When Ian’s six-month-old daughter Isabelle started choking on some food, he reacted quickly after learning first aid at The Baby Show.
When Ian and his partner Kerry were expecting their daughter Isabelle, they attended The Baby Show at Excel in London. While they were there, they booked a place on one of the free first aid sessions with the British Red Cross.
“We went and learned what to do if a baby was choking,” Ian recalled. “I had no idea at the time that this would later help me save my daughter’s life.”
When Isabelle was about six months old, Ian was looking after her at home on his own one day. She was just beginning to eat solid food and he was giving her some mashed-up banana.
“Suddenly, Isabelle started to choke and it looked like she couldn’t breathe, because her face was screwed up as if she wanted to scream or something but she couldn’t get a word out or make any noise,” he said.
“I tried not to get flustered and managed to quickly manoeuvre her on to my thigh while I sat down. I put her head a bit lower than her bottom so she was facing down, making sure I supported her head. I then started to do back blows with the palm of my hand.
“I was a bit nervous because I didn’t want to push too hard and hurt her, but I knew I had to do it hard enough to dislodge what she was choking on. After doing about three back blows I heard her be sick a little bit. I looked and the mashed-up banana had come out. She was able to breathe and was crying.
“I consoled her a little bit because she was upset, but afterwards she was absolutely fine. I just remember being really grateful that I had learned that technique.”
Ian thinks learning and practising the skills at the show helped him to act quickly and calmly.
“I was impressed that I was able to flip her around quite quickly; I did it instinctively and didn’t panic. I think it was because I’d practised quite a bit on the doll at the session. It’s an important skill and it only took us about twenty minutes to learn,” he said.
“We have another baby now, James, and I feel more prepared now if anything was to happen to him. That’s why I went to another session recently at The Baby Show because it’s important that parents top up their knowledge every now and again.”
Visit the British Red Cross first aid learning academy at The Baby Show (stand H80) to sign up for a free first aid session and learn how to help if a baby is choking, has a burn, has a fever or is having a febrile seizure.