Monday, 30 April 2018

Fits and Seizures

As a first aid instructor it is always good to hear back from someone that they have learnt something useful and practical on my courses.  I delivered a course the other week and the next day one of the ladies was at a family gathering when her niece unfortunately and out of the blue started to have a fit.  It was a bit of a shock to the family, but because of my course the day before she remembered what I had told her and how to act in order to help her niece in this situation.  One of the things about first aid is that it is mostly common sense that you need to use in order to help someone out when they need it. 

When you first see someone having a seizure it can be quite scary and upsetting, especially if it is a friend or relative that it is happening to. Children can have seizures for a number of reasons, so if  it happened to someone you knew, would you be able to help them?  What is a seizure?  What causes them to happen?  

What causes a seizure?

A head injury
A sudden rise in temperature in children under the age of 5 (febrile convulsion)
Lack of oxygen to the brain

What are the triggers?

Flashing lights
A sore throat
A metallic taste

A seizure is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.  The type of seizure which is being referred to here is a "tonic clonic" seizure or generalised seizure.  They can occur without warning several times a day for some people.  

Initially the person would appear to go quite stiff and then they would start jerking / twitching.  They may fall to the floor if they are standing (which increases the risk of injury) and they will be to all intents and purposes "unconscious" as they will not respond to you.  The fit may last for a few minutes.  The person may foam at the mouth or even bleed from the mouth if they bite their tongue.  They may wet themselves.  If the fit is an uncomplicated one it should stop on its own.  

Seizures | Safety First | First Aid | Bexley How can I help?

  • Make sure the area around the person is safe and free from dangers
  • Support their head with your hands or a towel / coat
  • Ask someone to call 999
  • Time the seizure
  • Once it has stopped if necessary put them in the recovery position as they may be drowsy / unconscious.

Seizures | Fits | Safety First Welling | Bexley

If you would like more information please do visit the Epilepsy Action Website 

If you would like to enquire about a first aid course why not visit our website

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Tips on Allergy Management


Allergies | Easter | Safety First

Allergy season has now arrived meaning lots of sniffles and sneezes for those affected.  Hayfever can make peoples' lives miserable for a number of months of the year.  

I went on a fascinating training day the other day all about allergy management in children which gave me lots of useful hints and tips. 

With Easter almost upon us it is important to remember that there are those out there who will not be able to have their fill of chocolate because of a tummy ache caused by dairy allergy, or anaphylaxis caused by potential nut allergies.  

Navigating the world of food and treats can be a tricky one for lots of children and families, especially when a lot of labels will say "may contain traces of nuts" for example and other phrases. 

Would you know how to recognise that a person in your care or your company has the signs of an allergy? 

Would you know how to keep them safe?


Allergies are triggered by an auto immune response to something (the immune system attacking itself).  Allergies may not develop the first few times someone is exposed to the trigger and they tend to get worse with each exposure. 

The most common allergies in children are egg.  This is one that many will grow out of by the age of 5.  

Other triggers are:

  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Medication
  • Shell fish
  • Fish
  • Latex

Signs and Symptoms

In a severe allergic reaction, symptoms can be quite dramatic and pronounced.  They come on quickly and in the worst case can be fatal.  Having said this, the chances of dying from anaphylaxis are apparently less than the chances of being murdered but nevertheless they can be life threatening and come on unexpectedly.  

It is worth noting the symptoms of allergies:

    Allergies | Safety First | Bexley | Kent
  • Tingling / tickling of the throat
  • Swelling to the face, lips and around the eyes.
  • A rash which can spread all over the body and is very itchy
  • Difficulty in breathing and wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting or nausea.
  • Sense of impending doom
  • Feeling clammy / cold

Difficulty in breathing and facial swelling are symptoms of a more significant allergy and can develop within minutes of exposure.  The exposure can be as simple as some nut oil on the skin or cross contamination when eating out.


Allergies | Safety First | Bexley | Welling
If you think a person is developing a severe allergic reaction take the following steps.  

  • Sit them down and try to keep them calm as they may be feeling a sense of panic at the developing symptoms.  
  • Ask them if they have an allergy that they know of. 
  • If they do, see if they have an adrenaline auto injector on them.  This is the treatment which should be given in the event of a severe allergic reaction.  It helps to reverse the symptoms which are shown above very quickly.
  • Call 999.
  • If they are carrying an adrenaline auto injector on them it will either be a jext, epi pen or emerade pen.  Check the date and encourage the person to administer this as shown in the pictures on the device (or above). 
  • If they don't have an adrenaline auto injector on them keep them calm and if they become unconscious put them in the recovery position.  
 Easter is a lovely family time for us all to enjoy and I know I will be tucking into some chocolatey treats, but as allergies can be unpredictable and arise all of a sudden make sure you know how to recognise them

For more information please visit

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Child Safety Week What Are You Doing?

So what have I learnt in the 4 and a half years since I became a parent.....?  My little one seems to get clumsier with every passing minute.  She has trip after fall after blood spillage with no sign of it abating.  When she was immobile she was pretty unscathed but then she started to move.....


    Hair Straighteners
    pills and tablets

  • Accidents in the home remain the biggest risk to the under 5s, in fact they are the leading cause of death in boys under the age of 4  according to the Child Accident Prevention Trust
  • 1 in 10 parents of children under 5 admitted that their children had sustained a serious burn from hair straighteners or tong
  • Suspected poisoning is one of the most common causes of attendance to Accident and Emergency and while childproof lids might slow them down some 3 - 4 year olds can open them in seconds
  • 95% of all burns and scalds happen in the home.
  • Every day around 40 under 5s are rushed to hospital following choking

  • Well that was a cheerful little whistlestop tour through some gruesome facts.....but it just highlights how we need to be so mindful of childrens' safety in everything they do.  Things can change in the blink of an eye and not everything is preventable.  All we can do is be mindful of what we are doing when our children are around

    Child Safety Week 

    The Child Accident Prevention Trust is instrumental in spreading the word on safety offering free advice and tips to parents and professionals on how to keep little people safe.  The offer training as well as resources and publications. 

    This year it is taking place from 5th - 11th June.  The subject is "Safe Children, sharing is caring"

    Why not visit their website for further information and tips

    The focus is on asking people what they do to keep children safe.....what do you do?

    Here at safety first I try to educate parents on keeping their babies and children safe as well as teaching childminders and nannies on how to provide first aid in their work place.  I am trying to get first aid into schools and after school clubs for 4 to 11 yesr olds.  Flat Stan is an amazing resource developed by Simon Ferris.  It enables children to get hands on and reminds them how to call for help etc....thus empowering them to help out in an emergency.  Flat Stan First Aid now have resources for EarlyYears Settings which I can advise you on further

    If you would like some hands on training why not drop me a line at

    Tuesday, 16 May 2017

    My Top Tips for First Aid

    I can't believe it has been nearly 3 years since I started Safety First.  What a great time I have had teaching children from 3.5 years of age to parents and professionals how to administer first aid.  Getting the safety message out there and empowering them to deal with unexpected emergencies.

    During this time I have had my fair share of bumps and bleeds to deal with as the mother of an eternally bruised 4 year old.  I thought it may be a good time to share my top topics and tips that I would like all first time parents to know and think about

    1) Choking 

    From my experience of teaching first aid to parents, I think this is the subject that most people are concerned with especially around

    How to recognise choking:

    • The person may be unable to talk or breathe
    • They may be grabbing their throat
    • Attempts to cough will be weakening
    • They will look really distressed
    • They may initially be quite red in the face becoming pale and blue.

    How to minimise the risk of choking 

    Choking hazards - How to cut up grapes

    • Cut food up into reasonable sized pieces - grapes should be cut in half vertically
    • Try not to leave coins and other small objects lying around
    • Don't feed them when they are on the move, try to keep them sitting down
    • Remember that their airways are very small so be mindful of what goes in their mouth
    If your child chokes, lean them forward over your lap (supporting the head if it is a baby) and administer 5 back blows, followed by 5 abdominal thrusts (chest thrusts in babies).

    If you cannot remove the obstruction call 999 and if they collapse commence CPR

    First Aid for Choking

    2) Febrile Convulsions

    Children under the age of 5 are unable to manage their own body temperature as the hypothalamus (part of the brain) is immature.  Anyone who has had a baby or small child will know that when they get sick their temperature can soar.  Most of the time this will come down with some calpol.  However there is a more serious side to temperatures which many parents are unaware of.  

    In 1 in 20 children a high temperature can lead to a febrile convulsion.  This is a fit associated with a rapidly rising temperature.

    A normal temperature is between 36.5 to 37.5.  

    If your child has a temperature - do not overdress them, keep them well hydrated and keep the room well ventilated without directly pointing a fan at the child, administer calpol (paracetamol) and nurofen (ibuprofen) as per the instructions on the bottle.

    How to recognise a febrile convulsion

    • The child will become stiff with jerky movements
    • Or they may become really floppy
    • Their eyes may roll back 
    • The child will be unresponsive
    • Their limbs will start twitching and jerking
    • They may foam at the mouth
    • They may become a bit blue around the mouth

    This product has not yet been reviewed ( Write a Review )What to do?

    • Time the seizure - an uncomplicated seizure should no more than around 3 minutes
    • Protect the head
    • Make sure the area is safe
    • Take them to hospital to investigate the cause

    These are just a couple of things I think parents of small children should know about, but if you would like to know more please do not hesitate to get in touch and book yourself on to a first aid course today

    Wednesday, 12 April 2017

    Button Batteries

    Button Batteries

    One of the reasons I started to deliver first aid was to educate parents about first aid when expecting their precious bundles.  I have been doing this for nearly 3 years now, and peruse the internet to keep up to date with safety advice and tips.  I also watch every last little toy, coin, and finger go into the mouth of my nearly 4 year old on a regular basis, so I thought it important to raise awareness of the risk posed by button batteries.  

    Button batteries are sold everywhere for use in our growing pile of toys.  With a recent child death hitting the headlines and a colleague of mine reporting a huge increase in children attending the hospital she works at, I think it is really important to try and raise awareness about the dangers of button batteries.  

    Why are they so dangerous?

    The safety risk they present has been highlighted by the Child Accident Prevention Trust ( This is generally following unfortunate injuries and incidents to small children. It is well known that young children explore the world through their mouths.  Everything  goes in their mouth and they aren't too discerning as to what this may be.  Their little fingers move with lightening speed meaning toys can disappear into their mouths in an instant, and they are always exploring.  It is these tendencies which are so important for their development, but on occasion can be troublesome.  

    Where Can I Find them?

    Button batteries are present in a number of household items which often have buttons and other things on them which make them attractive to explore.  Below are some of the items they may be found in:

    • small remote controls
    • car key fobs
    • calculators
    • thermometers
    • hearing aids
    • digital scales
    • musical cards
    • novelty toys
    • watches
    • flameless candles and nightlights (CAPT, 2016)

    If your children's toys have been appropriately tested to meet certain safety standards the battery compartment should be screwed down making them harder to open, although it is important to point out that older children may be able to open these battery compartments.  

    How Can I Reduce the Risk?

    In order to keep your children safe from this risk there are a few things you can do to protect them, for example you can keep the toys out of harm's way.  Store spare batteries in a locked cupboard, or one that is out of reach although be mindful of little climbers who are have learnt how to problem solve in order to reach things that they want.  Try to buy your toys from a reputable supplier, making sure they meet British Safety Standards.

    These batteries often pass through the system without issue, but if they do get stuck somewhere such as the throat or in an ear or nose, the energy they release can cause the body to produce caustic soda which is extremely corrosive.  If it does get stuck in their throat the battery could burn a hole or cause internal bleeding.
    It may not be immediately obvious that a battery is stuck until the damage has started to occur.  If you think your child may have swallowed a button battery you should take them to the Emergency Department and advise the Drs of your concerns, don't allow them to eat or drink anything and do not make them vomit.

    Awareness is spreading around this issue but it is important to get the word out there, because if one child can be saved or one injury prevented it is a job well done

    Saturday, 18 February 2017

    Nature, Nurture, Personality or luck?

    So I sat at a farm yesterday in the sun 🌞🌞with my little lady and some friends and their children watching her eat her lunch 🍊🍏🍞and I realised how "lucky" I am with her and how "good" she actually is πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“.  The more I have thought about it since, the more I have thought, how much of it is nurture, how much is nature - that age old debate, and if any of it is down to luck? It would be arrogant to assume it was nurture as I am definitely no parenting guru and I don't have anyone to compare her to as a mum of one

    My daughter first went to the childminders at 11 months of age and I was always told how she would happily have ten like her.  There were very few tears at drop off every morning, she was very accepting and still is of most things.  Lots of people have commented on how calm and easy she is and to be honest she is generally a little doll.  Sure we have had our battles - a nearly 2 year refusal to eat dinner for mummy to the point of tears (mine), but we sailed through the 2s and the 3s with very few tantrums and now we are 4 and she continues to be a really good girl.  The last few days I have had my breakfast poured for me (not necessarily what I would have eaten, but it's the thought😍). Perhaps the lack of tantrums was due to her ability to talk stupidly early.

    I can't profess to being a particularly outstanding parent, stroppy, stressed and tired more like 😈 - trying to run a house, set up a business and actually see my treasure will do that to you 😩😩πŸ˜ͺ.  In the first year of her life we battled reflux accompanied by lots of screaming (not fun), and I had very little support and lots of stress with a very ill mum.  To top that year off I separated from her dad so all in all not a rosy first year 😞. Since then things have continued to be somewhat fraught but I have always had my angel to get me through the hard times πŸ˜„πŸ˜.  I have always tried to think of her emotions and feelings and given her lots of cuddles and kisses but I have also shouted and lost my temper probably more than I should 😨

    I loved my pregnancy and I know we have got a really good attachment, she brings me joy most days πŸ’˜πŸ’—πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ™Œ and I know I am her best friend (for now), but as to her lovely little personality and disposition is this due to luck?  It is the main conclusion I can come to....what do you think?  is personality inate in them from day 1, do we have a great influence in developing or is it all just down to luck?