more are treated at home or by their GP.
Many of the accidents that happen in and around the home can be avoided. By identifying and understanding potential accident risks in the home, you can take some basic safety steps that will keep your children safe and give you peace of mind.

Most young children have some injuries and accidents. Most will be minor, but it’s sensible to know what to do if the accident or injury is more serious.

Children need to be able to explore and enjoy their environment and they shouldn’t be wrapped in cotton-wool. However basic sensible precautions to keep them safe, along with the knowledge as to what to do if an accident occurs, will make a difference.

Book a practical course now, have a go at resuscitating a manikin or removing an obstruction from a choking baby and learn hands-on Life-Saving skills – The skills you learn could equip you with the knowledge to save your child’s life!

Emma Hammett_HR

Emma Hammett – First Aid for Life

First Aid for Life is an Award Winning HSE and Ofqual Approved First Aid Training Company and we are the leading suppliers of exemplary First Aid Training in SW London.
This information has been provided for guidance only and is not a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

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