First Aid

first aid
by Susan Redelinghuys
18 August 2017

My son and daughter-in-law attended a first aid course and were so impressed with what they learnt, that my daughter and daughter-in-law decided to pay for me to attend the same course, seeing that I am looking after their children.

Each person attending the course was given a “baby” (very life-like doll dressed in a baby grow) to use for the practical part of the course. Holding the doll felt a bit awkward at first, but I (and the other participants) soon forgot that it was merely a doll.

The most important part of the course was to be taught CPR. So what is CPR?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
(CPR) the manual application of chest compressions and ventilations to patients in CARDIAC ARREST, done in an effort to maintain viability until advanced help arrives. This procedure is an essential component of basic life support (BLS), basic cardiac life support (BCLS), and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS). [Source: the]

Watching the DVD which explained CPR in detail, and listening to the presenter, was really informative and I felt quite relaxed until we had to get down on the mat, lay the “baby” down and practise what we had just been taught.But, I soon forgot about myself and focused on the task.
We practised on the “baby”, then on a bigger “child” and finally on an “adult”. By the time we had finished, I felt confident that I could save a life. It is wonderful to feel so empowered and it makes one realise how ignorant most of us are when it comes to CPR.

I learnt so much, but I want to mention a few key things that anyone who is looking after a child should know. I hope that, by focusing attention on these things, I will make you realise that you need to find out what to do if the following scenarios occur.

1) When a child is choking, NEVER hit the child on the back or shake the child. This can cause the obstruction to move further down the airway.

2) When a child has been burnt, e.g. with boiling water/oil, immediately apply cold water to the affected area. DO NOTput anything on the affected area unless it is a product meant to be applied to burns, e.g.Burnshield. Immediately wrap the affected part in cling wrap and get the child to a hospital.

It is of vital importance that you have a list of emergency numbers on your phone/fridge that you can phone.

The National Ambulance number is 10177. There are private ambulance services that operate in certain areas – find out which ones are in your area. If you phone 112 from your cell phone, you will reach a call centre and you will be put in touch with the relevant emergency service required, e.g. the Poison Centre or the nearest Fire Department.

I am not a paramedic or a nurse or a doctor, so I do not feel qualified to share more information in this blog. All that I want to do is to make you aware of how important it is to have the relevant knowledge to deal with an emergency.

Disclaimer: Susan-Jane Redelinghuys and Usapho Foundation, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited.