During the course of becoming a licensed foster parent, I was required to take a CPR course. My youngest took it with me as well.
As we sat in class listening, learning, watching, and practicing, I thought to myself, “I wonder if I will be able to remember all of these instructions if ever the time came that I needed to do this?” It was a fair and rhetorical question, I believe. Having already raised four older children and never once having to find the answer out, my lucky streak would break last week.
I saved my youngest child’s life.
As one of my older daughters was visiting for dinner, she and my youngest child were joking together over dessert. My youngest child was gobbling down licorice pieces. Lots of laughter was ensuing. I stood at the sink washes dishes while this was going on.
Suddenly, my daughter cried out, “Mom, Austen is choking.” I turned around to see him turning red and trying desperately to breath. I ran from the sink, positioned myself behind him, and gave him the heimlich maneuver as taught to me by the EMS team during my class. It took five times for the piece of licorice to dislodge itself from his throat and come flying out of his mouth and onto the table. Not realizing that it had, I continued until my daughter told me to stop and my son began to breath again.
It was the longest and most frightening few moments of my life. Never before had I been so grateful for that training. It also made me wonder why it isn’t required learning for all new parents. Knowing what I know now, in the way that I know it, I’m convinced that it should be.
As choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, namely over 5,084 deaths a year, I wonder how many of those loved ones could have been saved given someone in the room new CPR?
Obviously, I will never know. What I do know, however, is the answer to my original question regarding “if I would remember all of the instructions taught to me when a crisis hits as well as how quickly and clearly that learning would return to me when push came to shove.” Pretty damn fast.
As one concerned parent to another, I wonder what your answer would be? Would you even know what to do if you suddenly faced what I just did….if your child’s life was in your hands? I promise you, you don’t want to live with the reality of losing a child simply because you couldn’t find the time to take a simple CPR course-First Aid Training. I urge you to sign up for one when you can. Please!
As we are all wearing masks to prevent the spread of another unexpected killer, how different is it to take a two-hour class to do the same and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome here too? I ask you.
Don’t wait until it is too late to find out that answer.
To learn more, see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjmbD7aIaf0