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How to plan for a first aid emergency

How Mini First Aid is teaching families essential lifesaving skills

Author Kate Ball
Categories   Baby Health

The Edit

Mini First Aid teach thousands of parents, carers and children in lifesaving first aid every week. It might sound a little boring, and a little frightening, but being prepared for a first aid emergency is so important.

Mini First Aid have now partnered up with our friends at Newbie & Me nursery store in Leeds to give local families, as well as new and expectant parents, access to first aid training. It’s an opportunity to meet other families and socialise, while gaining expert knowledge and support.

This handy guide from Mini First Aid founder Kate Ball will help you and your family be ready to deal with accidents, injuries and emergencies, and perhaps save a life yourself one day.

The story of Mini First Aid

Mini First Aid started around 7 years ago following my own experiences of struggling to find accessible first aid training that caters to new and expectant parents.

I decided to look at paediatric first aid and pulled out the essential skills that would leave parents feeling empowered and equipped if an accident was to happen. The courses began in my home, teaching people in our local communities, and the business has now grown nationwide, teaching thousands of families in community spaces and their own homes every week. Our courses are short and memorable, embracing all styles of learning with a variety of teaching styles.

"The courses began in my home, teaching people in our local communities, and the business has now grown nationwide."

Our classes

In the UK, the average ambulance response time is 8-12 minutes, and so much can happen in that time. Mini First Aid’s 2-hour Baby & Child First Aid Class gives parents the knowledge and skills to carry out CPR, deal with choking, bumps, burns, breaks, bleeding and febrile seizures, plus an understanding of meningitis and sepsis awareness – so they can perform lifesaving first aid until an ambulance arrives.

Other classes for adults include Baby Proofing and Family First Aid – to suit each stage of your child’s growth and development and prevent accidents from happening.

First aid kit essentials

Your first aid kit needs to be big enough to store your essentials but compact enough to easily carry around – we recommend you keep one at home, one in the car and one in your changing bag or rucksack.

Our award winning Mini First Aid Kit, as seen on Dragons’ Den, contains 74 items, including the kit you need to deal with grazes, bleeds, sprains and minor burns safely and hygienically. We include safety pins in our kits which can be used to rig up a makeshift sling, and paramedic recommended shears for cutting through tough materials such as seat belts.

Best of all, our kit contains a QR code, giving you access to Mini First Aid founder Kate’s first aid video guides covering first aid emergencies like dealing with a choking baby and performing CPR.

Where should I keep my first aid kit?

So many people answer this question with “the bathroom” and there’s a couple of reasons why this isn’t a great idea!

Firstly, bathrooms are usually at the top of the house, and the most likely place for a first aid accident is the kitchen, or downstairs where you spend the most time. Secondly, bathrooms are full of moisture - not ideal conditions for storing medical essentials. We’d recommend a high cupboard in the kitchen, away from curious little fingers, but not so high an older child can’t reach if needed.

Make sure you regularly check contents are in date as well.

"In the UK, the average ambulance response time is 8-12 minutes, and so much can happen in that time."

Should my child know any first aid?

People often forget this one, but if you were to have an emergency at home and your little one was the only person with you, would they know what to do?

Teach them how to call 999 on your mobile phone and landline if you have one. Make it clear it is only to be used if the adult they are with is very hurt or poorly and can’t use the phone themselves.

But don’t forget, it’s no good them calling 999 if they don’t know your address! If you ask a small child where they live the vast majority will answer “home” – not so useful in an emergency! Teach them your address so they know what to say when prompted – you can role play this by making it into a fun game, or use our book The Mini Adventures of Freddie to help them learn. It’s also a lovely way to get a bit of bonding time in!

For older children, encourage them to use the What 3 Words app on your phone or their own to help emergency services get to the scene quicker.

Know the location of your local A&E

It sounds so basic, but would you know where to go in an emergency?

Despite the best efforts of our emergency services there may be times when you need to find your own way to A&E, so locating your nearest one is a must. Don’t forget not every hospital has a children’s A&E department – in Mini First Aid’s hometown of Leeds we have two major hospitals, but only one has an A&E department for under 16’s.

We would recommend once you’ve found out where your most local children’s A&E department is, you do a practice run. Familiarise yourself with the route and save it into Google maps or your Sat Nav for easy access under pressure. Work out where you can park and walk the route to the department, so it’s familiar when needed. Whilst we appreciate this seems like an effort, you never know when you might need to do this route.

It’s also worth locating your local urgent treatment centre for minor injuries and illnesses that are urgent, but not life or limb threatening. If unsure where to go, contact 111 for advice, but in a medical emergency always call 999.

"Despite the best efforts of our emergency services there may be times when you need to find your own way to A&E, so locating your nearest one is a must."

Who can you call on locally in an emergency?

Picture the scene – it’s 2am and your poorly baby urgently needs taking to A&E. But your 3-year-old is sound asleep. You can’t leave them alone, but don’t want to disturb them, and time is of the essence. What do you do?

We always encourage parents and carers to have a trusted neighbour or friend living close by who they can call on in an emergency. Perhaps give them a key to your house for use in emergencies. Being prepared for events like this limits the panic when you need to keep your head. If you have a landline, keep these trusted contact numbers by the phone for easy access for the whole family.

We really hope this has given you food for thought and helped you think about how to plan for a first aid emergency. As we always say at Mini First Aid, it’s better to know and not need it, than need it and not know.

Author Kate Ball

Mum of six, Kate Ball created Mini First Aid in 2014 from her home in Leeds to offer high quality baby first aid classes for parents and carers. Fast forward to now, and Mini First Aid is delivering classes across the UK, teaching thousands of families every week.

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