No matter how prepared you are for the birth of your first child, the reality of having a new human to look after can be a shock. Your baby will be totally dependent on you to start with, and even when your child gets older and more independent, you'll be the first port of call if your child has medical problems. The problem you have as a new parent is the fact that you may not have the past experience of childhood illnesses and emergency situations that you may need if your child gets ill or has an accident.
While you're likely to gain some of this experience over time as you go through medical problems with your first child, this can be a stressful learning experience. To reduce this stress, some new parents prefer to plan ahead and take first aid training for kids. What are the benefits of this kind of training?
Learn How to Protect Your Child
If you take first aid training for children, you'll usually learn how to identify and manage typical childhood illnesses and medical problems. While your training may not give you enough knowledge to replace professional medical help, it puts you in a better place to take action and make decisions when something happens to your child.
For example, you may learn how to give your child CPR if they have an accident and stop breathing. You may also learn how to identify potentially fatal illnesses such as meningitis. These skills could well make a life and death difference while you're waiting for professional medical help to arrive or making a quick decision on whether to rush your child to hospital.
On a less serious level, you may learn how to manage more routine medical problems until you can get medical help such as minor burns, bites, stings and high temperatures. Some courses will also help you learn about suitable medications for kids and how to tell when your child needs to see a doctor or when you can treat them at home.
Learn How to Relax Into Responsibility
As a parent, you're typically the first responder when your child is ill or has an accident. This can be a big and stressful responsibility, especially during your child's early years. Kids can get sick really quickly and without warning; they are also often an accident waiting to happen, especially when they start to toddle about but aren't yet steady on their feet.
It's worth remembering that children don't necessarily have medical problems when your doctor's office is open. If your child gets ill or has an accident overnight or at the weekend, you may be in a quandary as to whether to treat them at home, take them to hospital or even call an ambulance. Knowing what to expect and how to handle medical problems may simply make you feel more confident and able to make appropriate medical decisions about your child in these scenarios. In turn, this may make you feel less stressed and more capable, allowing you to relax around your child more and enjoy parenting in the early years.
Tip: Before you choose a first aid course for parents, it's worth making sure that the course you take is designed and run by medical professionals such as people with paramedic or emergency medical training and experience.