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Lifestar 01-22-2004 07:35 PM

First Aid & CPR
How many of you have ever taken a First Aid and/or CPR class?

I am a firm believer that anyone who takes care of kids needs to know the basics. The statistics speak for themselves..and what they say are frightening.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the leading cause of death and disability in American children is preventable injuries.

It's not smallpox, not Pollio, not AIDS, or Influenza... Children in this country are victims of preventable injuries.... .

We all dread the Emergency Scenarios.... "My baby's choking"... "My toddler strayed into the backyard pool" " There's been a car accident..people are hurt"...

Would you know what to do while waiting for help to arrive?...Or would you be stuck feeling helpless and frightened?....

Then there's the every-day scenarios... how to handle a tick or a dog bite... What should you put on a burn?.. What is heat stroke?.. What does frostbite really look like? And what's the best way to treat it at home ....

I'd like to know If classes are available, affordable and convenient in your area....
If you haven't taken a class.. what's holding you back?...

Is there anything that would make the classes more attractive to you?

I'd like to hear your opinions.

barbszy 02-01-2004 01:21 PM

I took Basic First Aid and CPR back in 1989 when I worked at Girl Scout camp. It was required for all staffers and I'm very glad I took it! Although we had a couple of paramedics and a nurse on staff, there were still times when I needed it....

Guess it MIGHT be time for a refresher??? But it's getting the TIME for the refresher that stops me now. I'd spend a fortune in babysitting for all those hours!

ajrsmom 02-01-2004 01:43 PM

We took classes in high school for both infant & adult but that was almost 20 years ago!! :-O I took another class for infant and adult to get certified about 10 years ago. It is time for another certification.

Ive been fortunate that Ive never been in a situation where Ive need to apply CPR to anyone. I must be honest when I say that I might hesitate to do so with all of the diseases out there. Yes, I know that there are mouth guards to use but really, does anyone carry one with them? Id like to hear from others on this too. I dont think that Im the only one that would hesitate to offer help. I dont think that I could stand by and watch someone choke to death without my instints taking over and offering help but Im not sure how I would react. Children are another case though, I wouldnt hesitate at all.

How do you feel about the people who file lawsuits against someone who has offered help only to have problems with the outcome anyway? Thats a scary situation to put yourself in.

I think that most of us dont know enough about first aid. I have taken classes and I have the books here at home --like I would have time to really read them if it was an emergency. I must say, though, that I do take them out once in a while to review common first aide procedures. With 2 kids, you never know what will happen.

I also keep a list of emergency numbers posted in the kitchen next to the phone. Police, Ambulance, Poison Control,Fire Dept., along with 911 in big bold letters at the top of the page. My son has learned about calling 911 but I still review it with him quite often.

One thing that I would add along with knowing CPR & First Aid , make sure that when your kids are old enough, teach them thier Name, address and phone number along with Mom, Dad and siblings names. There might be a situation one day where you can help and they need to call 911 with this info.

mom2-4 02-01-2004 02:48 PM

I took the basic CPR course that was required back in high school which is about 15 years ago.

I feel comfortable enough, that if one of my kids or spouse, were choking or not breathing, that I could keep them ok, until an ambulance arrived.

But, if it were me I would be in big trouble, because no one else in the family has a clue as to how to save me.

I agree with ajrsmom, if I were to come to an emergency situation with strangers, I would also be very reluctant to help.:o You never know what type of person you would be helping. I know I would just tell them lay there and DON't move!!

I don't think it is right for people to sue other people that tried to help you and things went wrong, it is just not right. It really makes it hard for leary people like myself, that really don't have complete first aid training. I mean what if what little I do know would save someone, but because I am unsure and don't want to get sued, so i don't help. Then I live the rest of my life thinking what if????

Ajrsmom is also right about the diseases, who, besides a person who is in their car and has a first aid kit in the car. I know they usually come with the device now.

I know I really need to get my training updated. What is keeping me from going? Well, let's see first is lack of money, to pay for the classes, and lack of money to pay a babysitter, or even finding a sitter.

Irish Angel 02-01-2004 03:00 PM

I worked for Headstart as their interpreter .
Now as a "foster parent" we are required 1st Aid :p

Lifestar 02-01-2004 06:46 PM

One thing that's been brought up is the reluctance to jump in to help in a "stranger-to-stranger" rescue situation... 95% of rescues involve people who you know.. family and friends... There is no legal obligation to help anyone... even if you have a CPR or First Aid certification. Only professionals and people who "advertise" that they have training are required to help. The reluctance to make contact with a stranger is understandable, and should really be left to the professionals.

If you DO choose to get involved... You are protected from prosecution by what's called "Good Samaritan Laws" Meaning that as long as you can substantiate that you acted without malace, and within your level of training, you cannot be prosecuted for any crime; and you are also protected from civil actions. Every state has Good Samaritan legislation.

But remember like I said before..95% of civilian CPR is done on family and friends... .in an emergency, the professionals are many minutes away..and it's you and your family member waiting for help...

Did you know that there was a pilot program in the city of Seattle in the 1980's..where for a period of years.. in order to get your Driver's license, you had to have a CPR card. So 93% of the adults in Seattle were CPR certified. It turned out that the survival rate for cardiac arrests in Seattle was 65%..Thhat same period of time, survival rates in Chicago, LA and NY..were all less than 5% ( not a typo).

Having someone on the scene who could start CPR within the first 4 minutes.. made all the difference in survival rates...

Barb, I hear what you are saying about the time and the Babysitting... When I ran my own business, I brought classes into peoples' homes... I was like the "Tupperware Lady" of CPR and First Aid classes... I was so sorry when I got hurt this last time and couldn't recertify.. I lost my ability to run my business
. :( It was a great service.

Kids can learn First Aid and CPR.. as long as they understand what NOT to do... You can teach a 10 year old when to do and NOT to do the Heimlich maneuver... You can teach a 4 year old how to call 911, as long as they know their address ..and can stay calm on the phone.

Both my kids are CPR certified, and my older DD is First Aid Certified too...

barbszy 02-02-2004 04:25 AM

Val, if you were still teaching that class I'd hire you in a heartbeat! That is such a great idea.

I think I'll have DH bring it up at Boy Scouts that they should look into getting classes for the kids.

I took my first CPR class just after I graduated high school. 5 days after my graduation my dad collapsed and had a pacemaker installed. Mom panicked and enrolled the rest of us in a CPR class. Knee-jerk reaction or not, it was a good thing to know.

mom2-4 02-02-2004 04:29 AM

Just a question. Does someone really need to know the address of where they are, when calling 911 in an emergency, as long as they are calling from a land phone?

Don't most 911 operating stations have modern technology, that actually gives them the address of where the land call is being made from?

Lifestar 02-02-2004 03:50 PM

Karen that's a good question...

Most places do have "enhanced 911" meaning that the address pops up on the computer screen, indication where the caller is calling from... It's a wonderful thing.. But a lot of places still can't afford the encanced computer system. You still have to be prepared to give your location...and computer systems do go down! You may call once when the system is down and you need to be prepared to tell the operator where you are at all times.

You know one place that didn't have enhanced 911 for the longest time?? NYC!!! :confused: I worked there as a call receiving operator for EMS in 1990 .. and I swear I don't know how many lives were lost because ambulances just circled...waiting for us to figure out where the caller was calling from.... I don't even know if it's totally in place now... I think you might still have to give your residential address in NYC...

I remember the frustration and anguish I would feel when a person would call..SCREAMING that a baby wasn't breathing...yelling to send help..and then HANG UP!! :-O ... It was horrible.. all I could do was wait until someone called back to ask what was taking so long!!! :(

And in NYC sometimes they'd give the address.. but not the borough... so we'd send multiple ambulances to multiple addresses... or give an address but not an apartment number... Or a hotel.. but not the hotel room.... :ugh: Just awful stuff....

Many rural areas don't ahve enhanced 911.. some communities don't even have still have to dial a seven-digit number to get help...

When we vacation .. I always check the front pages of the local phone book for the local emergency nimbers.. You'd be surprised..It's not always 911...


ajrsmom 02-02-2004 04:13 PM

Val, Just wanted to say Thanks for all of the information that youve provided for us here in this thread. I feel a little better knowing about the "Good Samaritan" laws too.



Lifestar 02-02-2004 07:28 PM

Tami..Thanks for saying thanks! That's so nice ...

Ladies... I know certification courses are expensive... especially through the Red Cross... You might want to see if your local volunteer corps, cooperative extension, or BOCES is offering a class. They might offer a class at a discount.

You don't have to get a CPR card ( which costs $5.00 paid directly to the issuing agency) You can decline it...

The Red Cross is a money making organization. It charges a lot for it's programs. The Heart Association is different... It allows it's instructors to set individual fees, and a Heart Association course can be offered for free, or for a sliding scale if the instructor chooses.
So you might want to call the American Heart Association chapter in your area, and explain that you are looking for a low-cost refresher course . They might be able to give you a referal.

I was an instructor for both agencies. I liked to teach Heart Association CPR and Red Cross First Aid. The Heart Association course can be tailored to meet the needs of the class rather than having to go through the whole course like you'd have to do with the Red Cross program... It's also "Instructor lead", rather than "Video lead", I always liked to do the teaching myself... I'm a ham.:-D

As far as the whole thing of getting involved with strangers and being prepered to protect yourself from diseases...

In my opinion...if you even THINK you might EVER help a stranger.. (EVEN A CHILD).. You NEED to carry a mouth to mouth barrier device with you at all times. ...

I use something called an "Ambu-Key". I'm not a spokes-person, I don't sell their product.. It's just the best thing I have found to make sure I always have something with me.

It's a little 1-inch square velcro pouch that hangs on my key-ring and in it is a simple to use barrier device. It cost me about $5.00 six years ago, and I have never had to use it :rolleyes: Thank G-d. This is the link to the company's catalog page... I couldn't see the picture on my computer..maybe you can.

Anyway... Please let me know If I start to sound "preachy" at all... I really do miss teaching these classes for families... I used to teach at homes, businesses, schools, camps, shurches... all kinds of settings. It was always different and I met a lot of great people.

I hope any of you who are looking for a class will be able to find one without too much trouble...


mom2-4 02-03-2004 11:01 AM

Thanks for all the information Val, now if only I could find the time to take a refresher course. Are you going to be in my area any time soon?:-D

Irish Angel 08-09-2007 10:08 AM

I am hoping to particpate in a local Red Cross disaster training.
In a post 9-11 world and with all of the things that seem to be going on I think its really important to know basic first aid and CPR!

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