Tag Archives: First Aid Courses



Canberra Winter: A handy survival guide for newcomers

First Aid Course Canberra. Nationally Recognised Certificate. Excellent Trainers. Free First Aid Manual. Free CPR Facemask. Great location.

There is no denying it – winter has definitely come to Canberra.

Whether it is your first winter in the city, or you just need a timely reminder as the mercury dips once more to sub-zero temperatures, here are some tips about how to get through the capital’s coldest months.

Rug up and stay healthy

Chances are, if you are not a long-time Canberran you are probably not wearing enough layers – the Michelin Man look is very in right now.

Invest in a decent jacket and do not be afraid to accessorise with gloves, a scarf and a beanie.

Rugging up gives you the chance to show off to your friends further north that you actually have a separate winter wardrobe, but it can also help you avoid getting sick.

And it is just as important to stay warm and keep healthy at work too.

Doctors recommend washing your hands properly, avoid sharing cups with workmates and regularly disinfecting your desk, keyboard and phone.

The annual flu vaccination is also available and is free for pregnant women, people aged over 65 and most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Defrost your car windows

If you have moved from warmer climates and have not had to deal with this pesky task before, it can be difficult to know the right thing to do.

Parking your car under some sort of shelter (even a carport is helpful) is always best, but if your car has to be out in the elements there are a few ways to clear the accumulated ice:

  • Invest in an ice scraper (it will take you forever with your credit card).
  • Place a towel over the front windscreen to stop the ice from accumulating (but remember to make sure all your windows are defrosted before driving).
  • Pour water on your window to defrost the ice (do not use hot water as this may cause the windscreen to crack).
  • Blast that car defroster.

Embrace it – head to the snow

There is no use fighting it – it is definitely going to be cold for a couple of months. But one of the great things about Canberra is that the city and its surrounds are beautiful in winter.

Thredbo and Perisher are just 2.5 hours drive away from the capital and both ski resorts are expecting a dumping of snow in the coming week.

A little closer to home, Corin Forest provides lots of family fun and takes less than an hour in the car with the kids to get there.

Or why not take a road trip? Explore the capital region’s wineries or visit nearby country towns like Bungendore, Yass, Murrumbateman or Gundaroo.

Exercise or take up a hobby

Exercise is the best way to fight off those winter blues – otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD.

SAD often strikes during winter with a reduction in daylight hours and can mean reduced energy levels.

But if you can work up the motivation, rug up for a morning stroll around Canberra with your camera. True Canberrans know the best way to tease your friends on Facebook is to show off how well your city does winter.

If you can not brave the cold, head to the gym or enjoy an indoor sport to get those endorphins flowing.

Doctors recommend you still keep up your fluid intake though, saying we should be drinking the same amount of water while exercising in winter as we do in summer.

Stay in

There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying in and hoping the cold days pass quickly. And it pays to keep your home as warm, yet as energy efficient, as possible.

While it may be tempting to pump your heater and pretend its summer, your hip pocket will not thank you come bill time.

The ACT Government’s Actsmart website recommends keeping your thermostat between 18C-20C in winter, claiming for every 1C you lower the temperature you can save 10 per cent on your heating bill.

The website also offers lots of tips about making your home more energy efficient, including how to best insulate your house, the most efficient heating options and they even run free workshops on how to draught-proof your home.

Book in to a first aid course in Canberra on a cold winters day. Date available at website www.canberrafirstaid.com


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


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.


8 elements to a compliant, effective first-aid program

I am pretty sure we cover this in our first aid courses, although taken from the USA this still outlines all of the components needed in a first aid course.

Make sure you update your first aid course every three years, there is always something new to learn. We will remind you via email when you have previously done a first aid course with us at Canberra First Aid and Training.

Minutes count when someone is injured or becomes ill on the job. You can keep the situation from getting worse by providing the right type of first-aid treatment right away.

Anyone who has been designated by an employer to provide first aid must have thorough training on how to respond to the injuries and illnesses anticipated in the workplace. Employees who are not designated first-aiders should know how to promptly report injuries and illnesses. Here are eight elements that can be used as a general introduction to first-aid programs.

1. Introduce OSHA’s expectations for first-aid programs

Where an accident is possible based on hazards and can result in suffocation, severe bleeding or other life-threatening or permanently disabling injury or illness, OSHA expects a three- to four-minute response time from the time of injury to the time of administering first aid. If such a life-threatening or serious injury is unlikely, OSHA allows a longer response time, such as 15 minutes.

To ensure treatment is available within these time frames, OSHA requires the employer to train persons to render first aid when there’s no nearby hospital, clinic or infirmary that’s used to treat all injured or ill employees.

First-aid providers perform the initial assessment of injuries and illnesses and provide immediate care and life support before emergency medical service (EMS) professionals arrive.

2. Display your first-aid supplies

First-aid supplies must be readily available in an emergency. There must be appropriate supplies (in adequate amounts) for the types of injuries and illnesses that are likely to occur based on an understanding of the activities in the workplace.

OSHA says that medical personnel must be available to consult with the employer on matters of plant health. Employers can work with the medical professionals who treat injured employees to get help in determining what supplies should be in the facility’s first-aid kits and how many kits are needed.

As guidance, employers can consult American National Standards Institute standard Z308.1, Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits. It describes two classes of basic kits. The Class A kit contains the following:

• Adhesive bandages, 1 inch x 3 inch
• Adhesive tape, 2.5 yards
• Antibiotic ointment
• Antiseptic
• Breathing barrier
• Gel-soaked burn dressing
• Burn ointment
• Cold pack
• Eye covering with a means of attachment
• Eye/skin wash
• First-aid guide
• Hand sanitizer
• Medical examination gloves
• Roller bandage, 2 inches
• Scissors
• Sterile pad, 3 inches x 3 inches
• Trauma pad, 5 inches x 9 inches
• Triangular bandage

The Class B kit contains a larger quantity of all of the items listed in the Class A kit, and also includes:

• Roller bandage, 4 inches
• Splint
• Tourniquet

3. Emphasize the importance of first-aiders taking universal precautions to prevent exposure to bloodborne pathogens

Blood can carry microorganisms such as hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that can cause serious diseases. OSHA’s bloodborne pathogens standard, 1910.1030, applies to all “occupational exposure” to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIMs). Employees who are expected to provide first aid as part of their job duties are covered by the standard.

When a first-aid response involves exposure to blood and OPIMs, first-aiders must use “universal precautions.” This is an approach to infection control where all human blood and certain body fluids are treated as if they were known to be infectious for bloodborne pathogens. Wearing rubber exam gloves and protective clothing is part of following universal precautions.

4. Explain how first-aid providers start by assessing the situation

When first-aid providers arrive at an accident scene, they first evaluate what happened, how many people are injured, and whether it’s safe to enter the area. In serious situations, they’ll make sure EMS professionals are on the way.

First-aiders must ensure their own safety before they can help the injured. They’ll consider everyone’s safety when they decide on making rescues and moving victims. They’ll assess the injuries of each victim. They’ll check for responsiveness, breathing, and circulation; and they’ll look for any medical alert tags a victim might be wearing.

5. Outline first-aid response to life-threatening emergencies

Life-threatening medical emergencies can involve conditions such as:

• Chest pain
• Stroke
• Breathing problems
• Allergic reactions
• Seizures
• Severe bleeding

If an injury is life-threatening, first-aid providers are trained to:

• Perform rescue breathing, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation ( CPR), and use an automated external defibrillator ( AED)
• Recognize the signs and symptoms of shock and provide treatment
• Control bleeding with direct pressure
• Provide other treatment to stabilize the victim

6. Discuss AED programs

OSHA’s Best Practices Guide: Fundamentals of a Workplace First-Aid Program says that an AED should be considered when selecting first-aid supplies.

AEDs provide the critical and necessary treatment for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) caused by ventricular fibrillation. Ventricular fibrillation is the uncoordinated beating of the heart leading to collapse and death. An electric shock delivered by an AED can restore the heart to a normal rhythm. Using an AED within three to four minutes after the victim has suffered SCA significantly improves the survival rate.

Administer CPR until the AED unit is brought to the victim. This basic form of life support uses chest compressions and artificial respiration.

7. Outline some non-life-threatening emergencies encountered by first-aid providers

First-aid providers know how to provide initial treatment for conditions such as:

• Cuts, abrasions, puncture wounds, crushing injuries, and other wounds
• Burns
• Frostbite, hypothermia, heat stroke, and other temperature-related conditions
• Sprains and strains
• Eye injuries

Even though these conditions may not be life-threatening, the victim may still need medical treatment beyond first aid.

8. Summarize your program

Every employee needs to know how to report a medical emergency. A quick response is necessary when there is an injury or sudden illness. However, the response needs to be made by personnel who have proper training.

Judie Smithers is an editor at J. J. Keller & Associates, a compliance resource company that offers products and services to business professionals. Smithers’ subject matter expertise covers safety training, lockout/tagout, permit-required confined spaces, hearing conservation, exposure monitoring, personal protective equipment, asbestos, lead, radiation, and illumination. Previously, Smithers was the health and safety information coordinator for an industrial company.


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.


How to save a life – first-aid advice you’ll actually remember

The bystander affect is a thing people. Time to book in to a first aid course so that you and your family are ready in the case of a first aid emergency situation. Our first aid courses cost minimal time and money and can get you ready for the moment. Canberra First Aid Courses are fun and academic get involved today.

A British Heart Foundation report suggests that our reluctance to intervene is killing people who are in cardiac arrest. Here are some simple, memorable steps you can take to help

CPR should be given to the rhythm of Stayin’ Alive (about 100-120 beats per minute).
CPR should be given to the rhythm of Stayin’ Alive (about 100-120 beats per minute). Photograph: Ruth Jenkinson/Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

What would you do if you saw someone collapse, clutching his chest? Spring into action, or trust that somebody else might? Maybe it’s not that serious, I think he’ll be OK. Wouldn’t want to cause a fuss, right? Well quite possibly he isn’t OK, and, according to a new report, only three or four in 10 of us intervene in these circumstances, at the cost of thousands of lives.

Resuscitation to Recovery, published this week by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), reveals that a lack of confidence and training – and even a fear of embarrassment – are killing cardiac arrest victims. The stats are stark: survival chances drop by around 10% with each minute without a shock to the heart, either by CPR or a defibrillator. After 10 minutes, survival chances drop to 2%.

“The most common thing people say to us is they wouldn’t do anything because they wouldn’t want to make things worse,” says Clive James, a trainer with St John Ambulance. “But in the case of cardiac arrest, you can’t make it worse because if you don’t do something that person will die.”

Waiting for an ambulance is not an option, and the report estimates that 1,000 lives a year could be saved with improved training and awareness, and the provision of more public defibrillators, which carry simple instructions.

James, 52, who started learning first aid as a nine-year-old cadet, says aide-memoires are vital in making advice stick, and giving people the confidence to act. In the case of CPR, he advises providers to compress the chest to the rhythm of Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees (a method famously advocated by Vinnie Jones in a 2012 BHF advert). “It used to be Nellie the Elephant but the key is that it’s faster than people think,” he says (about 100-120 beats per minute).

St John Ambulance also uses “FAST” for spotting the signs of a stroke (Facial weakness; Arm weakness; Speech problems; Time to call 999). For choking victims, there are four steps: cough; slap; squeeze it out; call for help (encourage the person to cough, use five sharp blows to the back, squeeze out the obstruction using up to five abdominal thrusts or Heimlich manoeuvres, then, if all else fails, call). The final step is call for help.

The new report also illustrates how first-aid advice evolves, incorporating new research. “When I started there are things we’d consider to be barbaric today,” James says. Broken collar bones were bandaged forcefully in such a way to separate the bones. “Now we just say get the arm into the most comfortable position for the person to get them to hospital.”

In 2014, St John Ambulance issued new advice on helping choking babies. Previously, parents were told to place the child face down along one forearm and strike the baby’s back with the other hand. Now the advice is to place the baby on a thigh while sitting down, supporting it with one hand while striking with the other (five times with the heel of the hand between the shoulder blades).

Amazingly, first-aid training is still not required in schools. In 2015, the BHF, St John Ambulance and the British Red Cross expressed their dismay after Tory backbenchers blocked a bill that would have made it compulsory in secondary schools. In the meantime, awareness is key. “Nobody should ever be afraid to help someone in need,” James says.


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

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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.


Top Ten First Aid Tips

Book in to one of our first aid curses in Canberra to get our top ten tips. These are good but we can teach you the skills to administer first aid also. So get trained in a first aid course today.


Top Ten First Aid Tips
Timely assistance, comprising of simple medical techniques, is most critical to victims.
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.

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. First-degree 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.

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.


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.

Ice the area on and off for the first 24-48 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.

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 claim responsibility for this information.


EMS providers to receive mental health first aid training

Mental health first aid is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis

Mental Health Commission

OTTAWA, Ontario — Mental Health First Aid Canada and St. John Ambulance announced a new agreement that will increase the number of instructors equipped to offer mental health first aid training.

MHFA Canada will train at least 40 St. John Ambulance instructors in mental health first aid, who will in turn teach the course on behalf of St. John Ambulance.

“Mental health first aid should be made as accessible to Canadians as physical first aid,” Louise Bradley, Mental Health Commission of Canada president and CEO, said. “Our partnership with St. John Ambulance is a significant step toward making that a reality.”

Mental health first aid is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, it is given until appropriate treatment is found or the crisis is resolved.

“Mental health problems and illnesses affect 1 in 5 Canadians in a given year,” Allan Smith, St. John Ambulance CEO, said. “As an industry leader in first aid, adding a focus on mental health will further St. John Ambulance’s mission to improve the health, safety and quality of life of Canadians at work, home and play.”

The MHFA Canada program aims to improve mental health literacy and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, family members, friends or colleagues.

Great news for those in the first aid industry and also learning to be a paramedic. Mental Health first aid is one of the biggest issues starting to face society. It will soon be more important for people to learn these skills than your everyday first aid.