Last week I met up with Chloe Hill from Mini First Aid. Chloe launched Mini First Aid in Marlow in May last year. Since then she has been frantically busy juggling running a business along with looking after her 3 young children. I wanted to find out more about how she manages it and what inspired her to start her own business.
What inspired you to begin teaching first aid?
For 10 years I worked in advertising agencies in London, but it was following a nasty burn to my 3rd daughter’s leg that I became interested in first aid. I was on holiday in a restaurant and the local people around us although trying to be helpful, were convinced that putting honey on the burn was the best thing to do. Luckily there was an ex nurse who saw what was happening and told us to get the burn under cold water. I then felt terribly guilty that I hadn’t been on a first aid course and signed up to one immediately when I got home. I did wonder though why and how I had slipped through the net in attending one and realised that there weren’t many that were convenient or affordable. That’s when I heard about Mini First Aid and wanted to make it available in the Thames Valley, so went through all the training to become a paediatric first aid instructor.
Why do you think it’s so important for parents to learn basic first aid?
It’s a massive responsibility looking after children. So having First Aid skills really should be mandatory for everyone who looks after a baby or child. It really could make the difference between life and death and it is something you would never regret learning or spending the money on. Accidents happen all the time with children and knowing what to do in those first few minutes before help arrives can make such a difference to the outcome, whether it’s a burn, head bump or a major bleed.
First Aid is very logical but if you have never been taught there is no reason why you would know what to do in an emergency situation. By having basic skills and knowledge you could save your child’s life if a medical emergency ever arises. We also discuss when you should call an ambulance, or what to do if you are on your own with a child and something happens – what do you do first – call an ambulance or start CPR?
Have you had any memorable first aid experiences?
We have had a few memorable incidents from parents who have attended a Mini First Aid Class, this being one of them from the Manchester Mini First Aid:
2 days after attending a class Caroline had to resuscitate her 6 week old son after he went blue and stopped breathing in his car seat. She removed him from his seat and performed 2 rounds of CPR before he came round. She said she only knew what to do as she went on a Mini First Aid class. She has now booked her whole family on the class.
What key skills do you teach parents during your courses?
They will learn the basics from what to put into your First Aid Kit, to how to deal with choking and CPR. I also cover, burns, breaks and fractures, head bumps, meningitis awareness, bleeding and lots of other useful tips to compliment the main subjects.
How long does it take to learn the essential life saving skills?
The class is 2 hrs long and we focus on CPR for up to 30 mins of this time. Everyone who wants to, has the opportunity to practice the techniques on a baby manikin and a junior manikin for as long as they need. The classes are small – up to 12 people, so everyone gets to have a good amount of time to have a go and ask questions.
How frequently should people brush up on their skills?
In the industry we refresh our skills every year, but its entirely up to you and how confident you feel with what you’ve learnt. It’s like with anything, the more you practice the more confident you feel. Every couple of years would be ideal.
How much does it cost?
It is £25 per person for a 2 hr open class. I also run private classes at people’s homes where they get a group of friends, NCT groups or family together. I love teaching these classes as everyone is relaxed and there’s more banter! These classes are also £25 per person but I request a minimum of 6 people on these.
When are your next local classes?
Tuesday 25th September at Bourne End Library, 10am – 12pm
Thursday 11th October in Marlow at the All Saints Church Small Hall 7.30pm – 9.30pm
How can I get in touch or find out more?
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or look at the website for class dates: www.thamesvalley.minifirstaid.co.uk