the majority of deaths during childhood occur during the first year of a child’s life-
RCPCH‘s website also discloses the Policy Response for Scotland to the report.
During which it lists the common factors relating to such deaths which include “preterm birth” and “low birth weight”, “smoking”, “maternal age”, “lack of sexual knowledge”, “lack of breastfeeding awareness” and (only touches on) the “lack of knowledge of sleeping safely” (might I also add, I was surprised to see that the report didn’t touch on the other areas relating to general safety hazards for kiddies such as Choking etc.).
Regardless, it recommends 6 different ways to combat the points raised, none of which focusing on providing training to the parents as opposed to the staff…
When I was in my teens I never really saw the importance of learning First Aid – maybe it was an immaturity thing, a selfish thing or a denial thing that I felt I would never come across a time in my life that I would need it.
That all changed when I fell pregnant. When I was pregnant, things were oh-so-laid back when it came to my routine midwife appointments, they asked me about my vitamins, they advised me to go to pre-natal classes but that was really it.
To me, there were no incentives to go to these classes and truthfully, with my pregnancy causing me no real cause for moaning and work being all about socialising (I am a Disc-Jockey), the last thing on my mind was being around nagging mums just to feel less “alone”! (That being said, had there been any courses available to me that I felt would help really put my mind at rest (say, er – First Aid, maybe?), I know I would have rejoiced!
The thought of being a parent (for both my now-husband and I), was absolutely petrifying as it forced us into the realisation that we were going into something huge, blindfolded!
And the panic didn’t end with the pregnancy, it continues on to this very day, and I’m told, it never ends…
WHAT IF now plays a HUGE part of our lives as parents – what if he hurts himself?, what if we don’t know how to get a ball of blue tack out from his mouth?, what if he stops breathing in the middle of the night?… what if, what if, what if!
And there are times we don’t even need to ask the question before it happens already – he fell off his high chair cos’ suddenly he can unfasten the belt himself, he ran into a table and got a bang to the head, he walked into a radiator and split his head open, he jammed his finger in a buckle… the list goes on and I’m sure you can relate?!
Our lives as parents is one of anxiety and being prepared for the unexpected – bracing ourselves for the “next time” after realising kiddies don’t learn the first time because they’re fearless (like we used to be once upon a time).
But…WHAT IF the NHS provided parents-to-be with a compulsory First Aid course specifically designed to reassure and prepare parents with the need-to-know knowledge in how to handle situations where our children fall/choke/stop breathing?
WHAT IF, we were able to refresh these courses throughout our children’s’ lives to often save ourselves the 6 hour wait at A&E just to be sent home with a plaster and some Calpol (honestly NHS, shame on you!) or worst case, to manage a situation as calmly as possible until the ambulance arrives?
Ultimately, as a parent, I feel we are missing a fantastic opportunity (that yes, we can find on a poster online) but to learn physically and through authorities eyes, to gain a certificate to instil peace of mind and confidence in our ability to care and provide for our children.
Accidents do happen – and if yours is anything like my son, it happens regularly and I cannot count the amount of times in his short life I had wished, I knew more to save myself the worry and wait while he sat in A&E bleeding for 5 hours before being seen by a nurse…
It’s these simple moments in parenthood that take it out of us as parents, when we are made to feel wrong for allowing our children to run around and get the occasional bump to the head.
First Aid and learning CPR, could potentially save lives, or at the very least a few scars and A&E visits.
Take the poll and join this cause!!!