Q&A with a Paediatric Nurse
  • January 27, 2016
  • Rachel Loosley Creative Writer and Social Media Millennial

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    We chat basic first aid, diet, and what it’s like on a children’s ward

    Back in 2013 the team at St John Ambulance service took a survey that revealed nearly half (44%) of expectant parents hadn’t learnt basic first aid in preparation for their baby’s arrival. The charity run first aid courses all over the country, and are trying to encourage more parents to take part. Their Chief Executive states on the website:

    ‘Preparing for a baby is a busy time for expectant parents so it is no wonder some tasks go amiss. However, it is shocking that nearly half of new parents haven’t learnt first aid and wouldn’t know what to do if their baby needed help, yet two thirds say the thought of an accident makes them feel worried. Learning basic first aid is so simple and can be the difference between a life lost or saved, so parents don’t have to feel helpless and worried, giving them immediate peace of mind.’

    With that in mind, we’ve asked Daisy, a paediatric nurse, a couple of questions that’ll hopefully be able to encourage parents to learn some vital, potentially life-saving skills. We also discuss diet, and what parents can expect if their child visits a paediatric ward.

    Q. What would you say is the most important bit of
    basic first aid that parents should know?

    A. ‘Basic life support for babies and toddlers is probably the most important first aid for parents to know. If a baby stops breathing for any reason, such as drowning in baths, parents need know the drill. St. John’s ambulance have a very informative video about this for all different ages. Their website is really good, too.’

    Some of you may have already seen a new advert just released
    by St John’s about giving babies CPR. Q. Childhood obesity is still an issue in the UK, too. What advice would you give parents who want to encourage their kids to make healthier choices?

    A. ‘Helping parents encourage their children to eat healthier isn’t easy, especially if the parents are not willing to eat the same. The later sugar is introduced into a child’s diet the better, such as not giving sugary drinks and cooking home cooked meals and blending rather than buying pre made baby pureed jars. I’m also a big fan of this new app from change 4 life called sugar smart which lets parents as well as kids know how much sugar is in the food they eat.’

    Find out more about the app here

    Q. For any parents who are worried about their child having to go into hospital, what is done to make kids feel as safe and secure as possible
    while they’re on the ward?

    A. ‘There are no limited visiting times for parents, they are allowed to be resident on the ward 24 hours a day, although only one parent overnight (due to bed space) but this means parents never have to leave their child at hospital alone. There are play specialists whose role is to support anxious children going through procedures that they are afraid of, or entertain during the long days when in hospital.’

    A big thanks to Daisy, her ward and all the other NHS staff
    caring for poorly children (and adults too!)

    Take a look at the St John Ambulance service website for more details on first aid courses, or more first aid videos

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