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Girl Scouts get badges for First Aid Course and now … cybersecurity

First Aid Course in Dickson. Canberra First Aid Training. Nationally Recognised Certificate. One Day Course. Free First Aid Manual.

First Aid Course – Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo worked at NASA and IBM before she took the top job at the scouts’ headquarters in New York. Under her leadership, the organization recently unveiled a STEM program with new badges for cybersecurity, robotics and mechanical engineering. This comes at a time when the Girl Scouts face shrinking membership. Guest host Lizzie O’Leary talked to Acevedo about whether the badges make the Girl Scouts more relevant and if they’ll help girls gain marketable skills. She also asked Acevedo for an example of how the badges engage troop members in science and tech. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Sylvia Acevedo: If you’re in technology, you say, “Well, network is made up of seven different protocol levels, and the first level is the physical layer.” And the girls are like, “Whatever.” But instead what we do is, “You’re going to learn about networking, you’re going to sit in a circle and you’re going to talk.” And as you talk, you pass a ball of yarn to one another, and after 10 minutes of discussion, you look at where the yarn string as. And we say, “That’s a network.”

Lizzie O’Leary: There is sort of an interesting series of corporate partnerships here, too. So, for example, Raytheon is helping fund the think like a programmer badge. How do these corporate interactions work?

Sylvia Acevedo's custom Girl Scout badge shows her three favorite math symbols: infinity, pi and summation.
Sylvia Acevedo’s custom Girl Scout badge shows her three favorite math symbols: infinity, pi and summation. – Stephanie Hughes/Marketplace

Acevedo: So, yes, they do provide us some funding, but they’re also the subject matter experts. And we’re not the subject matter experts on cybersecurity. But we are experts in girls. And so we use them and they provide us that subject matter expertise. But then we bring in our girl expertise. How do we make it fun for girls? And so in the partnership, it’s not just writing a check but actually being very involved with us. And then as we begin to roll it out, we do know that many of them across the country want to help us be subject matter experts, so that as the girls are doing the badges and doing the work, that they’re involved in it as well.

O’Leary: What’s the metric to know if these badges are successful?

Acevedo: Wow. It’s really easy because we can see how many we have to order for the retail stores. And we know that those robotics badges, those hands-on STEM badges, design badges … they’re really popular.

Some of the new Girl Scout STEM badges in robotics, engineering and cybersecurity. 
Some of the new Girl Scout STEM badges in robotics, engineering and cybersecurity.  – Girl Scouts

O’Leary: The organization writ large has been struggling with membership decline over the last 15 years. These badges feel to me like a sort of attempt to focus on what’s very relevant now. It that how you see them?

Acevedo: We know that every girl has a mobile device in her hands, and we know technology is how she and her mom organize their day. And we want to make sure that when they’re connecting and communicating, that we’re there with them. So yes, we’re putting a lot of investment to make sure we’ve got the technology. And, you know, frankly, the world is being redesigned, and we want to make sure women and girls are at the table, reflecting our interests.

If you got the chance to make your own badge, what would it have? Maybe a notebook and pencil? Or a piano? A pair of running shoes? Tell us what you’d have on your badge. Email us your answer at[email protected].

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Follow Lizzie O’Leary at @lizzieohreally.
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Asthma Treatment

First Aid Courses in Canberra. After reading this information make sure you book in to a first aid course with us at Canberra First Aid and learn the practical skills for first aid treatment. 

Breathing is something most of us take for granted. However, not everyone is as fortunate.

Take five-year-old Jesse for example that narrates, “When I have my asthma attack, I feel like a fish with no wa­ter.” Ask any general practitioner and they will agree that asthma is one of the most com­mon presentations in general practice.

In my experience, nu­merous patients refuse to accept the diagnosis and in many instances will say – “I only get wheezy when I have a cold” or state that “I’ve grown out of my asth­ma and am symptom free “, when in reality they are coughing fre­quently or getting short of breath and wheezy.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, 235 million people suffer from asthma world­wide.

To put this figure in perspective, it is the total combined pop­ulation of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Singapore and Malaysia!

Asthma is the most common chronic disease among chil­dren. Asthma is not just a public health problem for high-in­come countries: it occurs in all countries regardless of level of development. Sadly, over 80 per cent of asthma deaths oc­cur in low and lower-middle income countries including Fiji.

In 2014, Fiji ranked number eight out of 172 countries in the world with regards to mortality rate from asthma with 21.85 per 100,000 population.

There were about 128 deaths from asthma in Fiji in 2014. (WHO, 2014)

It is known that asthma is under-diagnosed and under-treated throughout the world creating a substantial bur­den to individuals and families and possibly restricting individuals’ activities for a lifetime.

Acute asthma attack

An acute asthma attack can be classified as mild/moder­ate, severe or life threatening. It is important to recognise the signs and symptoms early and to start first aid before it is too severe.


  • Minor difficulty breathing
  • Able to talk in full sentences
  • Able to walk/move around
  • May have a wheeze or a cough

Start First aid if the above happens


  • Obvious difficulty in breathing
  • Unable to speak a full sentence in one breath
  • Tugging in of the skin between ribs or the base of the neck
  • May have wheeze or cough
  • Reliever medication not lasting as long as usual

If the above happens call the ambulance on 911 and com­mence asthma first aid

Life threatening

  • Gasping for breath
  • Unable to speak 1 -2 words per breath
  • Confused or exhausted
  • Turning blue
  • Collapsing
  • May no longer have wheeze or cough
  • May not respond to reliever medication


If the above happens, call 911 and commence asthma first aid

Asthma First Aid (Adapted from Asthma Australia website)

  1. Sit the person upright
  • Be calm and reassuring
  • Do not leave the person alone


  1. Give 4 puffs of blue/grey reliever puffer- ventolin or salbutamol
  • Shake puffer
  • Put 1 puff through spacer
  • Take 4 breaths from the spacer
  • Repeat until 4 puffs have been taken


So don’t forget – 1 puff 4 breaths

  1. Wait for 4 minutes
  • If there is no improvement then give 4 more puffs of reliever medication


  1. If there is still no improvement call the ambulance and continue give 4 puffs every 4 minutes

Managing Asthma

Although asthma cannot be cured, appropriate manage­ment can control the disease and enable people to enjoy good quality of life.

A common myth is that most children will outgrow asthma. Some children do outgrow their asthma, however many do not, especially those with severe symptoms.

Short-term medications are used to relieve symptoms. These are called reliever medications.

The above inhalers ventolin and asmol contain salbutamol and are called reliever medications. They provide quick re­lief from asthma symptoms. Reliever medications start to work within minutes and the effects last for up to 4 hours. They relax the muscle around the outside of the airway and help open it up.

All people with asthma must have a reliever medication so that they can use it whenever they have symptoms.

However, if you find that you need to use the reliever medi­cation more than twice a week (other than prior to exercise) then you need to consult with your doctor as your asthma may not be well controlled and there may be a need for pre­venter medication.

Possible side effects include increased heart rate and trem­or of the hands, which are short-lived and occur when in­creased doses are required during an acute asthma attack.

People with persistent symptoms must take preventer medi­cation daily to control the underlying inflammation, reduce swelling and prevent symptoms and exacerbations.

The above inhalers becotide and flixotide are inhaled ster­oid medications. Possible side effects include a sore throat, hoarse voice, or oral thrush.

These side effects may be reduced by using a spacer and rinsing your mouth after using the inhaler. There are other combination inhalers that are also used.

Other Acute Medications

These medications are used for treating a sudden or severe asthma flare-up.

It is a corticosteroid liquid or tablet that is taking for a short time 3-7 days to reduce inflammation. With short courses on­going side effects are unlikely. Longer term or frequent use can lead to side effects such as thinning of skin and growth issues in children.

A spacer is a plastic container with a mouthpiece at one end and a hole for the asthma inhaler at the other. The medica­tion is fired from the puffer into the spacer and is then in­haled. By using a spacer it is easier to take the medication and it also ensures that more of the medication is delivered into the lungs. It is recommended that all children use spac­ers with their reliever and preventer medication.

Adults are recommended to use their spacer with their pre­venter medication and with or without the spacer for their reliever medication.

Many studies have shown that using a spacer with your re­liever medication in an asthma flare-up is as effective as or even better than using a nebulizer and its faster and easier and there may be fewer side effects.

We can see that asthma is a chronic disease that cannot be cured but can be managed with commitment from the patient and family and regular visits with your doctor.

Wise words by 17-year- old patient named Sydney, “one step at a time, inhaler in hand I will fulfill my dreams and live life to the fullest”.

Till we meet next week, keep calm and breathe!

Check out our first aid courses at www.canberrafirstaid.com


Coconut Oil Is High In Saturated Fat

It’s time to stop turning to coconut oil to make your brownies healthier.

Coconut oil, it turns out, is not the health food people think it is. This oil might be stocked on the shelves of your health food store, but a recent report released by the American Heart Association suggests that this might be a mistake.

You’re not alone in this misconception. An AHA survey found that 72 percent of Americans considered coconut oil a health food. But coconut oil, it turns out, is shockingly high in saturated fats. And saturated fat ― even though some elements of its effects are up for debate ― isn’t good for you no matter how you slice it.

In fact, 82 percent of the fat found in coconut oil is saturated ― that’s significantly more than olive oil, which clocks in at 14 percent and canola oil, which contains a mere seven percent.

The AHA reviewed existing data on saturated fats and found that in seven out of eight studies, coconut oil actually increased LDL cholesterol ― the bad cholesterol ― which is a cause of cardiovascular disease. The findings were so clear that Frank Sacks, the report’s lead author, told USA Today, “You can put it on your body, but don’t put it in your body.” Roger that.

You’re better off sticking to oils that are lower in saturated fats such as the aforementioned olive oil. Olive oil, some studies suggest, helps good cholesterol do its job. And we can all use help with that.

CHeck out our fantastic first aid courses running every week in Dickson and Belconnen.

We provide the best training at a great price. www.canberrafirstaid.com


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/


Top Ten First Aid Tips

First Aid Course Canberra. Book in to a first aid course in Canberra on our website at www.canberrafirstaid.com. We offer excellent training programs for all first aid courses including the HLTAID001 Provide CPR, HLTAID003 Provide first aid and HLTAID004 Provide an Emergency Response in and Education and Care Setting.

First aid is the life saving, critical help given to an injured or a sick person before medical aid arrives. This timely assistance, comprising of simple medical techniques, is most critical to the victims and is, often, life saving. Any layperson can be trained to administer first aid, which can be carried out using minimal equipments.

 First aid is the life saving, critical help given to an injured or a sick person before medical aid arrives. This timely assistance, comprising of simple medical techniques, is most critical to the victims and is, often, life saving. Any layperson can be trained to administer first aid, which can be carried out using minimal equipments. Bleeding nose A nosebleed occurs when blood vessels inside the nose break. Because they’re delicate, this can happen easily. When this happens, lean slightly forward and pinch your nose just below the bridge, where the cartilage and the bone come together. Maintain the pressure for 5 to 15 minutes. Pressing an ice pack against the bridge can also help. Do not tilt your head back if your nose bleeds as you may swallow blood which can potentially go in your lungs. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 20 minutes or if it accompanies a headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears, or vision problems, please consult a health expert.
Sponsored Links by Taboola 5/15/2017 Top Ten First Aid Tips http://www.ndtv.com/health/top­ten­first­aid­tips­1670115 2/5
A Sprain Sprains occur when the ligaments surrounding a joint are pulled beyond their normal range. Sprains are often accompanied by bruising and swelling. Alternately apply and remove ice every 20 minutes throughout the first day. Wrapping the joint with an elastic compression bandage and elevating the limb may also help. Stay off the injury for at least 24 hours. After that, apply heat to promote blood flow to the area. If the injury doesn’t improve in a few days, you may have a fracture or a muscle or ligament tear so call a doctor.
A Burn If there’s a burn place it under cool (not cold) running water, submerge it in a bath and loosely bandage a first­ or second­ degree burn for protection. Do not put an ice pack on major burns. Ice can damage the skin and worsen the injury. Don’t pop blisters. Don’t apply an antibiotic or butter to burns as this can breed infection. First­degree burns produce redness while second­ degree burns cause blisters and third ­degree burns result in broken or blackened skin. Rush to doctor if the victim is coughing, has watery eyes, or is having trouble breathing.
Choking True choking is rare but when a person is really choking, he can’t cough strongly, speak, or breathe, and his face may turn red or blue. For a victim of age one or older have the person lean forward and, using the palm of your hand, strike his back between the shoulder blades five times. If that doesn’t work, stand behind the victim, place one fist above the belly button, cup the fist with your other hand, and push in and up toward the ribs five times. If you’re alone, press your abdomen against something firm or use your hands. Do not give water or anything else to someone who is coughing.
Poisoning Potential household hazards include cleaning supplies, carbon monoxide and pesticides. Bites and stings can also be poisonous to some people. If a person is unconscious or having trouble breathing, call the doctor. Do not wait until symptoms appear to call for help. And don’t try to induce vomiting. The poison could cause additional damage when it comes back up. The victim shouldn’t eat or drink anything in case of suspected poisoning.
Animal Bites In case of an animal bite, stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure until it stops. Gently clean with soap and warm water. Rinse for several minutes after cleaning. Apply antibiotic cream to reduce risk of infection, and cover with a sterile bandage. Get medical help if the animal bite is more than a superficial scratch or if the animal was a wild or stray one, regardless of the severity of the injury.
Bruises Ice the area on and off for the first 24 to ­48 hours. Apply ice for about 15 minutes at a time, and always put something like a towel or wash cloth between the ice and your skin. Take a painkiller if there is pain. Visit your doctor if the bruise is accompanied with extreme pain, swelling or redness; if the person is taking a blood­ thinning medication or if he /she cannot move a joint or may have a broken bone.
Diarrhea During diarrhea its essential to treat dehydration. Give an adult plenty of clear fluid, like fruit juices, soda, sports drinks and clear broth. Avoid milk or milk­ based products and caffeine while you have diarrhea and for 3 to 5 days after you get better. Milk can make diarrhea worse. Give a child or infant frequent sips of a rehydration solution. Make sure the person drinks more fluids than they are losing through diarrhea. Have the person rest as needed and avoid strenuous exercise. Keep a sick child home from school and give banana, rice, apple and toast. For an adult, add semisolid and low ­fiber foods gradually as diarrhea stops. Avoid spicy, greasy, or fatty foods.
Eye Injury If there is chemical exposure, don’t rub your eyes. Immediately wash out the eye with lots of water and get medical help while you are doing this. Do not bandage the eye. If there has been a blow to the eye apply a cold compress, but don’t put pressure on the eye. If there is any bruising, bleeding, change in vision, or if it hurts when the eye moves, see a doctor right away. For a foreign particle in the eye ­ don’t rub the eye, pull the upper lid down and blink repeatedly. If particle is still there, rinse with eyewash. If this too doesn’t help, see your doctor.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not cFRlaOiMmTrHeEsWpoEBnsibility for this information.


Australians ignorant of food allergy risks

First aid course Canberra. We are helping provide this information to our participants so that they  are aware of the suffering due to allergies and especially asthma and anaphylaxis. Book in to one of our first aid course in Canberra so that we can help train you.

Most people have no idea how to spot if someone is having a severe allergic reaction or how to help them despite Australia having one of the highest rates of food allergies in the developed world, research shows.

Four out of five adults do not know the signs of a severe allergic reaction to food and 70 per cent do not know how to help them or use a potentially life-saving adrenaline autoinjector or EpiPen.

Only four per cent of those surveyed by Galaxy Research knew you could be allergic to any food and half did not know you can develop an allergy to a food you have eaten before without a reaction.

The study showed most Australians are aware of common food allergies to peanuts, shellfish and seafood, but few people realise other triggers like bananas, kiwifruit and celery could also lead to potentially fatal allergic reactions.

The research revealed an extremely dangerous combination of lack of awareness and complacency, said Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia CEO Maria Said.

“We all need to be allergy aware – how to use an adrenaline auto-injector must become common first aid knowledge, just like CPR,” she said.

It is estimated more than 650,000 Australians have a diagnosed food allergy and there are about 30,000 new cases every year, Allergy & Anaphylaxis said on Sunday to mark the start of food allergy week.


Why having a defibrillator could save your business

At Canberra First Aid, our services extend beyond to just teaching first aid courses in Canberra. We pride ourselves on practicing what we preach and that includes supplying first aid and medical equipment to businesses, organisations and work sites.

Having first aid equipment is just as essential as having the knowledge on how to use it which is why we reinforce to our students whom attend our first aid courses, many of which are business owners, the importance of having the most up-to-date first aid equipment on hand.

Having the right first aid equipment can help you as a business owner protect:

  • Staff
  • Clients
  • Tradesmen
  • Contractors

One expense that many businesses are now investing in is defibrillators and with good reason. One Australian dies every 27 minutes from heart disease, which includes heart attacks and unfortunately this figure is continuing to rise.  Having a defibrillator on site can be the difference between life and death. People suffering from cardiac arrest have a very small chance of survival to begin and with a defibrillator you increase the chance of survival by around 60-70%.

If you are interested in having a defibrillator in your workplace or wanting more information on what they actually do, please contact our Canberra First Aid office today.


St John urges all parents be first aid ready

First Aid Course Canberra is looking to also let everyone in Canberra know that first aid courses are the best way to save lives. Book in to a first aid course with us now at Canberra First Aid and Training.

Would you know what to do if your child burnt their arm, ingested chemicals, or had an asthma attack? Would you know what to do if they couldn’t breathe?

St John (NSW) is urging parents across the state to make sure they know first aid. One in four parents are reportedly confident in their ability to perform CPR on a child – a statistic that needs to change, according to St John (NSW).

Joshua Clark is a St John (NSW) trainer and father to an eight-month-old, and says the figure was alarming but not surprising.

“It can take just a second for something to happen to a child, not matter how closely you’re watching them. What matters is that you know how to react if your child gets injured, because those first few minutes can be absolutely vital,” said Joshua.

“If you don’t know what to do, you can’t help them. Especially with children, acting quickly and giving them the right care can make all the difference.”

“I’d recommend everyone do a first aid course with St John. It’ll help you know to handle a range of situations – from minor bumps and bruises to potentially life-threatening situations.”

St John (NSW) says common childhood injuries include poisoning, choking, falling and burns. Knowing what to do in the event of an injury or illness is vital. That could include knowing when to call for emergency medical help, how to handle a choking incident, or how to apply a sterile bandage.

Anyone who has a child in their care for extended periods of time should know basic first aid. There are courses available that are specific to common childhood injuries.

St John (NSW) runs the one-day Caring For Kids course which covers a range of injuries including resuscitation of an infant or child, bleeding, choking, and poisoning. The course is run in both metropolitan and regional training centres across NSW.


This mum can’t stress enough the importance of knowing first aid

Another girl saved due to her mum attending a first aid course. Well Done. It only takes one day of your time to complete a first aid course and you will be grateful forever when you use the skills learnt. Book yourself into a first aid training session now so that you don’t regret it.


“TODAY we nearly lost Grace …” Kerry can’t say those words without trembling at the unbearable thought of what could have been.

“One minute it was just a normal morning – the next it was almost forever changed,’ the mum-of-three says when retelling the horror that was Wednesday.

“Grace isn’t allowed hard lollies. We cut her grapes in half because we are careful of choking hazards and we make sure to remind her to chew before she swallows. We’ve never had a problem before today.”

Yet the day in question nearly ended the four-year-old girl’s life from that very hazard.

Grace asked her mother for one of her 16-year-old sister’s eucalyptus lollies.

“I explained she couldn’t as she could choke and she had to wait until she was a bit bigger. I said she could taste a shard that had broken off in the bag instead,” her mum says.

Grace thought that meant she could have one and popped a lolly in her mouth.

“Next thing I knew she followed me into the lounge room clutching at her throat – the lolly had lodged in her airways and she couldn’t get any air in or out. She had a complete obstruction. I called to her older sister Tahya who immediately rang an ambulance,” Kerry says.

“I encouraged Gracie to stay calm and try to cough as hard as she could while I held her over my lap with one knee dropped with her face down on an angle and I thumped her hard five times on the back. I then turned her over and did chest thrusts and kept repeating the same steps.”

It was at this point that Kerry thought she had lost her little girl forever.

“I told her we could fix it but she lost consciousness and turned blue. So I turned her back over to her stomach and hit her back hard again one more time when she suddenly took a rattly intake of air and started to turn purple.  As she got some air back in and was taking rattly breathes she then coughed and swallowed and started to recover,” she explains to Kidspot.

“She was nearly in heaven but then she started to cry – she didn’t want to leave us. Tahya was praying out loud while she was on the phone to emergency services until the ambulance arrived and both of us almost collapsed in relief.”

After a short stint in hospital to check her vital signs and have a chest X-ray, Grace went back home as her “happy and joyful” self again.

“We are grateful more than words can express that we are blessed enough to have her come back from that horrible brink – something so simple, something you don’t expect,” Kerry says.

“They told Gracie I had saved her life but it was a group effort with Tahya staying calm and relaying all the information to emergency services and supporting us, leaving me able to render first aid to Grace.”

Kerry says learning what to do in an emergency choking situation while she was doing a first aid course just before Grace was born really helped her during the shocking ordeal.

“I want people to be aware that even as kids get older, choking is still a very real risk and it’s important to update your first aid training. And to also make sure hard round lollies are out of reach from temptation,” she says.

“I’m just so glad to be able to share this as a near-miss to warn others and not as a mummy whose world just ended.”

Signs and symptoms of choking:

  • clutching the throat
  • coughing, wheezing, gagging
  • difficulty breathing, speaking, swallowing
  • making a whistling or ‘crowing’ noise or no sound at all
  • face, neck, lips, ears, fingernails turning blue

What to do if someone is choking:

1. Encourage the adult or child to cough to remove the object

2. Call triple zero (000) if coughing does not remove the blockage,
or if patient is an infant

3. Bend the patient well forward and give up to five back blows with the heel of one hand between the shoulder blades, checking if the object is relieved after each back blow

4. If unsuccessful, give up to five chest thrusts by placing one hand in the middle of patient’s back for support and heel of other hand in the CPR compression position, checking if the object is relieved after each chest thrust

5. If blockage does not clear continue alternating five back blows with five chest thrusts until medical aid arrives.

If the patient becomes unconscious:

  • Call triple zero (000) for an ambulance
  • Remove any visible obstructions from the mouth
  • Commence CPR.


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.