Mum saves choking child – just days after completing first aid course

This has happened numerous times after our first aid course. We get an email from someone stating that they are so happy they completed the first aid course last week because they just saved someones life. Doing a first aid course will give you the skills to provide first aid in an emergency situation.

Come and join one of our first aid courses held at the Parklands Hotel in Dickson.

The drama unfolded when five-year-old Poppy was having chips for supper with her father, James Taylor.

Her mother Sarah Jones, 32, was in the kitchen.

Sarah, 32, said: “I heard James telling Poppy not to eat so quickly or she would choke. The next thing, James shouted for help. I ran into the lounge and Poppy was making gasping noises. She couldn’t tell us what was wrong but I knew straightaway she was choking.

“I was panicking inside but I knew exactly what to do thanks to the first-aid course.

“I picked Poppy up with one arm and gave her three hard slaps on the back and the food came out. I just burst into tears because I was so relieved.

“Poppy was crying too but she was fine after a drink – although she hasn’t had chips since then.”


Sarah had learnt what to do in the event of choking during a St John Ambulance first-aid course early this month. She had volunteered because she wanted to be a first aider with her employer, Swift Air Maintenance, at Leicester Airport.

One of the things which stuck in her mind was a lesson from trainer Pete Dickinson.

He had shown what to do when dealing with a choking incident using an example from 2015 when he saved his own seven-year-old daughter from choking on a boiled sweet.

Sarah said: “Pete’s description was so similar to the incident which happened to Poppy that I just relied on instinct.

Pete Dickinson St John Ambulance trainer

“I think, if I hadn’t had the training, I would have been tempted to try and get the food out by putting my fingers in Poppy’s mouth which of course would have been wrong and might have pushed it down even further.”

Sarah immediately contacted Pete to thank him.

He said: “I am so pleased that Sarah was able to use her first aid training with such a positive outcome.

“The similarity between Poppy’s choking incident and my own daughter’s, and the fact that they were both saved by parents who had only learned the technique shortly beforehand, is striking.”

He added: “It shows how essential it is for people to learn first aid as you truly never know when you might need to use it – at home, in the street, at school or in the workplace.”

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