Have you ever had to deal with a choking baby? Just before Christmas, my sister and her husband and baby came to stay for a few days. One lunchtime, we were sat in the kitchen and I had my 8 month old niece sat on my lap. Taking my attention away from her for a split second, I suddenly realised that she had started nibbling on a tortilla chip and that she was starting to choke. She wasn’t making any sound, but she had started to turn bright red and her eyes were bulging a little. Despite me having done a First Aid at Work qualification with St John Ambulance a few years ago, my instant response was to feel full of panic. Luckily I then remembered to hit her on the back and this dislodged the chip and she started screaming. A crisis averted, and I remember how vigilantly you have to watch a weaning baby.
St John Ambulance has revealed today that four-fifths of parents (79%) wouldn’t know the correct technique for saving their baby from choking despite it being a major fear (58%) and 40% having witnessed it. Last week, they invited me to watch their new campaign, which includes a star-studded animated advert that teaches everyone what to do if a baby starts to choke. The film features the voices of David Walliams, David Mitchell, Johnny Vegas, and Sir John Hurt, who play several choking hazards who are fed up with babies choking on them.
St John Ambulance is asking people to share the film online widely with their friends and family so that as many people as possible can learn to save a life.
I also had the opportunity to attend a First Aid class and learn some First Aid skills. I also learnt that research St John Ambulance carried out suggested that of those who said they knew how to save a choking baby, only 29% actually knew the correct, recommended technique. Nearly three quarters of parents (71%) selected the wrong answer when given multiple choice options.
More than half the parents they spoke to thought attending a First Aid course or knowing First Aid skills would make them feel more confident and better prepared. As I was already a First Aider at Work when Pip was born, I never ended up attending another course, but I actually thought it would be more useful than attending an antenatal class, as knowing First Aid can literally be the difference between life and death.
For some reason, I thought that attending a First Aid course would be quite expensive, but actually St John Ambulance runs a 3 hour course for £30 (£25 plus VAT) which I think is excellent value. I am going to sign up M, stat. If you are interested, you can book your course here. You can also find out more information on the advert and other courses here.
I am giving away a copy of the updated First Aid Manual which includes advice on how to treat infant choking, and also a small travel First Aid Kit. The kit comes in a tough bag with a handle; we’ve hung ours from our buggy clip so that we know where it is and will automatically have it with us when we go anywhere. Enter by choosing one or more of the options below:
Terms & Conditions: 1. To enter First Aid Kit & Manual prize draw give-away you must either follow St John Ambulance on Twitter, follow The Little Pip on Twitter, or tweet about the giveaway. There are additional options for more entries. 2. The prize is 1 First Aid Manual and 1 travel sized First Aid Kit. No cash or alternative prizes will be given 3. The prize draw will start on 12.01.15 and end on 18.01.15 4. The winner will be picked from all valid entries 5. The winner will be notified directly via email. The winner must reply within seven days of receiving the email or a new winner will be picked at random. 6. I reserve the right to change the entry dates at any time, for any reason.
I wasn’t paid for this post but I did attend a First Aid class and receive a First Aid Manual and First Aid Kit from St John Ambulance.