There was a day when Orla was teeny, and I’d been sent some lovely cappuccino cups for my first ever Instagram giveaway. We opened the parcel together behind the front door – she was in her ‘wow’ stage and wanted to see and touch everything. I lifted the lid, & before I even realised one was broken, she cut her finger on a razor-like shard of porcelain.
She bled and bled and bled. My white tshirt became streaked with her precious, tiny baby blood. I wrapped her little sock around her finger, but the blood leaked through. It was smeared across her face and her clothes and the wall. It dripped onto the floor with the most chilling ‘tick tick tick‘.
I freaked out. It began to look like an awful lot of blood, relative to her size, and it really wasn’t stopping. I knew I should compress the wound but she was squirming and slippery with blood, and I couldn’t get her to hold still. She was clinging to me, screaming, and though I’ve had plenty of first aid training over the years, I just couldn’t think what to do. The hallway began to look like a murder scene. I googled ‘baby won’t stop bleeding‘ but nothing came up. I left Rory a semi-hysterical voicemail message. I began to think I should go to A&E, but I didn’t want to be ridiculous, and was dimly aware that I hadn’t really tried any first aid yet.
& so, thankfully, I went to the bathroom cabinet, and found a roll of bandage. I managed to wrap it really tightly around her finger, somehow, and decided to wait and see how quickly this new bandage soaked through.
The binding worked and the bleeding stopped. Rory came home, frantic, to find us watching cBeebies in bed, the hall still scarlet and messy, both of us still in our blood stained clothes.
It wasn’t my finest hour as a parent or as a rational adult. It made me realise how much of our logic we can lose in a panicky situation; I remembered the NHS resuscitation trainer, who taught life support full time, admitting to getting it wrong when she saw her own young daughter choking. Sometimes you need a reminder.
What I needed that day – and what I have now – is an app like the British Red Cross Baby & Child First Aid app. It covers all the first aid scenarios you’re likely to face with little ones in short, calm and instructive little chunks – through video, animations & tips.
It can be used as a learning aid or in an emergency for clear & concise instructions on delivering the right care for the situation.
& it’s totally free.
Now I’ve left the NHS & my annual training refreshers behind, I’ve installed it on all my devices and we’re looking into BRC’s local first aid training courses too. When my camera roll is full & I need more phone space, my finger sometimes hovers over the BRC app, but then I remember how I felt that day in the hallway, and I never delete it.
I hope I never use it; I hope you never need to either. But just in case, just so you’re ready, you can download it here.
Have you ever had a first aid emergency with your kids or loved ones? did you handle it better than me..?