1 year old

First Aid Pretend Play


One day last week we had a really frightening experience when Ivy had a choking episode.  She wasn't breathing and turned blue within seconds, but my husband and I went to her straight away and administered first aid and luckily she began breathing normally again quite quickly.  We had an ambulance come and take Ivy to the hospital to be checked, all while Ethan was there witnessing the whole thing.  Ivy is absolutely fine now and there is nothing to be concerned about, but it really has made me think a lot about first aid and how it's never too soon to start learning about it.

I also really wanted to go over all of the events of that night with Ethan, as he is such a thinker I can never be sure of what he has understood or if he's worrying about other emergencies happening again.  So I started off by explaining that Ivy was choking and that Mommy and Daddy knew what to do to help her, but that Daddy called for help as well. Then asked him if he knew what number to call in an emergency, and he did (I can thank a certain cartoon fireman for that I think!)

So we got out some of the baby dolls and medical kit toys and played through a scenario with the toy baby choking, holding her face down and patting her back and then calling 999. Ethan was able to find the number 9 on the toy phone and pretended to call in the emergency.  Then we rushed the baby off in the ambulance, making siren noises all the way (although that part didn't really happen, Ivy was fine by the time the ambulance arrived). 

Then I explained to Ethan that Ivy was checked by a nurse and a doctor at the hospital, before having an x-ray, so we played through those actions as well. Ethan was able to use some of his doctors' kit to take the baby's temperature and to look into his mouth as well as checking blood pressure and laying baby down to take pictures of his insides with a special machine.

Once we were done that I reminded Ethan that Ivy was then free to come home and that he and Daddy came to pick us up.  He told me about what happened from then on, and he seemed to really understand the whole situation which made me feel better.  While we were doing all of this first aid play I thought that it would be a good opportunity to play a bit with bandages and plasters, as Ethan is the only child that I have ever known that does not like to have a band aid when he has a cut or scrape.  So we played though the baby dolls hurting themselves and having to have plasters put on, which Ethan and Ivy enjoyed doing, so hopefully he will be ok with needing one himself next time.

On that night, while the doctor walked with me down the corridor to the x-ray room, as Ivy peacefully slept on my shoulder, the doctor turned to me and said that my husband and I may have saved Ivy's life.  It only hit me later that that meant that the outcome could have been very different if we hadn't known what to do when a baby is choking.  So I urge you all, as parents and carers of small children to make sure that your first aid knowledge is up to date.  Please have a read of what to do if your child is choking from the NHS and watch this video from St John's Ambulance and think about taking a first aid course if you haven't already.

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