Helping parents help kids

IF YOUR precious little boy or girl suffered a medical emergency, would you know what to do?

When registered nurse Brionhy Westbrook’s six-month-old daughter lapsed into unconsciousness two-and-a-half years ago, her training saved her daughter’s life.

But the chilling experience left her wondering how many other parents, especially those living in regional and remote areas, would cope if they were faced with a similar scenario.

A short time later Mrs Westbrook founded KidzAid, a program that teaches people who care for babies, infants and children critical paediatric first aid and resuscitation. Now the health service is available in Tamworth.

Headed up by paramedic and Tamworth newcomer Wayne Boisson, the life-saving skills workshops educates parents on what to do in the event of common childhood medical emergencies, including serious injuries, chocking, fevers, febrile convulsions, burns and drownings.

“Some of the most stressful situations you encounter in emergency care is dealing with kids,” Mr Boisson said.

“My objective as regional manager is to try to give as much information to parents and families so they are able to help emergency services when they arrive, rather than become a hindrance.

“If parents can remember some simple life-saving skills, their stress levels will be drastically reduced.”

The KidzAid instructor said it was paramount that parents in regional and remote centres were equipped with life-preserving know-how. “Due to the vast distances and travel times in the country, when you ring triple-zero an ambulance is not always going to be there within eight minutes like they are in Sydney or Melbourne,” Mr Boisson said.

“Parents, grandparents, expecting parents, and child care providers will all greatly benefit from participating in a KidzAid workshop,” Mrs Westbrook said.

Each year about 260 Australian children aged 0 to 14 are killed and 58,000 are hospitalised due to unintentional injuries.

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