Most weeks, Tom and I learn something else new that we need to know as a parent, and a few weeks ago we found ourselves on a first aid course run by the British Red Cross.
I haven’t had any first aid training since I received my badge as a scout and Tom has never had any. The information was clearly still somewhere in my head as I’ve twice had to hold a nephew or godson upside-down to dislodge a stuck sweet or toy from their throats. But, as with all things, if you don’t practice something you tend to forget it, so Tom and I decided it would be a good idea to refresh our first aid knowledge.
And a good thing we did too. So much has changed in the more than two decades since I was a scout. They include:
Luckily most things have remained the same and it all came flooding back. The recovery position, how to deal with bleeds, breaks and sprains, how to stop a fever, and how to spot meningitis were all covered as well as a host of other first aid skills.
The only thing I hadn’t heard of was croup - but now, not only do I know what it is (a really bad cough), but also what it sounds like (an upset walrus) and how to deal with it (steam).
Each area of first aid was explained by an instructor before you have a go at it yourself. We then watched a short video on each exercise – some of which were very badly acted and made me want to giggle.
The first aid was specifically aimed at babies and children, but actually much of what you do for a child over two years old is the same for an adult, so we feel fully prepared for any eventuality.
The course cost us £35 each which we thought was well worth it. It can be more expensive if you go to a training centre in central London so if you can get to a different centre you could save yourself some pennies.
It was a really informative morning and definitely worth attending. We all received a booklet outlining everything we’d learnt, a pen with a pull out reminder of what to do in an emergency, a mouth guard for emergencies with strangers, and a certificate (whoop!).
For more information you can visit the Red Cross website.
Just before we went into the room I had a panic about what we’d say if they asked why we were attending. There were a lot of very pregnant women so it was clear why they were there, but in our case I wondered how people might react. As predicted, they asked and I told a room full of strangers that Tom and I were adopting and wanted some first aid training. No intakes of breath, no disapproving looks – everyone seemed to be fine about it. Then at lunch, amongst all the chat about how far gone the mums-to-be were, we were also asked lots of questions about the adoption process. People were genuinely interested and, really wonderfully, completed unfazed by two men adopting a child. It was very refreshing and made us both feel really happy.
In a previous post, I thought about all the different skills parents might need. What else would you recommend?
My husband and I have adopted two wonderful children. Duckling is 5 and Gosling, her little brother, is 3. I'll be keeping track of our journey here...