The one thing I think is MOST underestimated in the whole Parenting Information thing is just how utterly, ridiculously stupid kids can be at times.
Not always stupid, like climbing up dodgy scaffolding they have ‘constructed’ (I use the term loosely) themselves, or climbing anything and everything. Sometimes they’re just … well, I know some will take offence to this, but fuck it, sometimes they are just ignorant.
Only because they have much to learn, and much brain type development to undergo, and they really just don’t know stuff because they don’t have big enough brains, or adequate experience.
It is not necessarily anyone’s fault. It’s just all part of growing up.
And it is this lack of experience, understanding, and genuine ignorance that has them doing fun things like sticking forks into power points, sticking fingers up dogs bums, and falling into any sort of body of water, including but not limited to ice cream buckets put out for the chooks so they may remain hydrated.
Accidents also tend to happen; whether due to their simple (again, not intended to be offensive) minds, and the fact that part of their lack of development means they don’t have the strength, control, or balance to do all the stuff they think they can do. Like climb the pantry to reach your chocolate stash.
They’re quick, they’re fearless, and they can be absolutely downright, unfathomably stupid.
Some kids have been born with some sort of disease, illness, or disorder that puts them in gross danger of easily contracting illness, and some, sadly, are inflicted with something that causes their heart to stop, for one reason or another. Far too many to list here.
Of course, in all of this, there is a good chance that you, as a mother (or father, parent, whatever you like), feel like you may very well be experiencing a heart attack, based on all or one of the above.
Having spent most of my adult life working with other adults and children in some sort of physical activity capacity, including the teaching of swimming, and other water based fun, I have been required to hold a First Aid certificate, including, but not limited to, proficiency in CPR (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation).
Thankfully, I have never been in a situation where I have ever had to use it; although I did experience the Chippie banging his head and stopping breathing thing, and one day, after attending a two full day first aid course, finding my 93 year old neighbour lying in her front yard at 6.13a.m., but that was a broken him and nothing related to the heart.
I’m grateful I’ve never had to use it, but also very grateful that I have had the skills to cope with any sort of thing that requires first aid. Like my teenager falling 3-4 metres off a rock face and barely fracturing his wrist.
You know, fun stuff.
In all the first aid courses, some specifically CPR related, and all my years working with kids in numerous capacities were risk of injury was elevated, there was one thing I didn’t know.
That if an ambulance is called to a child whose heart has stopped, there is a very, very, very miniscule chance that child will recover. By which I’m talking live.
That unless CPR is performed as soon as possible on that child, by anyone, before the ambulance gets there, things are looking rather grim. Very grim.
Children’s bodies and organs, like many things with children, don’t handle lack of blood and oxygen to the brain quite like adults do. Risk of brain damage will happen way earlier than it will with an adult (which is something like 2 minutes anyway) and death is imminent unless you do something as or before you ring the ambos. They’ll take over with all their special stuff once they’re there, but something has to be done immediately.
I found all this out when I was chatting to a lovely paramedic at the official launch of the Kidz Aid CPR Challenge this evening.
Kidz Aid are an organisation, the heart and soul of Brionhy Westbrook, an emergency nurse and mum, and the CPR Challenge is an initiative of hers.
Basically, the aim is to fill the Palladium room at the Crown in Melbourne on Good Friday (April 3rd 2015) and set a Guiness World Record in teaching thousands of people some rather handy life saving skills.
There is no need for Speedos and those funky little caps, nor to come dressed as your favourite Baywatch personality (unless you really want to). No, not that sort of life saving.
The kind of life saving where you have a kid in front of you, and they do something stupid, or get really sick, or eat something they shouldn’t that makes them really ill, or they just go all floppy and stop breathing, or have a tantrum and hold their breath till they stop breathing (it happens, trust me, it happens!) and you have to literally save their life, because calling an ambulance may not do it.
Even if they do get there in under five minutes.
Kids need you -whether it’s your kid or not – in those immediate moments.
In the meantime, Chippie, Monkey Boy and I attended the launch. I attended because it is something close to my heart.
And I am all heart …
I mean heart …
And it was fun!
I buddied up to a few familiar faces.
Monkey Boy stole Giaan Rooney’s baby and basically kept him entertained for most of the evening and refused to give him back. By “him” I mean both Monkey Boy and Baby Rooney.
I did mention to Giaan that she was taking Monkey Boy home. She thought I meant a swap.
She didn’t take him.
So I got him involved in the night and had him set up to learn some basic CPR.
“Why?” he asked.
“Because when dad has a heart attack, you’ll know what to do.”
“I Instagram it don’t I?”
Anyhoo, he did learn, he did well, and I’m slightly, ever so slightly relieved that he now has this skill. Because he’s aware that it’s not just his parents or brothers that may need this sort of attention, but his school friends, passersby, and the list goes on …
But he has enough to get him by if he ever needs.
I hope he doesn’t need, but, you know …
We left, Chippie looking like he had cyanosis.
Thankfully it wasn’t, but am I a little concerned about what the result of consuming that much icing, in that shade of blue is going to be …
For now … if you don’t know how to handle a not breathing/not pulsating child, then go learn how to.
Or come along the CPR Challenge on April 3rd.
I Challenge you!