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5 things I learnt at a first-aid course

GH Lifestyle Editor Vicki Sleet attended a CPR and first-aid course and was amazed to hear that the simplest things could make the difference between a life saved and a life lost
first-aid course

My daughter is 14 months old and the fact that I hadn’t completed a CPR and first-aid course has been hanging over my head. I’m so glad I finally did! It turns out that items in my grocery cupboard could be deadly – and that I didn’t even know our national ambulance number!

1. Spice of life (or death)

Did you know that cinnamon could kill a baby? A small amount of cinnamon ingested could cause a lung spasm, which could have a horrific result. I was appalled, especially because one of my daughter’s favourite games is to unpack and repack the spice rack at my mom’s house.

2. Know this number

The facilitator of the CPR course asked our group what the number of the national ambulance is and not one person knew it! Memorise this number: 10177, it could save someone’s life.

3. Thump it out!

Our baby is well into finger-food territory and with that comes the very real threat of her choking. Just as well we learnt how to remove an obstruction in the throat, as she choked on a piece of bacon this weekend. For toddlers, place them over your knee and thump them five times between the shoulder blades. Also, don’t ever try to remove an obstruction manually, you could cause more damage or close the airway entirely.

4. Heimlich know-how

Confession: all I know about the Heimlich manoeuvre is what I’ve seen on TV. To perform the Heimlich manoeuvre properly, get behind the victim, make a fist with one hand then put the thumb of your fist slightly above the belly button. Place the other hand on top of the fist and give quick upward thrusts into the belly until the person can breathe, cough or talk.

5. Eau yes!

When it comes to burns, do not use butter, or any other home remedy for that matter – you could be creating an opportunity for infection to set in. Treat a mild burn by running under cool (not cold) water and if the burn is worse, head to your local ER. If you don’t have it in your first-aid kit, Burnshield is an essential treatment for burns.


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