A parental guide to kids' first aid

FOR ambulance paramedic Katie Fisher the 'light bulb moment' happened in June, 2006, when she was visiting a friend.

“While I was there her 12-month-old son suffered third-degree burns when he was doused with hot tea,” Mrs Fisher, who lives at Evans Head, said.

“I rang the ambulance, but it was then that I realised that sometimes people have no idea of the best thing to do in a first aid emergency with kids. There's often a lot parents can do before an ambulance arrives,” she said.

Thinking over the scalding incident, she also realised that often parents didn't have the time to attend a senior first aid course and this prompted her to sit down and write a three-hour program covering the 10 most common accidents involving children.

These include choking, drowning, burns, poison, asthma, anaphylaxis, asthma, trauma and how to administer CPR.

Thinking she was starting a successful small business, Mrs Fisher has been stunned by demand.

“In the first 12 months we trained 1500 parents. Just last week in Sydney I took 40 parents, and it's all word of mouth.”

Mrs Fisher and her husband Ben, who is also a paramedic, have been tested at times with their own three children.

Once young Max was taken to hospital with a head injury, Lily swallowed some dishwashing detergent, and older sister Monique mistakenly swallowed some tablets.

Kids First Aid began its life in Sydney in partnership with Mrs Fisher's sister, Jenny.

The two began running the program at mothers' groups and preschools. Now courses are being run in Brisbane, on the Gold Coast, the Northern Rivers, and Melbourne.

“I was doing all this travelling to and from Sydney and I thought 'I'd prefer to be running courses closer to home',” Mrs Fisher said.

Adult community colleges are running the three-hour program and Mrs Fisher is willing to go to any workplace if 10 people are interested. The cost is $55.

Mrs Fisher said the reward of her business came at the end of the course, when people said that they now had knowledge and power and more confidence to deal with an emergency.

The next Kids First Aid course is at ACE Ballina on September 20 from 2 to 5pm. Book on 6622 1903.

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