Tag Archives: First Aid



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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First Aid Courses Canberra

First Aid Courses Canberra provide all the training needs of you and your family. We provide first aid courses Canberra with great trainers, excellent hands on experiences and free first aid manuals, parking and CPR face mask.

Women who are exposed to polluted air and stressful situations during their pregnancy are more likely to have children with asthma, a new study claims.

Boys whose mothers were exposed to both of the risk factors were more likely to develop the condition by age six.

Researchers at Mount Sinai said there was already a known link between the race of the mother and the likelihood of being exposed to air pollution.

Now the experts are saying these factors contribute to the respiratory health disparities that ethnically mixed urban populations commonly have.

Women who are exposed to polluted air while they are stressed, have an increased chance their children will have asthma, a new study claims

Women who are exposed to polluted air while they are stressed, have an increased chance their children will have asthma, a new study claims

Lead author Dr Alison Lee, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said the research was done to examine why these factors contribute to poor respiratory health in urban communities.

She said: ‘We know from prior research that lower income, ethnically mixed urban populations are more greatly burdened with asthma and other respiratory health problems.

‘Given that populations disproportionately exposed to ambient air pollution are also more likely to be exposed to social stressors such as financial strain, discrimination, housing difficulties, and crime or violence, we were particularly interested in combined effects of both factors starting in early development, even in pregnancy.’

The study looked at more than 700 women who were primarily African-American and Latina, and were pregnant and living in urban settings.

The researchers found that being exposed to high amounts of air pollution during a woman’s second trimester increased the odds for the child developing asthma.

When this was combined with mothers reporting being stressed during this time period, boys had an increased chance of having asthma.

Dr Lee added: ‘Prevention is not a matter of eliminating stress but rather, we need to develop strategies to reduce stress to more normative levels – for example, implementing prenatal programs that provide resources to address the more prevalent stressors or to promote better coping strategies, particularly among disadvantaged, high-risk populations.’

In a recent study by experts at the University of California, Berkeley, they found a correlation between children and teenagers exposed to high levels of traffic pollution and premature aging and asthma.

Those with higher levels had a specific type of DNA damage called telomere shortening – the main cause of age-related break down of our cells.

Telomeres are vital to our health – they can be described as the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces.

‘Children may be especially vulnerable to the effects of telomeric DNA damage due to their physical development as well as developing immune system,’ wrote Dr John Balmes from the University of California, Berkeley, and his colleagues who carried out the study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

A new study by the Imperial College London found the first evidence that diesel fumes can cause coughing and shortness of breath.

It was known that people with asthma are worse affected than those in less polluted areas.

Researchers can now explain the effect of diesel particles, which are so tiny that the body mistakes them for natural molecules and draws them deep into the lungs.

They discovered diesel fumes trigger a receptor in the airway, starting a chain reaction which causes nerves in the lungs to fire wrongly.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4531750/Stressed-women-likely-children-asthma.html#ixzz4hriHwzug
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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.


Anaphylaxis in aged care – First Aid Course Canberra

An aged care executive is calling on the sector to remove latex from workplaces and be more allergen aware, particularly in kitchens, as part of efforts to raise awareness about dangerous allergic reactions.Ananda Aged Care clinical director Dr Pooja Newman founded Global Anaphylaxis Awareness and Inclusivity (Globalaai) last month, four days after she experienced a near-fatal allergic reaction.

Dr Newman was attending a concert in Adelaide when balloons covered in latex powder were unexpectedly released.

Her campaign, which has already gained thousands of supporters globally, aims to help reduce the stigma of anaphylaxis – a severe and potentially life threatening allergic reaction – and increase safety for those at risk.

Globalaai is calling for:

  • widespread availability of emergency adrenaline – EpiPens – in public venues and food outlets
  • mandatory training for the hospitality industry
  • social awareness and
  • latex-free services in healthcare, retail and public venues.

Pooja Newman

Dr Newman, a medical doctor and the deputy chair of South Australia’s Aged Care Industry Association, wants to create change in aged care and is aiming to introduce a practical template for allergy safety in facilities.

“Ask the questions around anaphylaxis and identify at-risk individuals, support them and be inclusive,” Dr Newman told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“I am lobbying to remove latex in aged care and be allergen aware particularly in kitchens.”

Allergic diseases are among the fastest growing chronic conditions in Australia, affecting one in five Australians while deaths from anaphylaxis have increased by 7 per cent per year for the last seven years, according to the National Allergy Strategy.

Dr Newman, who has survived 30 anaphylactic episodes, is severely allergic to peanuts, all tree nuts and latex including latex associated fruits such as bananas.

“This has been the most severe anaphylaxis I have had and it has taken me longer than usual to recover from feeling weak, a little breathless and flat,” she said.

The release of the balloons covered in latex-powder – done without pre-concert caution that only mentioned strobe lights, pyrotechnics and confetti – was followed by the injection of three EpiPens and four days in intensive care.

Dr Newman is seeking global awareness so people with allergies can be better informed about the risks they may face.

Risks in aged care

Latex, for example, was the cause of occupational latex allergy, which had mild symptoms including a rash, asthma and very rarely anaphylaxis, Dr Newman said.

“We know that latex allergy occurs from exposure to latex and if it is minimised in aged care then latex anaphylaxis could potentially become a problem of the past.”

She said Ananda has been latex free since its inception and that latex-free products including gloves made of vinyl or nitrile were freely available and cost neutral.

Poor awareness and education among aged care staff, cognitive decline among clients and the stigma attached to anaphylaxis were among other key issues for the aged care and retirement living sectors, said Dr Newman.

She is currently discussing her campaign with aged care peak bodies.

Kitchens, particularly in aged care, are not suitably trained for anaphylaxis food safety and cross contamination is an issue that urgently needs to be addressed, Dr Newman argued.

“Older Australians with cognitive decline may not be in a position to advocate for the safety of themselves in terms of identifying their allergies appropriately.

“I see staff in workplaces currently not necessarily declaring life threatening allergies and potentially having their EpiPen in their bag in their locker and having the potential for a life threatening reaction in their workplace,” she said.

Dr Newman said workplaces did not have general use EpiPens, which saved lives as seconds counted from the commencement of an anaphylactic reaction to reversing the process and preventing morbidity and mortality associated with anaphylaxis.

“Aged care facilities in particular often have contractors and visitors including friends and family of residents and these people potentially are at risk from anaphylaxis if staff are not adequately trained to recognise and treat anaphylaxis.”

See the campaign’s website and social media for more information or contact Dr Newman at [email protected].

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Australian Government releases information on concussion

One of the least treated first aid injuries that occur. Please make sure you check for concussion injuries when administering first aid. Book in to a first aid course with Canberra First Aid and you will learn the way to see concussion and also treat it.

Concussion is a dangerous and sometimes fatal injury so it’s important to be able to recognize and treat the symptoms as soon as they present themselves.  Concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury which is caused by a blow either directly to the head or another part of the body with the force being transmitted to the head.

Having access to accurate information to enable people to confidently diagnose and somewhat treat the signs of concussion has become a matter of urgency within both the professional sporting industry and the medical field.  Ongoing research is showing that un-diagnosed concussions, especially those caused through sporting injuries, could now be responsible for neurological issues in later life.

The Australian Government has recently recognized the void of reputable information and a lack of online resources available for those who find themselves in need of a legitimate medical diagnosis for concussion.  The targeted audience for this information includes athletes, coaches, medical practitioners, parents and teachers.

In order to provide accurate information that was particularly relevant to sporting concussions, two major governing bodies, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) combined their research of concussions in sport and created a website which acts as a portal of information for diagnosing and managing concussion:  www.concussioninsport.gov.au.

“Bringing these two organisations together for this important initiative gives Australian’s confidence and clarity in seeking further information about the diagnosis and management of concussion.” Said Dr David Hughes AIS Chief Medical Officer.

It is important for people who are involved in a high-risk environment for receiving a concussion, such as sports players, to understand that even the subtlest of changes to a person’s behavior could be a sign of concussion. As noted in this video released by the Australian government, the main symptoms of concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • ‘pressure in the head’
  • Balance problems
  • Difficulty remembering
  • “not feeling right”
  • Feeling in a “fog”
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Drowsiness

Dr Stephen Parnis, AMA Vice President & Emergency Physician offered a valuable piece of advice in the below video, if someone has received a hard blow while playing sport and showing possible signs of concussion, “If in doubt, sit it out.”   Reducing the damage to someone’s brain is more important than getting back out on the field and scoring a try.

First Aid Accident and Emergency has a range of first aid courses some of which discuss head trauma and possible concussion.  If you would like any information on our first aid classes, please contact our head office today.  



Why having a defibrillator could save your business

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

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

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

  • Staff
  • Clients
  • Tradesmen
  • Contractors

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

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


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.


How Bad Are White-Tailed Spider Bites, Really?

First Aid Course in Canberra will give you the skills and first aid training to save a family or friends life. We would like to thank everyone who has participated in a first aid course with our company and we look forward to training you again in the future.

Recent news reports that a man had both his legs amputated after being bitten by a white-tailed spider have again cast this spider in a negative light. Experts have since said amputations may have been wrongly blamed on a spider bite, and authorities now consider a bacterial infection to be responsible for the man’s injuries. Despite this, the damage to the largely harmless white-tail may have been done.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

The venom from the white-tailed spider is listed as non-lethal. It has not been shown to cause necrotic ulcers, which could result in the need for amputation. And there has never been any clear evidence necrotising arachnidism – the name give to a syndrome where the skin blisters and ulcerates following spider bites – has been seen in Australia.

There is currently no clinical test to determine if you have been bitten by a spider. And there is no blood or swab test that can be performed to positively identify what spider it is if a bite is suspected. Whether it is a bite from a spider or another insect, the management is the same – most will get better without any medical treatment.

Spiders In Australia

The majority of spiders in Australia are voracious predators of insects. For the most part, they play a useful role in lowering insect numbers.

The venom transmitted through bites of some Australian spiders can cause harm to humans and even be life-threatening. The better known of these are the redback spider (Latrodectus hasselti), and the funnel-web spiders (genera Atrax and Hadronyche). Antivenom is available for both spiders.

Redback spider venom can cause a lot of pain. Advice would be to go to hospital if pain lasts for longer than a few hours and simple pain relief is not helping. Funnel-web spider venom can cause local swelling in addition to increasing heartbeat, salivation, muscle spasms and respiratory distress (trouble breathing).

Without appropriate first aid, quick access to hospital and antivenom, these bites can be lethal. For the “big black hairy” funnel-webs, appropriate first aid needs to be applied and it is advisable to call 000.

image: https://cdn.theconversation.com/files/164376/width754/image-20170407-16663-zgodmb.jpg

The redback spider is considered one of the most venomous to humans in Australia. Image: graibeard/FlickrOther spiders that have concerning bites include the trapdoor, whistling, sac, ground, orb and huntsman spiders. These may cause milder symptoms such as headache, swelling and pain, which does not last for a long time.

The White-Tailed Spider

White-tailed spiders (Lampona sp.) can be recognised by their cylindrical body shape and a white or grey spot on the end of their abdomen. They are found in eastern and most southern areas of Australia and New Zealand.

These spiders are active hunters, preying on other types of spiders and insects. They may transiently roam inside houses, especially in warmer weather, where they may be found in bedding or clothing that has been left on the floor.

One study of over 70 spider bite cases in which white-tailed spiders were identified showed patients experienced only a mild localised reaction, such as swelling, local pain or headache. To date clinical research has not been able to associate tissue loss with the venom of these spider bites.

Flesh-Eating Bacteria

The man at the centre of the recent story linking amputations to a white-tail spider bite was said to have a “flesh eating” infection. But there is a very low probability of an association between spiders and necrotisisng fasciitis (commonly known as flesh-eating disease).

Of course, any injury that causes a break in our skin leaves the capacity for bacteria to enter our body. Therefore be sure to keep an injury area clean. Questions have been raised as to the possibility of a spider introducing infections, but again, despite it being theoretically possible, it is unlikely.

Contributing factors to infection are if people have conditions such as diabetes or take medications, such as steroids like prednisolone, that lessen the body’s ability to fight infection.

How To Prevent Spider Bites

  • Leave them alone
  • wear gloves if gardening
  • humanely remove spiders from your home and limit hiding spaces where possible inside the home
  • knock out shoes before putting them on; these are nice quiet homes for spiders.

For first aid after a spider bite, please see the Australian guidelines. Many bites don’t result in envenoming and death is very rare, so it is important to remain calm. But seek medical attention if there are concerning symptoms such as those described above: difficulty breathing, increased heartbeat and pain lasting longer than an hour.

Read more at https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/04/how-bad-are-white-tailed-spider-bites-really/#YM54eelTf7RxjhSi.99


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signs and symptoms of choking:

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

What to do if someone is choking:

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

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

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

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

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

If the patient becomes unconscious:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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