You’ve booked the holiday, brought a brand new travel cot and some fun new holiday fashions for baby… but the most important thing you need to take on your holiday is the knowledge of what to do in an emergency.
Like most new parents, my husband and I vigilantly planned our first major holiday with a baby to ensure we were covered for every eventuality. We packed our portable cot, changes of clothes, familiar toys, nappies, blankets and even a specially prepared first aid kit, which was all well and good, until it occurred to me that in the event of an emergency, I didn’t really know what to with it.
The very next morning I booked straight into a first aid course and honestly believe it is the best investment I have made thus far for my children, particularly given our penchant for travelling to far flung locations.
Where to go
There are many excellent courses available specifically designed for parents and carers of small children, which are especially important for mums and dads planning to hit the road with their baby where medical attention may not be quickly accessible due to language barriers or distance. St Johns Ambulance hold excellent day-long courses for parents (though babies cannot attend these sessions so you’ll need to arrange care). Another excellent option that we can highly recommend is Kids First Aid information sessions. These classes – presented by qualified paramedics experienced in frontline emergency care – are a more baby friendly three hours in duration and offer parents the basic information needed on ten of the most common emergency situations that involve children. Best of all, they are held at flexible locations and you can bring baby with you.
Probably the most important single piece of first aid knowledge a parent needs is how and when to perform CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation). A first aid course will cover this as well as identifying and providing the most up to date first aid responses to the most common emergency situations parents might face. These include fits, fevers, asthma, allergies, choking, poisoning, burns, drowning, electrocution, trauma, head and spinal injury.
Imagining your own child in an emergency scenario is chilling, especially if you’re away from home. But knowing the correct protocol can arm you with the invaluable ability to do the right thing in the vital first moments after an accident, which could mean the difference between life and death.
Packing for your holidays?
Don’t forget a first aid kit. Essential items include;
- Infant thermometer
- Infant paracetamol
- Infant antihistamine
- Antiseptic cream
- Plasters/Band Aids
- Infant insect repellent
- Rehydration salts
- Sting relief cream or spray
- Assorted bandages
- Disposable gloves
- Cotton buds
- Saline (to wash wounds, eyes etc)
- Rehydration salts
- Surgical tape for holding dressings
- Safety pins
- A first aid manual
- Any prescription medications
PLEASE NOTE: This information should not be used as an alternative to professional care and remember that while 000 is the right number to call for an emergency in Australia, numbers differ in other countries so be sure to familiarise yourself with the correct number before the event of an emergency.