Your health:

Could I cope in a medical crisis?

By Baby Blogger Kate Richards
We've been very lucky with the boys' health - no major crises so far. The worst medical "emergency" we've had was an overreaction to what was a standard tummy bug (hindsight is a wonderful thing!)

When Ben was still very small I did attend a paediatric first aid course, however, that was a couple of years ago and I don't have much confidence that I could remember what to do in an emergency.

And it seems I'm far from alone. A recent nationwide survey by the childcare website found that 72% of UK parents "wouldn't know how to assist an unconscious child, administer CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or attend to burns and scalds".

Just 28% of the 1,000 parents surveyed had been on a first aid course, which is essential for all registered childminders and nannies. This "brings to light the shocking lack of first aid knowledge amongst the UK's parents" say the researchers.

Those with children aged six to nine years have the worst record, with 80% reporting they wouldn't know what to do in a medical emergency. Nevertheless, the same survey showed that parents rank safety as the second most important factor (after cost) when choosing childcare.

"Leaving your children with a childcare professional is one of the hardest things a parent has to do," says Tom Harrow, CEO of, "but when you look at it from this angle, it really puts things into perspective - are our kids safer with a nanny or childminder than they are with us?"

Personally I don't recall child safety being mentioned in our, otherwise great, NHS antenatal course. Perhaps it should be. A quick online search shows there is an abundance of courses being run regularly all around the UK.

Right then, it seems it's time to pack myself off to a refresher course asap!

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