Why first aid training is invaluable

We had a bit of a scare yesterday, when Fonz managed to spill Young Daddy’s hot coffee down his chest. Luckily, I’d recently attended a children’s first aid course, run by the London Ambulance Service, and so I knew what we needed to do and did it. No hesitation. Fonz was dumped straight in the bath, and we ran a tepid shower over him for over ten minutes. According to the nurse at A&E, that probably paid a big part in the lucky fact that he had suffered very, very minor burns.

I would highly recommend contacting your local ambulance service to see if they run similar courses, but if not, here are some of the basics I learnt. I’m not going to include advice on choking or resuscitation as these are a bit more involved:

Burns and scalds

  • Reduce the heat by saturating the burnt area with tepid water for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  • Remove any jewellery or watches (restrictive when swelling occurs).
  • Treat for shock by lying casualty on the floor.
  • Cover burnt area with a non-fluffy sterile dressing or plastic material such as cling film.
  • Do not burst blisters, apply creams/ointments or remove clothing stuck to the skin.
  • Monitor the casualty’s response and breathing and send to hospital if necessary.


  • Examine the injury, check for foreign embedded objects.
  • If there’s no embedded object, apply direct pressure to the wound.
  • Elevate the injured part if injuries allow.
  • If bleeding continues through dressing apply another on top.
  • Support the injured part and keep casualty warm.
  • Call 999 and monitor casualty’s condition.

Febrile Seizures (usually brought on when child has a high temperature or infection)

  • Protect them with cushioning or padding.
  • Cool the child down by removing clothes.
  • When seizure stops, place child in the recovery position and monitor.
  • If the child becomes unconscious, call 999.

Print this/other first aid advice out, and stick it up somewhere easily accessible so that you can grab it for quick reference in an emergency (as we did yesterday). Hopefully you won’t have to use this advice, but it’s always best to be prepared.

Fonz was very lucky and is absolutely fine. And Young Daddy and I have both had a powerful reminder of how safety-conscious we must be when there are toddlers around.

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