At Mini First Aid, one of the most rewarding parts of our job is hearing how our classes have helped other parents and carers. We hope you don’t have to use what you have learned, but knowing what to do and acting quickly really can save a child’s life.
Here is one parent’s account of what happened when her little boy (L) started choking in the car and how her first aid knowledge helped save his life.
“Even though I feel like what happened was my own fault, I wanted to share my experience with others to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to them.
At the time, I was driving on my own with both children in the back. We were a couple of hours into the journey and the children were getting restless so I pulled into the service station and bought them a packet of soft sweets.
The children were fastened into their seats and eating their sweets as I reversed out. Suddenly L started to make choking sounds. At first I didn’t think it sounded too serious but I quickly realised my mistake.
I stopped and got out of the car, took L’s seatbelt off quickly and calmly tapped his back whilst he was slightly leant over. He was making plenty of noise at this point so I wasn’t completely panicking. It sounded like L was going to vomit, so I picked him up and moved him onto the pavement. Then he stopped making any sound. I knew this was not a good sign.
I looked at L’s face and a circle area around his mouth was blue. I quickly bent him over my arm and started giving him back blows as hard as I could! It is all a bit blurry but after the second back blow, I wondered in a flash ‘Can I do this? Do I stop and shout help?’ "
Without first aid knowledge I could have wasted life-saving seconds . . .
"I decided in the same flash to keep going. I think I gave L four back blows and a whole, intact sweet landed on the floor. It felt like it lasted minutes, but in reality was probably seconds. One lady praised me afterwards, which made me feel better, despite my stupid decision to give him the sweets in the first place!
The whole experience made me appreciate the power that knowing first aid gives you. If I hadn’t done my first aid training with Mini First Aid, I may not have realised how serious the situation had become, or I may have wasted valuable seconds screaming for help instead of acting myself to save L’s life.
I always imagined that broken bones would be my issue - never choking. Learning first aid is underrated. You only realise when you need to use it!”