Tag Archives: Emergency


Dealing with an emergency

 First aid course in Canberra. Learn today. Free First Aid Manual. Take home the skills to save a life. Asthma and Anaphylaxis first aid course.

No one wants to imagine having to deal with emergencies. But you can be a lifesaver if you know what to do and are able to help.Emergencies need quick action, not panic. It sounds like a cliché, but remaining calm is the key to acting sensibly and with confidence. The person in need of help will need your assurance, and sensing your own anxiety and panic will only increase his/her distress.

Don’t wait for an emergency before you refer to these pages. Prepare yourself now by studying this information and, better still, attend a first aid course. The information given here is not meant to replace practical training that is given on a first-aid course. Contact Canberra First Aid training organisation for courses in your area. If you have taken a course previously, make sure your skills are up-to-date. Make sure that your childminder knows first aid. Again, don’t wait until it is too late.

Post emergency telephone numbers next to all phones in your home and office and save them on your cell phone. Important numbers to keep are of an emergency service, fire department, nearest hospital, the poison information centre and your GP. Know the shortest route to hospital.

Any family member with a serious medical condition, such as a heart condition, epilepsy, diabetes or a drug allergy, should wear a MedicAlert tag or carry a card. This will ensure that proper care can be given. MedicAlert identification can be obtained at your pharmacy or doctor. List any serious medical conditions family members may have and keep the list handy. Teach your children how to call emergency numbers, and tell them to show the list to emergency medical personnel.

Keep a well-stocked first aid kit at home and in your car.

There is a wide spectrum of conditions that can be considered emergencies. Many may turn out not to be as serious as initially suspected, but if in doubt, it is better to react promptly now, than have regrets later.

Dealing with accidents and injuries

  • Stay calm, sum up the situation quickly and act fast.
  • Before you act, adopt the SAFE approach. Shout for assistance, Approach with care, Free the victim from dangers, and Evaluate the victim. Protect yourself and the injured person from danger or further injury. Look out for hazards such as oncoming traffic and fire. If you cannot reach the person without putting yourself in great danger, leave him or her and call the emergency services immediately. Remember that you will not be able to help anyone if you become a victim yourself.
  • Do not move the person unless there is imminent danger such as a fire. If the person must be moved, there should preferably be someone controlling the neck and head to keep them in alignment, and at least two other people on either side of the person to lift him without moving the spine.
  • Get help. Call out for someone to phone for emergency assistance.
  • Check for breathing.
  • Prioritise problems. Remember that the most obvious injury is not necessarily the most serious. Deal with the most life-threatening problems (such as blocked airway and excessive bleeding) first.
  • Check to see if the person is wearing a MedicAlert tag or other medical identification.
  • Loosen tight clothing and cover the person to keep him or her warm.
  • If there are no suspected back and neck injuries and breathing is normal, move the person into the recovery position.
  • In the case of serious injury or shock, don’t give anything to eat or drink.

When to call an ambulance
Calling for an ambulance is generally the fastest way to reach a hospital. A private car may be an alternative option, but only if the hospital is very close by.

In case of poisoning, contact the poison control centre immediately as emergency steps need to be taken before leaving for the hospital.

Call an ambulance if:

  • You don’t know what to do or are uncertain of the severity of the injury
  • Someone is unconscious or struggling to breathe
  • You suspect a back or neck injury
  • Someone may be having a heart attack
  • A person is seriously injured
  • A small child is injured, unless you have another adult with you who can drive
  • There is serious bleeding that you cannot stop

When you call an ambulance, state clearly:

  • The site of the emergency (include names of cross streets, if possible)
  • What happened to the victim and the victim’s condition
  • The number of the people injured
  • The age of the victim
  • Your name and contact telephone number
  • Any first aid currently being given

Do not hang up until the operator tells you to. This way you’ll be sure that you have given all the necessary information.

Check out our upcoming first aid course dates at http://www.canberrafirstaid.com/upcoming-courses/


ESA explores ‘mental health first aid training’ with new welfare manager

A very good idea for first aid training is the introduction of mental health first aid training. Canberra First Aid are looking into being able to provide mental health first aid training. Keep an eye on us.

A new welfare manager is looking at “mental health first aid training” for Canberra’s paramedics and firefighters.

In committee hearings on Tuesday, ACT ESA Commissioner Dominic Lane said the manager would lead a new mental health package over 2017.

“What the new package will do it tie together a few things,” Mr Lane said.

“We hope to rollout the next stage of our peer support program, which is looking at mental health first aid, and the main thing of course is the recent employment in the welfare program means we will have someone in ESA who will focus directly on this part.”

Mental health first aid programs run similar to physical first aid courses, but teach people how to deal with mental health circumstances until they find professional help.

Courses in mental health aid aim to teach skills in recognising the signs and symptoms of mental health problems, risk factors for these problems and how to deal with a crisis situation involving suicidal behaviour, panic attack, stress to trauma, overdose or threatening psychotic behaviour.


Mr Lane said while all emergency services were vulnerable to mental health issues due to their traumatic work, the new welfare manager will focus on long-time staff members who had developed issues over time but may not have sought help.

“The data we are seeing is that people are feeling cumulative affects of stress and trauma from many years in the role,” he said.

He said the new project would formalise some of the ongoing mental health training already provided.

ACT Emergency Services Minister Mick Gentleman welcomed the new management position and welfare package.

“We are looking at how we can provide as much welfare support as we can,” Mr Gentleman said.

“They are at that frontline, they do see trauma in their day-to-day-life and it is important we can support them through those processes.

A study by the University of New South Wales estimated around one in ten emergency workers suffer from PTSD, although rates are likely to be higher if retired workers are considered.


Why Every Parent Should Know Enough First Aid To Save A Child

First aid is a vital skill to have and being able to save someones life is something you will never forget. Our first aid courses are designed to help you feel ready to deal with an emergency situation. We don’t bore you with a long day of dull power point presentations we make sure that you are moving and practicing the first aid skills.


As a first responder — and as any of my professional paramedic friends will say — there’s nothing worse than attending a drowning incident involving a child and finding people standing around panicking and unsure of what to do.

With the prevalence of backyard pools in Australia and our love of the water, it’s an all too common scenario. To know that there was a chance to save that child’s life if only someone had even attempted CPR is just awful.

People panic — we get that — but first responders are human too and any incident involving a child really hits you emotionally.

Even rudimentary first aid skills could make all the difference in a drowning situation. Especially involving kids. Because with quick intervention — a drowning child has got a better chance of making it than adults do.

Statistics show that injuries and accidents are the leading cause of death in children aged 1-14 — and boys make up two thirds of that number.

Yet 40 percent of parents say they wouldn’t be confident in knowing what to do if their child — or another child or adult — were drowning and 25 percent say they wouldn’t be confident in administering CPR to a child.

I’m a parent to two kids myself and I can’t imagine any worse feeling in an emergency situation involving a child, than looking back and thinking “I wish I’d known what to do or I wish I’d done that first aid course I kept saying I’d do”.


A fairly minor accident I witnessed has always stayed with me. I saw a boy running around the edge of a swimming pool — in what seemed like slow motion, he slipped and bashed his face resulting in quite a nasty cut in his mouth.

Those kind of injuries tend to bleed a lot but aren’t necessarily serious. What really struck me was that his mum had no idea what to do and she went into shock herself because of the panic. She was screaming and crying and it was actually making her son worse.

Of course, it’s understandable. No parent can stand to see their child hurt or in pain, but if the Mum had a bit of an idea what to do she would’ve felt so much better because she had the skills to help her son.

Everyone’s busy, but in the critical moment where even a bit of first aid knowledge could save a life, I think most parents would rather be able to say they’d done all they could to prepare.

The stats say that around 50 percent of parents say they don’t have any first aid knowledge at all or wouldn’t know how to treat certain injuries.

The most common injury incidents involving kids under 15 — after car accidents — would be sporting related or falls especially from trampolines or bikes, scooters or skateboards. These often result in concussions, sprains and fractures.

Most people know what to do to stem bleeding, but I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen a big icepack dumped on top of a break or fracture which can actually cause more pain and damage because of the pressure.

People see swelling and immediately think ice but it’s not always the right thing to do. Just even knowing a bit about assessing injuries is helpful.

Other injuries or issues we’d most commonly see affecting kids are usually to do with burns, poisoning, choking, asthma or anaphylaxis attacks.I think having a broad range of first aid skills particularly those that cover off issues most likely to affect kids is a good place to start but even only knowing something about CPR is useful.

St John Ambulance WA offers a specific nationally accredited CPR course where you can come in for half a day and train in the recovery position and basic CPR. We also run Caring For Kids courses during school hours which covers all the major first aid components, including CPR, then if you want, you can go into more advanced training too.

First aid knowledge can go such a long way in making a bad situation less awful. I think of having first aid skills, especially as a parent, as like a type of insurance on your child.

Of course they’ll help if the worst happens — and hopefully you’ll never need them — but the peace of mind is priceless too.


South Sydney under scrutiny after Sam Burgess played on with concussion

Mar 23rd, 2017

The NRL will review a concussion suffered by Sam Burgess against the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night after the South Sydney lock remained on the field for four minutes before finally leaving for a Head Injury Assessment (HIA).

The concussion issue has bubbled along this week after the NRL handed down a record $350,000 in combined fines to the Gold Coast, Newcastle and St George Illawarra for failing in their duty of care to players who had suffered head knocks.

Burgess came off second best after rushing out of the line late in the first half to put a hit on Sydney Roosters hard man Isaac Liu. The Souths captain remained on his haunches before slowly rising to his feet and re-joining the play.

South Sydney lock Sam Burgess on the charge against the Sydney Roosters on Thursday night. (AAP)

The NRL review all HIA’s at the completion of the round to determine if the strict rules have been breached and they have already signalled their intentions to clubs over concussions this week after issuing heavy fines.

Channel Nine commentator Phil Gould said on his “Six Tackles with Gus” podcast for 9Podcasts that his greatest concern over the NRL’s tough stance was there would be a knee-jerk reaction from clubs now over concussion.

“It’s a difficult issue and if you’re going to throw $50,$100, $150,000 on top of that well now we’re going to be jumping at shadows,” Gould said

“As soon as a bloke rubs his head because he’s got a knock they’re going to be saying you’ve got to come off and have a HIA.

“We’re more and more and more sanitising the game of rugby league and now that we’ve actually got litigation around this concussion issue it’s a real problem. I don’t know how we play the game and avoid head knocks and avoid people getting hurt.

“It doesn’t mean that they’ve always got concussion and that’s the thing. We’re going to keep running players on and off to the HIA and I don’t know where it’s going to end.”

Newcastle is one of three NRL clubs who were heavily fined over their handling of fullback Brendan Elliott’s concussion in round three.

Gould said clubs placed their faith in their medical staff and it was sometimes difficult to diagnose concussion.

The Titans have already indicated they will challenge their fine, claiming one of the players the NRL had identified Joe Greenwood as suffering a concussion had actually copped a poke in the eye, while the Dragons and Knights are reviewing their options.

“People think it’s easy to determine if a player is concussed or not,” Gould said.

“It’s not.

“A player may be stunned, a player may be hurt, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s concussed and you trust your medical staff out there who have had the experience at this as to whether or not the player (is concussed).

“Just because a player goes down injured we shouldn’t have to get him off to test him for concussion all the time.”

Read more at http://wwos.nine.com.au/2017/03/23/21/52/nrl-expected-to-investigate-concussion-suffered-by-south-sydneys-sam-burgess#mVy5jb0MqDeMIWBW.99


The seven first aid myths paramedics are keen to debunk once and for all

Surely no one is still using these first aid procedures. If you want to learn about first aid come to one of our first aid courses in Canberra. We will make sure we dispel any poor advice you were taught in your last first aid course. It is important that you check out reviews of first aid courses before going along as there are some not great first aid courses out there and we want you to get the best training possible.

Pouring urine on a jellyfish sting. Sucking the venom out of a snake bite.

They are just some of the myths which have been circulating for years all over the world as effective first aid treatments.

But St John Ambulance is keen to debunk every single one of them, once and for all.

SJA’s top first aid trainer, Rondel Dancer, says in actual fact, such myths are doing more harm than good.

Some sound silly, laughable, but others are just downright dangerous, Ms Dancer says.

In her 25 years as a first aid educator Ms Dancer said she had “heard it all” when it comes to first aid myths and old wives’ tales.

Rondel Dancer is St John Ambulance WA’s First Aid Training Team Leader.Rondel Dancer is the First Aid Training Team Leader for St John Ambulance WA. Photo: supplied

Below are seven myths SJA wants to eradicate from people’s thinking for good. It could save your or someone else’s life.

1. Urinating on a jellyfish sting:

This is one of the more common first aid myths out there. It even appeared on an episode Friends back in 1997.

The theory is that the acidity of urine can blunt the stinging sensation caused when you come into contact with a jellyfish’s tentacles. This is true to a certain extent but not all urine is acidic enough to make a difference. Apart from being a bit gross, this is more likely to cause greater pain by triggering stinging cells that have been transferred from the tentacles to the patient’s body.

Rondel’s advice:

Be sure to rinse the area with salt water, not freshwater. Freshwater will prolong the pain by setting off those stinging cells. Once the tentacle has been gently washed off, apply either an ice or heat pack to reduce inflammation. Vinegar is another handy treatment option, but only for tropical jellyfish stings. If you’re unlucky enough to be stung by a Box Jellyfish seek medical assistance asap as they are among the most deadly animals on the planet!

Box jellyfish were responsible for three fatalities between 2000 and 2013.Box jellyfish were responsible for three fatalities between 2000 and 2013. Photo: National Geographic

2. Sucking the venom out of a snake bite:

Not only is this ineffective, it’s also downright dangerous. A common scene from old western and cowboy movies, sucking the venom from a snakebite actually damages tissue around the bite and can quicken the spread of venom around the patient’s body. Once bitten, a snake’s venom will spread quickly to a person’s lymphatic system and it’s an exercise in futility to attempt to suck it out.

Rondel’s advice:

Time is the critical factor when it comes to treating snake bites. The first thing you should do is call an ambulance. While the ambulance is en route keep the patient still and calm. Lay them flat and wrap a bandage around the wound before applying a pressure bandage, starting from the extremities of the limb, wrapping towards the body.

National Zoo and Aquarium Kernel, American Corn Snake, Pantherophis guttatus Photo by Rohan Thomson Please contact The Canberra Times - Scott Hannaford or Karleen Minney before use. 62802211Sucking the venom from a snakebite is not only a myth, its also dangerous. Photo: Rohan Thomson

3. Scraping off a bee sting:

While technically, this one isn’t exactly a myth because it is true that a bee sting can be removed by scraping it off the skin. However, the most important factor when treating bee stings is time. A bee sting will continue pumping venom into the skin after the bee has flown away, meaning the longer it’s in there, the more pain someone will experience.

Rondel’s advice:

Get that stinger out as quickly as possible. A bee sting won’t penetrate deeply into the skin and can be brushed, flicked, scraped or grabbed. Just don’t attempt to squeeze it out as this will release venom faster, cause more pain, and probably be ineffective.

4. Putting butter on burns:

German Surgeon General Friedrich Von Esmarch – the founder of modern first aid – missed the mark when he recommended applying butter, oil or grease to burns. Von Esmarch’s theory was that butter helped seal burns from air and prevent infection. But as anyone who’s spent time in the kitchen knows, oil is a great conductor of heat and far from an ideal treatment option for a burn victim. It also increases the risk of infection and is better left in the fridge.

Rondel’s advice:

Regardless of the size or severity of the burn the most important thing to do is immediately place the affected area under cool, gently running water. This not only soothes the burn, but also helps reduce scarring and can limit the amount of time a patient may need to spend in hospital. Keep the water running for at least 20 minutes and if possible, remove any clothing or coverings from the wound (unless melted to the skin). Remember not to place ice or frozen packs on the affected area as these are too cold and can often cause burns of their own. Also avoid creams or bandages and seek medical attention if necessary. And remember to keep the butter and oil in the pantry where it belongs.

5. Warming up a hypothermia victim by giving them alcohol:

Many people will tell you they feel warmer after having a glass or two of their favourite tipple. Alcohol does make you “feel” warmer as heat rushes to dilated blood vessels close to the skin’s surface. However, this has the effect of actually dropping your core temperature which can be very dangerous, especially for someone suffering hypothermia.

Rondel’s advice:

Hypothermia can set in when body temperature falls below 35 degrees and common symptoms include severe shivering, slurred speech, and a slowed heart rate. People experiencing or at risk of hypothermia should remove any wet or damp clothes if possible, wrap themselves in a blanket and cover their heads with a beanie. A warm drink will also help, just make sure to steer clear of beer and spirits.

6. Using raw meat on a black eye: 

This is yet another myth that has its roots in Hollywood and is much more fiction than fact. Because meat is cold, some believe that it helps reduce swelling and inflammation. In reality, you risk infection by transferring bacteria from the meat into your eye.

Rondel’s advice:

Keep steak in the fridge and use a cold pack instead. Make sure it’s wrapped in a cloth or a towel to avoid potential frost bite and remember to always keep ice away from your eye as it can cause damage. If you experience blurred vision or other eyesight problems, seek medical attention as soon as possible. A pack of frozen peas can however be a good substitute though if you don’t have an icepack or compress.

raw meat  steak  generic istock  red meatRaw meat on a black eye is a big no no.

7. Rubbing your eye when you get a foreign substance in it:

Rubbing your eyes causes tears, so you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a good way to flush out a foreign substance. However, rubbing your eye can actually cause damage by scratching the eyeball, particularly if the substance is something coarse like sand.

Rondel’s advice:

Try rinsing your eye with cold water instead. This is likely to be more effective and there’s less risk of permanent injury. Many first aid kits come with eye flush solution which is also a good option. If this doesn’t work, cover the eye and seek medical assistance.


10 Ways To Teach Children About Basic First Aid

We love this article at first aid courses in Canberra. We hope you enjoy this as well. We are trying to get the emphasis to schools in the local Canberra about the importance of first aid training for their staff but this article on explaining first aid to students/kids is great. Our first aid courses are designed for adults but we can come to you and complete a basic children’s first aid course so that they are aware especially of when to call 000. Some great ideas before you attend a first aid course here though.

“Mom, give me some ice.” Ranvir, 6, and Viraj, 4, hardly ever seem to get along. One can spot them getting on their mother’s nerves on several occasions. “Such is the case with siblings, especially boys, I guess,” says their mom, Smriti.

Last week however, Ranvir surprised his mother when he came running into the kitchen looking for ice. His brother had fallen off the bed and had got a bump on his head.

“Not only did Ranvir cajole Viraj, he even applied ice and an antiseptic cream on the wound,” says Smriti, proudly.

Smriti says that she feels a certain sense of relief knowing that her child is well equipped to be a caregiver in case there’s a need. “These are required skills you know and should not be looked upon as burdening the child.”

It’s comforting to know that children are competent, especially when it comes to first aid. “Nobody can misguide them,” she says. Plus, these are survival strategies that human beings should know.

Knowing first aid can be fascinating for children if we use the right methods. All we need to do is combine learning with our day-to-day slips and falls; our job is done.

Want to know how? Read the following 10 tips:

1) Wounds as stories

“I treat wounds while giving tips.”

Pranali, mother of a four-year-old, explains every step of the first aid that she gives to her child. Recently, he fell down the stairs and bruised his knee.

“I’m cleaning the wound with antiseptic first. This avoids infection,” she said as she started first aid. Then, she went on to explain that after cleaning, she is applying an antiseptic cream.

“I was crossing my fingers because he licks everything,” she chuckles and explains how her son took the tube of cream in his hands and looked at it as she applied.

“Shaurya stops crying and gets distracted when I involve him in doing his own first aid. I think he learns and remembers my tips,” says Pranali.

If you’re comfortable and calm while giving first aid to your child, you can help him/her remain calm during medical emergencies too. Also, you’re teaching first aid.

Sounds cool. Doesn’t it?

2) Replicate

“He’s a lot into superheroes. They thrill him,” says Ashish. His seven-year-old enjoys action-packed films and does not get anxious or scared when he witnesses accidents. That gave Ashish an idea to teach his son about first aid by replicating a few things at home.

“I used socks and cotton balls to display swellings,” when his son had wanted to see what a swelling around a wound looked like. Ashish also showed him the way to tie bandages.

“I put some tomato sauce on my arm, told my son that a wound bleeds like that, and taught him how to bandage it. The sauce made it fun!”

Ashish believes that there’s no harm being realistic with your children. They need to know how the human body reacts during adverse situations so that, god forbid, if they are in similar situations, they know what to do.

Makes sense!

Doctor doctor!3) Play doctor

Well, this is a tried and tested, age-old method that still works. Playing doctor with young kids teaches them a lot about medical emergencies while maintaining a dose of fun.

“I don’t want him to get nightmares about cuts and wounds,” says Anamika. Her son is barely three and they’ve recently bought him a doctor’s kit. Since he wants to learn how to use it, she uses playtime to teach him about first aid.

“I know he is still too young, but I thought why not start now,” she explains.

Children learn fast when they find fun and relaxation in learning which is why Anamika feels that planning out serious first-aid sessions may not work with her son. During his natural urge for playing doctor, she is teaching her son about injuries, falls, and accidents.

“He listens to it like a story. Later, he’ll know better and by then, we’ll have bypassed the fear,” she exclaims.

First aid kit!4) Make a kit

Mumbai-based preschool teacher Jhanvi tells me that making a first-aid kit together is a good way to teach children the uses of each thing that go into the kit.

It also helps them understand that the first-aid kit is to be used in case of an emergency, it isn’t a toy.

“Yes, many times my kids play with the kit and spoil the contents, especially creams. It’s risky but I need to keep the kit easy-to-reach too,” says Dipika, mother to two boys.

Making a kit together will work as a DIY activity as well as a session on the importance of first aid. Try it!

5) The priority list

“My daughter does not have patience to sit and listen. Even if it’s her favourite activity, I cannot make her sit for more than 10 minutes at a stretch.”

Ridhima’s daughter is like any other kid—she lacks patience. Making a priority list of problems where first aid might be required and teaching children about those aspects first, helps curb this problem.

So, what can be included in this list?

  • Stopping a wound from bleeding
  • Holding nostrils to stop a nosebleed
  • Running a burnt body part under water
  • Putting ice over swellings

“We made a decorated chart with kids where we drew different body parts and basic first aid for them. It was fun,” says Shradha from Notre Dame Academy, Patna.

Why don’t you try making a quick chart or list too?

6) ‘Might’ happen and not ‘will’ happen

“Don’t scare them by saying that these things will happen. That’s key to teaching first aid,” says Dr Thakrey from Mumbai-based Sai Swasthya Clinic.

“Make them feel like superheroes who have the power during any medical emergency,” he says. He explains that describing to children the gory details, plus how important it’s to manage oneself during a medical problem will scare them and first aid should work as a fun tool.

“Kids are smart enough to apply knowledge when needed, we need not push it,” he concludes.

7) All that breaks

“I introduced him to first aid for fractures by using a doll. By slowly bending the doll’s limbs, I spoke about cracked bones and he listened to me, mesmerised,” says Sheena.

Sheena is a dentist who is currently a stay-at-home mom. She enjoys passing on her medical knowledge to her six-year-old.

Sheena says that talking to kids about bones and blood supply grabs their interest. “These things are real and there’s a lot of fun in reality,” she says. She has explained to her son that when bones get hurt, blood oozes out from them, which is why they hurt so much.

In these times, one must be patient with the person who is suffering the pain. Secondly, if he comes across someone who has fallen or is complaining of a hurting bone, he should immediately call another adult to help. Calling for help is also first aid.

First aid for fractures and sprains also means making the person who has fallen sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Not touching the hurting bone is the last, but most important rule.

“Helping out without a first-aid kit also comes under first aid, doesn’t it?” asks Sheena and I agree. Don’t you?

8) Raise an alarm!

“They should know that calling an adult to help is sometimes the best help they can provide,” says Dr Thakrey.

Shalini, a marketing executive with a cosmetics firm and mother of two, says that children should be taught to raise an alarm. It’s not their job to assess a situation. By raising alarms during medical emergencies, they will help themselves out of the situation and help the person in need too.

So, teach them to raise an alarm!

9) Mind over matter!

“We dropped him and went grocery shopping next door. Our cell phones were out of reach in that basement shop. He managed alone!”

Swayam had hurt himself at the football field and was feeling faint after that. His coach did some first aid and thereafter, tried calling Swayam’s parents. He was not able to get across to them, but felt helpless since the rest of the team of six-year-olds could not have been left unattended.

While Swayam sat in a corner and waited for his parents, he decided to breathe and stay calm. He pulled out his napkin and pressed his wounds till he felt better.

“We arrived and panicked when we saw the coach panicking around him. But our son stayed calm,” say Swayam’s parents.

They add that we might not always have resources for first aid and even if we have them, they may not work if there is no presence of mind. So along with first aid, teach your kids to employ their minds too!

10) A kid is but a kid!

“Every time I talk about first aid, I talk about personal safety first,” says Swati.

She believes that the safety of her two sons is more important than them helping out. “You can’t jump into a pool to save someone even if you know how to swim,” she tells her kids.

Dr Thakrey says, “Kids are taught first aid to help. That does not mean that they fix other’s problems on their own. They also need to be taught whether a situation demands first aid or not.”

“Getting close to open wires, people who have burnt themselves, or someone injured on the road is not the business of kids,” he adds

“I don’t talk to my sons about all the scary things that might happen,” says Swati.

Don’t you think she’s right? Children need not worry about consequences as they learn first aid. All they need to focus on is that knowledge is fun and that they can help themselves if certain situations arise.

As they say, knowledge is power!

What are the ways in which you teach first aid skills to your child? Share a couple of ideas with us in the ‘Comments’ section below.


Level 2 and 3 job-starters must have first-aid training

Be the first to comment

All newly qualified Level 2 and 3 entrants to the early years workforce must have a paediatric first-aid (PFA) certificate within three months of starting work in order to be included in ratios.


Suggested training providers include St John Ambulance

All newly qualified Level 2 and 3 entrants to the early years workforce must have a paediatric first-aid (PFA) certificate within three months of starting work in order to be included in ratios.

The requirement, originally intended to start in September 2016, has been added to the revised Early Years Foundation Stage framework, effective from 3 April.

The EYFS now says all entrants who completed a Level 2 or 3 qualification on or after 30 June 2016 must have either a full PFA or an emergency PFA certificate.

Newly qualified entrants include staff who had been apprentices or long-term students and have gained a Level 2 or 3.

Those who started work between 20 June 2016 and 2 April 2017 must hold either of the certificates by 2 July 2017 to be included in ratios.

Providers can make an exemption if staff are unable to gain a certificate due to disability.

Annex A of the framework provides further detail of what training has to be completed in order to obtain either a full or emergency PFA certificate (see box, right).

It states that settings are responsible for identifying and selecting a ‘competent’ training provider to deliver their PFA training. A number of training providers are suggested, including St John Ambulance, the Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid.

Training for the full PFA should last a minimum of 12 hours, and a minimum of six hours for the emergency PFA.

The certificates should be displayed in settings or made available to parents and renewed every three years.


The revised framework also incorporates the new Level 3 qualification requirements, replacing the GCSE-only rule.

It states, ‘To count in the ratios at Level 3, staff holding an Early Years Educator qualification must also have achieved a suitable Level 2 qualification in English and maths as defined by the Department for Education on the Early Years Qualifications List published on GOV.UK.’

Other updates include references to the Prevent Duty guidance, and training for staff on female genital mutilation.

The new framework says ‘training made available by the provider must enable staff to identify signs of possible abuse and neglect at the earliest opportunity, and to respond in a timely and appropriate way. These may include – any reasons to suspect neglect or abuse outside the setting, for example in the child’s home, or that a girl may have been subjected to (or is at risk of) female genital mutilation.’

There is also information about DBS disclosures and barred list, which reminds providers to check disclosures for employees and consider whether they contain any information that would suggest a person is unsuitable for a position before they start work with children.

It says providers can check the status of a disclosure if a potential or existing employee has subscribed to the online DBS Update service. Where a check identifies there has been a change to the disclosure details, an enhanced DBS disclosure must be applied for.


Mention is also given to the 2011 physical activity guidelines, to which providers ‘may wish to refer’. Dr Lala Manners, director of Active Matters, said this does not go far enough.

In a letter to Nursery World, Dr Manners said, ‘The Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines have been relegated to a footnote on page eight, as “guidance on physical activity that providers may wish to refer to”.

‘What an abject dereliction of duty by all concerned. Where is the incentive for anyone to read, let alone implement or embed, these guidelines in daily practice?

‘How come an initiative that was deemed important enough by the Department of Health to be included in the Obesity Strategy is considered completely superfluous by the DfE?’

  • Read Dr Manners’ letter.


The full PFA training covers:

  • What to do if a child is having an anaphylactic shock or electric shock;
  • has suffered burns or scalds, a suspected fracture, head, neck or back injuries;
  • has suspected poisoning, a foreign body, eye injury, bite or sting;
  • is suffering from the effects of extreme heat or cold; or
  • is having a diabetic emergency, an asthma attack, allergic reaction or suspected meningitis.
  • Understanding the role and responsibilities of a paediatric first-aider.

The emergency PFA covers:

  • Assessing an emergency situation and prioritising what action to take.
  • Helping a baby or child who is unresponsive and breathing normally or not breathing normally.
  • Helping a baby or child having a seizure, choking or bleeding, or suffering from shock caused by severe blood loss.

Great news in the UK that many more workers are going to require a first aid course so that they can work. Make sure you get yourself trained at a local first aid course so you can get ready in case of an emergency or if this requirement comes to fruition in Australia.


First aid tips: Best ways to tackle mishaps from allergies to tick bite

Here is a good little article with lots of basic first aid procedures. Make sure you book in to a full first aid course though so that you can keep your accreditation up to date. First aid courses can deliver you with all of the skills that you need. In Canberra we feel that we train the best first aid courses so book in now.

HERE are the latest tips on how to treat the most common and serious medical conditions so you’ll know exactly what to do if one strikes.


“The number-one solution for a burn is 20 minutes under cool running water,” Peter LeCornu, national training manager at St John Ambulance Australia, says. “After that, cover it with a loose, non-stick dressing. If the burn is bigger than a 20-cent piece, see your doctor or a pharmacist. If it’s bigger than the palm of your hand, head straight to hospital.” Do not use ice or apply lotions, ointment or fat to the burn. If the burn is deep, seek urgent medical advice.


“If you’ve just received a cancer diagnosis, acknowledge that feeling a range of different emotions is normal,” Nicole Cook, clinical psychologist at Sydney’s MindFrame Psychology, says. “It can be quite overwhelming to think of all the ‘what ifs’, so try to stay in the moment. Discuss the diagnosis with whoever you feel most comfortable talking to. That could be friends and family or a counsellor. If someone close to you has received a cancer diagnosis, listen. It might not feel like much but it’s the best thing you can do.”


Picture: iStock

“Panic attacks can be overwhelming and scary,” Cook says. “The first thing is to remind yourself you’re not in danger and encourage calm thoughts. A panic attack will cause rapid, shallow breathing, so try to counter that with slow belly breathing. If panic attacks are happening often enough to significantly impact your life or cause debilitating fear, see a psychologist.”


“Give the person five sharp blows to the middle of their back using the heel of your hand. Failing that, give them five chest thrusts – stand next to them with the heel of one hand on the lower half of their sternum and one in the middle of their back and thrust,” LeCornu says. If a child is choking, use back blows. Don’t tip them upside down or put your fingers in their mouth or throat.


“Prevention is always the best cure,” associate professor Chris Baker, president of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, says. “But if you get caught out and are suffering from mild sunburn, use a simple moisturiser, such as sorbolene, and a cold compress on the area. Simple is best when it comes to after-sun lotions, and I’d avoid anything that’s highly perfumed or has an anaesthetic agent in it.”


Picture: iStock

“Mild heartburn can often settle with a glass of milk and rest,” GP Dr Elizabeth Sturgiss says. “For anything more severe, use over-the-counter tablets or liquids.” If that fails, seek urgent medical advice to rule out a more serious issue.


Picture: iStock

“A fever is considered temperatures above 38˚C,” Sturgiss explains. “If you have a fever for more than 48 hours or if paracetamol isn’t helping to bring it down, make an appointment to see your doctor. If, however, you have a fever as well as neck stiffness, difficulty with bright lights, a bruise-like rash, drowsiness or confusion, get to the hospital. Exercising to ‘sweat out a fever’ is a myth so don’t try it. Children with fevers should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.”


“The most common form of allergic reaction is hayfever, which can cause sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, and a runny or blocked nose,” Sturgiss says. “If you’re having these symptoms for the first time, see your doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Then, over-the-counter medicines and steroid nasal sprays will help relieve symptoms. An acute allergic reaction can be caused by a range of things and cause a number of different symptoms, from itchy rashes and sneezing right through to life-threatening airway swelling and breathing difficulties. If it’s a severe allergic reaction, call an ambulance and give the person first aid while you wait for it to arrive.”


“Keep well hydrated by drinking a combination of water and electrolyte solutions frequently,” Sturgiss says. “It’s also important to rest. If you’ve had ongoing diarrhoea for 48 hours, it’s worthwhile visiting your GP. If you’re vomiting too, don’t leave it any longer than 12 hours before seeing a doctor.”


Picture: iStock

“It’s crucial you get the whole tick out, so only try to remove it if you’ve got tick-removal forceps,” LeCornu advises. “With normal tweezers, it’s really easy to get the body out but you often leave the head behind. If you don’t have the right forceps, get to a doctor.”


Picture: iStock

“The message is simple: R-I-C-E,” LeCornu says. “That is, rest, ice, compression and elevation. Sit down with an icepack on the area for 15 minutes every two hours for the first 24 hours. Also use a compression bandage on the area for at least 48 hours and elevate it for as long as you can.”


Picture: iStock

“Make sure it’s a migraine and not a bad headache, which can be treated with paracetamol or ibuprofen,” Sturgiss says. “Migraines tend to be on one side of the head and they throb. The best thing for migraines is aspirin washed down with coffee. We think spasms in the brain vessels cause migraines, and the aspirin and coffee work together to dilate them and relieve the pain.”


“If someone blacks out with no warning, they should see a doctor immediately,” Sturgiss says. “But if someone feels they’re about to faint and then does, it’s less serious. Put them flat on their back on the floor with their feet up at a right angle. If they don’t wake in a few minutes, call an ambulance. If they do wake, keep them lying flat for 5-10 minutes and then ease them up gently. Have them sip some fluids. If they’re acting oddly or feeling unwell, call an ambulance.”


“The first step is to put gloves on to reduce the risk of infection,” LeCornu says. “If the area is bleeding, stop it by applying pressure. Then use water or saline and sterile gauze to clean the area and get any nasties out. After that, apply a soft, dry dressing. If the wound can’t be cleaned or if there’s something stuck in there, that’s when you should head to the doctor.”


“Concussion is the result of a head injury so it always needs to be treated seriously,” LeCornu says. “I’d call an ambulance straight away and then keep the person lying down until the ambulance arrives.”


“Increasing your fibre intake with more vegetables, whole fruit with the skin on and wholegrains, as well as upping water intake, should be the first step,” Sturgiss says. “Exercise also gets the bowels moving.” If that fails, see your doctor.


“Book in to see your doctor,” Sturgiss says. “While you’re waiting, keep your fluids up so your urine is almost clear – that will help flush the bugs through. You can also get effervescent drink sachets that will make your urine less acidic so it’s less painful.”


“People who are depressed tend to think negatively and be self-critical so an easy tip is to ask yourself whether you’d talk to a friend in the same situation as you’re talking to yourself,” Cook says. “Writing your thoughts down and trying to challenge them can also help. So can exercise because it improves mood and sleep quality. Last of all, ask for help – it’s never too soon.”


“Chest pain that lasts for a few seconds is something that should be followed up with your doctor,” Sturgiss says. “But if chest pain lasts more than a few minutes or comes with difficulty breathing, racing heart or feeling unwell, call an ambulance quickly.”


Picture: iStock

We’ve all had that queasy feeling but Sturgiss says, “Severe or persistent tummy pains should be discussed with your doctor, who will do a comprehensive assessment of your medical history and a physical examination. There’s no common remedy for a stomach ache and they can be caused by so many different things so it’s really important to get to the bottom of the cause.”


Picture: iStock

“Even a mild toothache warrants a visit to your dentist,” Dr Gary Smith, president of the Australian Dental Association Queensland, says. “The most likely cause of a toothache is sensitivity, decay or a cavity, all of which need treatment. Other causes include fractures, gum disease and even things unrelated to the teeth such as sinus infections and heart disease. Have regular check-ups.”


“If a person is having an acute asthma attack, they will have difficulty breathing, trouble speaking and may even collapse,” Sturgiss says. “Help them use their puffers and call an ambulance. If someone has undiagnosed asthma and is experiencing wheezing, coughing or breathlessness when exercising, they should book in to see their GP. It’s also especially important for people with asthma to avoid cigarette smoke.”

* If you or someone else is in need of urgent medical help, call 000. For 24-hour health advice and info: Health Direct, 1800 022 022. For 24-hour mental health support: Lifeline, 13 11 14.