Coming up next week Sarah Hunstead, Founder of CPR Kids will be joining Emma Walsh, founder of Parents@Work for our next Webinar: Keeping Your Children Safe this Winter. To give you an idea of why the CPR team is so passionate we asked Sarah a few questions about what they do.
Who are CPR Kids and what do you do?
CPR Kids empowers parents and carers of children with the lifesaving skills of prevention, recognition and response to illness and injury in children. We are all paediatric nurses and midwives who have experienced everything we teach. Before founding CPR Kids, I was a Clinical Nurse Manager of a metropolitan Paediatric Emergency Department. I now have the privilege of leading a fantastic team of people striving to achieve our mission of empowering every parent and carer of kids with the ability to stay calm and act in an emergency involving their child.
What qualifications do you need to be on the CPR Kids team?
All our educators are registered nurses and midwives with extensive experience. We have all had experience in resuscitating children, and between us we have over 160 years of paediatric experience.
What are the most common incidents or ailments you have treated?
I have seen everything! From peas up noses to life threatening infections, and everything in between. Breathing problems are common in babies, and accidents are the most common cause of hospitalization in children – mainly falls and motor vehicle accidents.
Can you tell us about any personal experiences you have had with child safety and health?
My own daughters have kept me on my toes – my youngest has choked, put a pea up her nose, had a very serious infection requiring hospitalization, fallen and split the skin through her eyebrow requiring stitches – just to name a few! My oldest also had asthma requiring a few trips to hospital, but now thankfully has grown out of it.
What are your top 3 tips for keeping children safe and healthy?
- Do a First Aid course – know what to do if something goes wrong. Your actions before the ambulance arrives can have a huge impact on the outcome for your child. Also know how to recognise illness in your child.
- Teach them – even when they are toddlers teach them danger. Show them the hot oven or iron for if they understand the danger they are less likely to touch! My youngest was obsessed with the heater – so I let her touch it when the heater was quite warm (not hot, so no danger of burns) and she instantly understood and never touched it again.
- Helmets – even small toddlers on scooters need to wear a helmet. Many people think that just because they are young they can’t go that fast, so don’t need to wear a helmet. Not true! From the youngest age – no helmet, no wheels.
What are your top 3 tips for keeping a new-born safe and healthy?
- Immunise them. Immunisation protects them from preventable diseases, and also protects those that can’t be immunized.
- Breast feed if you can but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t.
- Find a fantastic GP that specializes in children – so that if your little one does get sick, you have an expert to turn to for help.
How can parents ensure their child is safe in the hands of another carer such as a child care centre, teacher, babysitter etc.?
Ensure they have an up to date and valid First Aid certificate. Ask to see it, and ask if the course included paediatric CPR. Also ask how many of the staff are qualified.
As a working parent how do you manage work life balance and do you have any tips for other working parents?
Keep the communication channels open with your partner. Talk about everything and keep your expectations clear so you are both on the same page. That way you can travel over any bumps in the road together.
How can employers support working parents to keep their children safe and healthy?
Give their employees the skills and knowledge to prevent, recognise and respond to their sick or injured child, confidently. At CPR Kids, we have experienced firsthand the struggles that working parents face while juggling their work and home life, and the impact of having to take unexpected time off work when kids fall ill or become injured. On average, preschool aged children are sick 7-10 times per year. It is inevitable that parents will need to take time off work when their child is sick.
Empowering employees with this expert knowledge to make good decisions when their child becomes sick or injured enables prevention and quicker recovery times and therefore, an earlier return to work. This impacts the organization by:
- Extending the understanding and support of what it means to be a working parent contributes to helping employees feel more confident about their work-home life balance.
- Building a family friendly culture in the workplace helps an organisation to engage and retain employees and attracts skills back after maternity leave.
Can you tell us about the courses CPR Kids run?
- Baby and Child First Aid: a 3 hour in-home class that covers the most common first aid scenarios in babies and children, and hands on CPR practice.
- Knowledge for Life: a 5.5 hour class that empowers you to confidently care for your sick or injured child in an emergency situation, while giving you the knowledge and skills to recognise and prevent illness and injury to help keep your child healthy and safe. As an extension of our family classes, this class will not only cover CPR and the most common First Aid topics that affect young children, but will also teach you how to prevent injury and recognise illness in a wide range of situations.
- Focus on Families: a unique corporate wellness program which works around an 8-module training program empowering parents at work with the skills to prevent and reduce the severity and duration of common illnesses and injuries in children. This, in turn, minimises their time away from work, builds a family-friendly culture while strengthening the bonds – both at home and at work.
- Community Classes: CPR kids partners with not for profit agencies such as Wesley Mission, Indigenous organisations and Refugee groups to provide classes, tailored specifically to the client’s needs.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with working parents and their employers?
Don’t put it off any longer. At CPR Kids we know that YOU WILL make a difference in the outcome of a sick or injured child by implementing effective First Aid and recognising illness early. This has a huge ripple effect, not only for the family but also throughout an organisation. We know that offering a program to employees that encompasses these lifesaving skills will influence positive health outcomes, reduce carer’s leave, and increase productivity. As parent, wouldn’t it be great to know you can be confident to help your child in an emergency?