This is a guest post.
The park. Ah, we love the park. You grab a coffee (or the most exotic blend of freshly juiced fruits & veggies), walk down the street to meet your friend, and just let the kids run wild. Nothing eases the angst of being cooped up like fresh air. You let your guard down a little as you hear laughter and the latest toddler slang. This is the park story we love.
Come with me to another park.
Same scene, different feel. Turn to find your toddler climbing monkey bars clearly too high for him. A brave mom courageously told me this story. Her son, lying beneath the monkey bars, fell unconscious as she helplessly waited for the paramedics to arrive. Not knowing what to do she just yelled out for someone to call 911. She waits. They must be on their way. She looks up five minutes later only to realize that no one had called for help. 5 minutes were wasted. This is the park story we don’t love.
Would you feel helpless? Let me equip you. I promise I’ll be gentle. I’ve written more about this in simple terms in my free eBook: Super Simple CPR, which is available here (for free, of course). Here’s a quick overview of some of the first things you should do in any emergency. Whether they need CPR or not.
- Make sure the park isn’t on fire. What? Well, it’s not just a fire. Make sure there’s no imminent danger around. It seems obvious, but take my word. In an emergency, the obvious tends to get blurred by your superhuman strengths. If there’s anything, that’s going to cause harm to you or the victim, get yourself and the victim out of the way.
- Get his/her attention. This is so simple. Just tap and shout their name. If the victim (whether your child or anyone else) doesn’t respond within a few seconds, we need to have someone call 911. Don’t second guess yourself at this point. If you’re not sure if they’re responding to you, just assume that they’re not. When you send someone to call 911, PLEASE make sure to make eye contact with someone. As in the case of this story, many times, bystanders will assume that someone else has called 911.
- Check to see if they’re breathing. You’ll check for 5 seconds–absolutely no more than 10 seconds. If they’re not breathing, or just gasping…start CPR. If they are breathing and you don’t suspect head, neck, or spine injuries, turn them to their side and watch their breathing as you wait for help to arrive. This is when we would look for other obvious signs of injury that we can tend to with first aid.
It’s simple. I’d be honored to walk you through more simple steps through my Free Ebook: “Super Simple CPR.” You can download your copy here.
Now, it’s your turn. Where’s, is the one location where you would be afraid to apply this? Verbalizing our worst case fears will help us conquer them!
Gonzales, L., Lynch, M., & Bork, S. (Eds.). (2011). Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED Student Workbook Health & Safety. United States of America: First American Heart Association Printing.
Hi, I’m Grace. I help parents feel more confident about CPR and provide research-based resources for healthy families on my blog, Precious Hearts by Grace, where you can get my free eBook, “Super Simple CPR.” With extensive experience as a Registered Nurse in one of the nation’s leading Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Units, I was inspired to begin teaching CPR and First Aid. Now, it’s more than that! I am committed to distilling a variety of research to help you make the best decisions for your family! Currently, I live in Nashville with my ever-so-talented musician husband.