Tag Archives: first aid training



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

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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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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


Childcare, primary schools to teach about suicide, mental health

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EXCLUSIVE: Three-year-olds in childcare and students from preschool and kindergarten upwards will be taught about suicide awareness and mental health as part of a $53 million Mental Health in Education program to be announced by the Turnbull government today (Thursday).

More streamlined “postvention” strategies, with crisis teams deployed to schools when a suicide occurs, will also be put in place to prevent contagion suicides as childhood mental health issues soar.

While the word “suicide” won’t be used directly with three-year-olds, discussions around feelings of “not wanting to be here” or “wanting to die” could be addressed in the right context.

Specific “suicide” discussion could occur with kids as young as eight, according to experts. Health Minister Greg Hunt will today announce teachers from childcare educators right through to Year 12 will be provided additional mental health and suicide training in their university degrees or VET education.

Those already teaching will undergo additional online and face-to-face training to better improve the discussion with children around the issue.

The program will be run by Beyond Blue in partnership with Early Childhood Australia and Headspace.

It will begin early next year with two-thirds of all schools to be involved — 2000 Early Learning Services and 6000 schools — by June 2019.

Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said teachers would then employ a range of strategies to teach young people about mental health and suicide.

This could include lesson plans or general discussions around anxiety and emotions.

She said the discussion with three-year-olds would occur in a different capacity to those with teenagers.

But suicide awareness in the very youngest of students would not be off the table if appropriate.

“We will frame that early childhood educator support and training in a very different way to the support for primary school and secondary school,” Ms Harman said.

“The conversation with a three or four or five-year-old is not going to happen in the same way that it will happen with a 17-year-old.”

Health Minister Greg Hunt says teaching kids about good mental health is important. Pic: AAP

Early Childhood Australia CEO Sam Page said helping to develop resilient children who were aware of their emotions and mental health could have a real impact in preventing them from being at risk of suicide later on in life.

“If we teach all children how to name their emotions, how to feel sad and how to recover from that … then we are more likely to have reduced instances of depression and that in turn will reduce the number of children trying to suicide,” Ms Page said.

Last year youth suicide reached a 10-year high, with eight children and teens committing suicide every week in Australia — a 32 per cent increase on 2006.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics between 2011 and 2015 a total of 89 children aged 5 to 14 years committed suicide.

Former Australian of The Year and Headspace founder Patrick McGorry said it was appropriate to discuss mental health with kids from the beginning of their learning.

“We know 7 per cent of all primary school children have mental health issues,” Professor McGorry who now works as the Executive Director of Orygen Youth Health said.

However, he said using the term suicide shouldn’t come until late primary school.

“We first really see suicidal thinking in late primary school around the age of eight or 10,” Professor McGorry said.

“The focus for suicide prevention should be in late primary school.”

Former Australian of the year Patrick McGorry says discussion on suicide should occur in kids from around age 10. Picture: Mike BURTON

Louise Davis, clinical practice manager at Kids Helpline, said the service had received calls from kids as young as eight contemplating suicide.

She said there were age groups that were “too young” to discuss suicide with, but that the concept of sharing your feelings and being open about seeing help needed to be encouraged early.

“We don’t want to scare young children, but certainly we want the message for them to be that if they are feeling anything — whether it is not wanting to be here or sadness that they can discuss that.”

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said mental health issues impacted even the youngest among us.

“People of all ages can be affected by mental health — either directly themselves or because someone close to them might be suffering. It can impact even our youngest Australians,” Mr Hunt told News Corp Australia.

“It’s important schools have the resources and training to deal with mental health issues, so they can support individuals impacted and also the broader community.

“This might include training teachers on how to support a student going through a difficult time, or what to say to a student who has lost a parent.”

In a further boost to improving mental health in children Mr Hunt will also today announce an additional $19 million to assist GPs, nurses and other health professionals who work with children to better identify, support and refer children at risk of mental health difficulties.

Mr Hunt will make both announcements alongside Beyond Blue patron and former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett in Melbourne.


Scare for Ridell family

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Mark Riddell has urged all parents to get first aid training after a health scare involving his four-month-old daughter, Ava.

Ava has been in and out of hospital while battling bronchitis, but things got really scary when she experienced a coughing attack that provoked vomiting on Monday. She ended up losing consciousness and stopped breathing, prompting a frantic triple-0 call. Thankfully, Ava is now on the mend after being rushed to hospital.

“As she now recovers I thought I should share the story, not for sympathy, we are all OK and our Ava will make a full recovery,” Riddell wrote on Instagram.

“The reason is that after talking with Karli we both thought it best that we up-skill and get our first aid certificates, me to update mine and Karli to get hers. If you have young kids, seriously think about making sure one of you have it!

“If this helps one family not have to deal with what we went through Monday night then that’s a win.”

Make sure you are booked in to a first aid training session this summer.


Burns from Sunscreen

Winter first aid training sessions book now. This poor child. I cant believe this is from sunscreen.  Make sure you book in to a winter first aid training session with Canberra First Aid. We offer training on how to treat burns and also severe allergic reactions.

A CANADIAN mother is pleading with other parents to be cautious when using aerosol spray sunscreen on their children after her 14-month-old daughter suffered second-degree chemical burns on her face.

Rebecca Cannon had purchased Banana Boat Kids SPF50 to protect her daughter Kyla from the sun despite overcast weather, according to a May 8 Facebook post.

“As the day went on, she got a little redder and redder and the next morning she woke up and was swollen, she was bright red, there were blisters starting to pop up,” Cannon told CBC.ca. “We immediately took her up to the doctors and found out she has second degree burns.”

Picture: Rebecca Cannon

Picture: Rebecca CannonSource:Facebook

While Cannon acknowledged that she should have used baby-specific sunscreen, she figured that using a child-specific block advertised as alcohol-free to protect her daughter against the sun was better than nothing.

“I figured just putting it mildly on her face, for some protection rather than having none at all, would be OK and yeah, it didn’t go over well,” Cannon told CBC.ca.

Cannon told the news outlet that her 3-year-old nephew had used the same sunscreen without any adverse effects, but that a doctor treating Kyla said it wasn’t the first case he had seen, and it had the potential to be a severe allergic reaction.

Picture: Rebecca Cannon

Picture: Rebecca CannonSource:Facebook

Cannon updated followers on Facebook in a May 11 post that included details from a visit to a dermatologist. She said the doctor confirmed Kyla suffered second degree chemical burns to her face.

“We are greatly concerned when any person encounters a reaction using our products,” Banana Boat told CBC.ca in a statement.

“We have spoken with the consumer and asked for the product so that our quality assurance team can look into this further. Without examining the product, it is difficult to determine what may have caused the problem as described.”

Picture: Rebecca Cannon

Picture: Rebecca CannonSource:Facebook

Cannon has been sharing other consumer horror stories online and told the CBC.ca she doesn’t understand how the product is still available for purchase.

“I would have never — in a million years — imagined her to get a burn so severe from sunscreen,” Cannon told the news outlet.

Banana Boat has been criticised by many Australian consumers, who say their children also suffered serious burns after using the sunscreen.

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration says it tested Banana Boat products in 2016 after a number of complaints and found “no evidence of a problem with the quality of any of the sunscreens”.

Banana Boat says research indicates complaints about ineffective sunscreen can often be the result of inaccurate application and not using enough.

It recommends at least seven teaspoons per adult per application.

This article originally appeared on Fox News.


Foldable helmet looks to the Future

First aid training courses are looking at the future of helmets today and these look great. Book in to one of our first aid training courses at Parklands Hotel to have a great day and learn some excellent skills so that you can look after a friend in need. We have many courses running throughout winter and that is the best time to sit inside and learn so you are ready to help during summer.

AN INNOVATIVE foldable helmet design could solve the most annoying thing about cycling, but they don’t exactly come cheap.


Morpher folding helmet

A CYCLING helmet that offers a revolutionary folding design, allowing it to be easily placed away in your bag after riding has announced one of the world’s most famous athletes as an investor.

World number one tennis player Andy Murray is a financial backer of the so-called “world’s first folding helmet” produced by UK-based company Morpher.

The company’s “folding helmet technology” provides a compact protective headwear solution for cyclists that doesn’t compromise structural integrity or safety.

The design which has been patented in several countries has received widespread praise and was named one of Time magazine’s top 25 inventions of the year in 2016.

This week the Morpher revealed the tennis superstar was among 400 people who helped it raise nearly $1.2 million (£700,000) on crowd-funding platform Seedrs, dedicated to funding start-ups.

“Morpher is a product that the modern cyclist should own — one that has been dutifully perfected by an award-winning inventor,” the tennis champion, who received a knighthood in December, said in a press release put out by the company.

Morpher's foldable helmet tech doesn't come cheap.

Morpher’s foldable helmet tech doesn’t come cheap.Source:Facebook

“Cycle rental schemes are proving to be hugely popular. But very few of us non-bike owners are wearing helmets,” the company’s website says. “According to research, the main reason is that they are simply too cumbersome to carry around all day, especially if you may only be taking a ten minute bike ride.”

A rival company called FEND has since come to market with a differently designed foldable cycling helmet, funded via Kickstarter.

Living in Sydney, I routinely use my bike to get around town. But I almost always leave my helmet clipped onto the bike when I lock it up in a public place (leaving it vulnerable to theft) simply because I can’t be bothered to carry it around.

These kind of innovative helmets could be the solution.

Morpher offers free express delivery of its helmets worldwide — but given the high price tag of the helmet, it’s no wonder why they’re offering free shipping.

If you want to pick yourself up a Morpher folding helmet it will cost you about $200 ($US149.00).

Or, to put it in perspective, just under two thirds of what you’d be fined for not wearing a helmet while riding your pushbike in NSW.


Monique Jeffrey broke her neck sneezing, then did it again laughing

This is so strange. From first aid training Canberra we wish Monique all the best in the future. Come and do one of our first aid training courses so that you can manage someone with broken vertebrae. Our first aid courses are excellent and we pride ourselves on our quality first aid training methods and also our experienced trainers.

MONIQUE Jeffrey was lying in bed checking emails on her phone early one morning in 2011, when she suddenly sneezed and her neck jolted forward.

As she sneezed, her C1 and C2 vertebrae collapsed and her chin fell onto her shoulder, leaving her hunched over in agonising pain.

With her husband at work and her newborn baby asleep in the next room, Monique soon realised she couldn’t move her neck, and began to panic.

“I texted Sam just saying ‘help!’ and he called me and I answered on speaker phone, because I couldn’t put the phone to my ear,” Monique told news.com.au.

“He came home and called an ambulance. It was pretty scary and it was such a strange sensation. I was in so much pain after just one little sneeze,” Monique said.

Monique pictured with her family. Picture: Supplied

Monique pictured with her family. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

She was placed in a neck traction – a manual device that immoblises the neck muscles and allows them to heal – for 14 weeks and made a full recovery.

But just three weeks ago, she injured her neck again.

“I was at work and I had a bit of a stiff neck. Nothing awful, it was just a little bit sore,” she said.

“I was actually joking around with some colleagues because they were making some inappropriate jokes about how I may have hurt my neck, and I threw my head back and did it again.

“It wasn’t as bad as the last time. I shuffled back to my desk and I said to one of my colleagues ‘I’m in trouble here, ‘I think I’ve done my neck again’, because it felt the same and I was stuck.

“My chin was pulled across to the right, so they called an ambulance and now I’m in a neck halo.”

Monique with her two children. Picture: Supplied

Monique with her two children. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

She had a neck halo screwed into her skull. Picture: Supplied

She had a neck halo screwed into her skull. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

The metal device screws into the skull and stops the wearer moving their head.

“I’ve had two kids and getting the halo is worse than childbirth,” said Monique, who has to wear the device for six weeks.

“I can lie down but I sleep sitting up in a special bed. The halo completely supports my head and my neck.

“All the muscles in my neck are wasting away but I don’t have to hold my head up because it’s being held up by the bars and screws. You kind of just get used to it.

“But I’m tired all the time. I’m usually a very energetic person, but walking up a flight of stairs just completely wears me out and I have to have a big rest after that.”

The neck halo keeps her head and neck upright, to allow the muscles to heal. Picture: Supplied

The neck halo keeps her head and neck upright, to allow the muscles to heal. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

After the halo is removed Monique will undergo months of rehab and physio to strengthen the muscles in her neck. If that isn’t successful, she may require surgery to “fuse” the C1 and C2 vertebrae together so they can no longer collapse.

Her sister set up an online fundraising page to help pay for the mounting medical bills and so far $8000 has been raised.

“The favourable option is intensive rehab to build the muscle and those muscles will work to try and keep my neck in place. But because this has already happened twice, the likelihood of it happening again is really high,” Monique said.

“We’re going to try physio and rehab first and we’re hoping that that does the trick for a couple of years.

“It’s not terminal, I’m going to be fine, but it does suck a bit. You just have to laugh about it.”

Visit Monique’s fundraising page here.

[email protected]


Theresa May pledges to expand mental health ‘first aid’ training into primaries

First Aid Training done right with Canberra First Aid. We offer great first aid training courses in CPR, asthma and anaphylaxis. 
Our first aid training courses are run at the Paklands Hotel in Dickson which offers excellent accommodation options and is 200 metres from the Dickson shopping precinct. 
The prime minister announces plans to teach children more about mental wellbeing

Theresa May has announced measures to provide every school with mental health first aid training and to teach children more about mental wellbeing.

The plan builds on a proposal announced in January to make mental health first aid training available to all secondary schools, with the aim of having trained at least one teacher in every secondary school by 2019.

The prime minister also wants to provide each school with a single point of contact with mental health services, and to include more in the curriculum about mental wellbeing, particularly in relation to keeping safe online and cyber bullying.

The plans are part of a wider package of reforms that would tear up the Mental Health Act and replace it with new legislation aimed largely at reducing the number of vulnerable people detained in prison cells.

Mrs May said: “We are going to roll out mental health support to every school in the country, ensure that mental health is taken far more seriously in the workplace, and raise standards of care with 10,000 more mental health professionals working in the NHS by 2020.

“These reforms are a vital part of my plan to build a fairer society for all, not just the privileged few, and they demonstrate the positive difference that strong and stable leadership makes.”

‘Empty rhetoric’

But Liberal Democrat former health minister Norman Lamb dismissed the promises as “empty rhetoric”.

Mr Lamb told the Press Association: “I’m sick and tired of great rhetoric from this government about their commitment to mental health but the reality for families across our country is just so very different,”

“Let’s just make them make the investment that they committed to in 2015 in our children’s mental health services.”

The Tories have made it clear that they are not prepared to invest any more from additional taxation, he added.

Speaking this morning on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, health secretary Jeremy Hunt said the proposals would prevent children with mental health problems “ending up in police cells”.

He said: “There is a lot of new money coming in to it – £1 billion.” This amount was announced in January. Asked whether it was new money, Mr Hunt stated: “It’s new money going into the NHS that’s going into mental health.”

Several surveys have shown that many schools struggle to refer pupils to NHS mental health services. More than half of school leaders said they found it hard to locate services for pupils with mental health problems, according to a survey by the NAHT heads’ union and the children’s mental health charity Place2Be in February.

Last week, a cross-party group of MPs found that school funding cuts were harming pupils’ mental health.


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.