Would you know what to do if your child had cut themselves?

Pressure and then a plaster, right? That one’s easy.

What about if the bleeding wouldn’t stop, if a plaster wouldn’t cover the cut. What about if your child burned themselves, was choking, or, worst of all, had fallen unconscious.

Would you panic, scream for help, call 999? I don’t think any of us could remain truly calm in such a terrifying moment.

Everything is unfolding horrifyingly quickly and yet we are frozen solid, stuck like a deer in headlights.

Worst fears

We all imagine what we would do should the worst happens. It comes with the territory of being a parent, this parenting paranoia that our worst fears may come true.

What then can we do? I feel powerless to prevent all accidents involving my daughter. She came home from nursery with a huge fat lip the other day, having tripped and gone head first onto the concrete.

Should I not send her to nursery? Demand her hand is held at all times?

These things aren’t realistic and they’re not good for a child. But what I can do is make sure I prevent accidents wherever I can by being vigilant and careful, and be prepared to act if something does happen.

Acting fast

They say in serious accidents there is a golden window for people to get treatment, a crucial time where if you act then you really can make a difference.

We have the emergency services we can count on, thank goodness, but as parents we are the real first responders.

Yet statistics on first aid knowledge in this country paint a pretty scary picture. According to a survey conducted by St John Ambulance:

  • 1 in 3 people wouldn’t know what to do if their toddler was choking
  • More than three quarters of people don’t know or are unsure how to do CPR
  • Just 1 in 4 people are confident about performing CPR

That’s why I love the smartphone apps produced for free by the British Red Cross and St John Ambulance.

The British Red Cross app main menu

The latter has information for adults and children while the British Red Cross has an app specifically made for treating kids. They even break down the best advice on what to do for kids aged under one and over one.

First aid made easy

They have step by step guidance on what to do in a range of situations. There are also short videos accompanying each scenario, including choking, burns, broken bones and poisoning.


Information on meningitis, seizures and head injuries is also there. Most importantly it has guidelines for CPR if you have to do it.

I’ve had about 10 first aid courses in my time through work or at school. I worked as a lifeguard for several years so I should be pretty good at remembering the CPR rules, but I definitely need a refresher every now and then.

The number of compressions vs rescue breaths just goes out my head, plus it’s always wise to be aware of the latest guidelines anyway as researchers are finding improvements all the time.

Downloading either app takes seconds and browsing through it takes just minutes, but it could help you save someone’s life.

Even with the training and knowledge you may be likely to freeze, panic or become confused. But somewhere in your brain that important piece of knowledge may suddenly filter through.

A safety net is a sensible thing to have in any area of your life.

Any piece of mind we can give ourselves as parents is worth spending a little time over.