When young mum of two Morgan Ballinger awoke on an ordinary morning eight years ago, she was blissfully unaware she would need to use the life-saving skills she learned as a teenager.
It was bath-time for three-year-old son Dominic and newborn Haydn when the unthinkable happened.
“I went to lower nine day old Haydn into the bath... and he sneezed,” Morgan said.
Unknown to Morgan, the sneeze caused a build up of mucus to block Haydn’s nose, closing off his airway.
“I didn’t know at the time, but apparently babies don’t breathe through their mouth until older, and so with his nose blocked he wasn’t able to breathe.
“I started panicking thinking “what do I do?” and yelled out for my husband. He said “I don’t know what to do.”
“I was in disbelief and was thinking surely this can’t be happening?, this doesn’t happen to me.”
As little Haydn started to turn blue, the basic first aid training Morgan completed years before came flooding back.
“I remembered when I did Girl Guides that we had learned basic first aid and I remember them saying with babies you can’t obviously do full on CPR with them, you have to be more gentle,” she said.
“All I did was blow breaths into his face... he would take them in but he wasn’t able to breathe on his own.”
Paramedics soon arrived at the home from a depot close by, but the closest hospital was an agonising 30 minute drive.
Despite having to pull over en route when Haydn’s condition took a turn for the worst, the young family miraculously arrived at the hospital in time where doctors were able to suction the blockage.
“The doctors asked ‘how did you know what to do?’ and I told them I had done basic first aid when I was about 10 to 14 years old,” she said.
“They said to me ‘you just saved your son’s life’. It was amazing to hear those words.
“Worst case scenario he could have not been here, or he may have suffered brain damage if I wasn’t giving the oxygen to him.”
Eight years on, Haydn is a healthy, growing boy thanks to his mum’s quick thinking and her first aid training.
“You never think this situation will happen to you but it does,” Morgan said.
“$50 is the tiniest price to pay to save your child’s life.”
TINY TOTS FIRST AID COURSE
St John WA is making it easier than ever for parents and parents-to-be to learn these vital skills through the Tiny Tots First Aid course.
“Accidents happen, that’s why they’re called accidents,” St John WA Sales Manager David Anderson said.
“The St John WA Tiny Tots First Aid course will equip parents, grandparents and carers with the skills that they need to be able to react appropriately and potentially save a child’s life.”
The specialised 3.5 hour training session will teach participants the skills to perform CPR on infants, children and adults, as well as manage bleeding, choking, burns, asthma, anaphylaxis and more - all for only $50. The short course is available in both regional and metro areas across WA.
“Having the knowledge and skills to be able to act in an emergency situation, especially when a child is involved, can make all the difference,” David said.
“Quality first aid training means that you will walk away with the confidence to act in an emergency.
“Regarding Tiny Tots First Aid, children are not just smaller adults.
“They are susceptible to different risks that require special consideration in the event of an incident. The St John WA Tiny Tots First Aid course focuses on the most common of these.”
For more information or to book your place, contact our team on (08) 9334 1233 or visit our website to secure your place online.