NHM Readers: Children’s first aid course

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone could help this fellow NHM reader: “Any idea how I could get onto/find info on how to get one a children’s first aid course? Got a 3 year old and a 1 year old, and when my little one choked on a grape a few weeks ago I had no idea what to do!!! Luckily she was fine but would like to be more informed, just not sure where to start!?”

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order. Thank you to Shona for putting this post together. 

NHM Readers suggest children’s first aid courses

Louise NHM Smith suggested Vicky at First Aid Angels Limited and also to check the local NCT website to see if they are doing any first aid courses.

Samantha said: St John’s x

Sarah said: you could try contacting local community centres or nurseries or play groups? sometimes they book a course for staff and have spaces left?

Kelsey said: We went on a free one that the children’s centres were doing. Not sure if they still are.

Marie said: First aid angels

Marie said: I’d recommend Vicky at First aid angels too. We did a group class with her at my friends house when the kids were small.

Kay said: We use Tiger Lilly for our paediatric courses at Spotlight.

Bethan said: Speak to RCS. They run safe and healthy baby courses which incorporate a paediatric first aid training session x

Cerys said: NCT run baby & child first aid courses in association with Red Cross. By coincidence, September’s are this Saturday, 2 courses, am & pm

Louise said:Baby Resuscitation highly recommend this company

Kimberley said:NCT runs great baby and child first aid courses. They are at Everest College every month.

Lucy said:I did mine at the library in basingstoke festival place… It was at a huge discount too so worth asking incase they are doing more (as this was a year and a half ago now) x

Lizzy said: We did ours at Basingstoke discovery centre & was very cheap. So definitely worth checking if they still do it.

First Aid Angels Limited thank you for your support Ladies. We offer a 2 hour parents first aid course in your own home or venue Usually on a weekday evening. We are a Qualsafe approved centre and offer accredited Paediatric and adult first aid courses too.

Lizzie said: I did the NCT Red Cross one which was really good. There’s also a “Safe & Healthy baby/toddler” course run through the children’s centres which covers loads if things including First Aid. That was free & was brilliant.

Kelly said: I have done the Tigerlillys 12hr paediatric course which is really good or they do a shorter 6hr course and a reasonable price.

Luan said: Viables have some emergency aid courses coming up and they deal with various things including choking for infants and adults. Free too! Next is Sep 20th at 2pm. Our new Birth to Beyond course starts on Monday and a first aider will be attending to cover choking, febrile convulsions etc. The course is £20 for five weeks and we will be covering all sorts of other things too. First aid for infants is in the first week. 01256 473634 Viables Community Centre or office@viables.org.uk

Peta said: First aid for life. Owner is london based but she has health care gurus all over. NCT use her (very adaptable/personalised) courses regularly.

Karen said: Nursery Rhymes Inc – St John’s

Susan said:We did ours through the Red Cross but I don’t remember any booking details.

Madeleine said: Tadley Triangle Heartstart did free courses a few years ago

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Review 2017: Buggys Magic Valeting Basingstoke


We have been very excited (and tired) in the J household. Small J has been upgraded to Big J with the arrival of his little sister. With that we found ourselves in need of a buggy with a ‘big brother seat’ for when he is too tired to go any further.

After a bit of online searching I came across a new local business ‘Buggy Magic Valeting Basingstoke.’ Run by Emma Lyons the company buys, makeovers and deep cleans buggies giving them some TLC and a new lease of life for their next owner.

You can also have your existing buggy cleaned thoroughly. I love recycling, reusing and upcycling and the idea that unwanted buggies are getting a new lease of life rather than landing in the rubbish dump makes me very happy.


Emma answered my Facebook enquiry very quickly and was able to send me photos of suitable buggys she had ready to go as well as descriptions of some more she was still getting ready. She helped me choose one that met my requirements, my only concern was Big J might be a bit tall for it. So the following day we went to give it a test run with Big J on board.

He was delighted with his big brother seat and Mother in Law J declared it easy to push. Emma gave us a full rundown of how to assemble it and all the different configurations the seating could be in and even loaded it in the boot for me to check it would fit.

We are very happy with our new wheels (for the time being it appears Big J’s legs are permanently ‘too tired!’) and will be returning to Emma after the winters mud to have it all cleaned off.

Buggy Magic Valeting Basingstokes available stock and current valeting price list can be viewed on the facebook page of the same name.

Emma can be contacted via the page for any enquiries.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Buggymagicvaleting/

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KeepaBeat: First Aid Classes

Thank you North Hants Mum for letting us tell you a little bit about what we do!

KeepaBeat is a new, local paediatric first aid company looking to provide everyone who has any responsibility for children that all important, life saving skills they may just need one day, be it parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles, friends…everyone!  We want to spread the word that first aid isn’t scary and that you can make a big difference in those first few vital moments.

Consider these facts:

  • 44% of parents have not learned basic first aid in preparation for the arrival of their baby
  • A third of parents have had to rush their children in to hospital at some point.
  • And 82% of parents would not know what to do first if their child fell over, started to choke, or was burnt.

After dialing 999, the operator will talk you through the actions you need while waiting for the ambulance. Wouldn’t it be better if you had already practiced and the operator was just coaching you?

What do we cover?

Our 2 hour First Aid for Parents course is aimed at anyone who has contact with children including parents, aunties, uncles, grandparents, friends, neighbours, anybody!  We cover the basics such as Baby and Child CPR and Recovery position and Baby and Child Choking sequences but also Head Bumps, Burns, Temperature (including Febrile Convulsions) Croup and Meningitis.

What makes us unique?

  • Facts – nobody leaves our class with the wrong advice and if we are unsure of the answer to any question you pose, we will contact our industry experts and have an answer within 14 days, guaranteed.
  • More Manikins – We ensure there are no more than 2 people per manikin giving you more time to practice life-saving techniques.
  • Over Trained Trainers – All KeepaBeat trainers have attended the KeepaBeat training course and hold a First Aid at Work Qualification and a Level 3 award in Training and Education.
  • Reassurance – we are ofqual regulated, unlike many other providers.

Who Are we?

The Basingstoke team consists of Deputy Sister Ashley who qualified as a nurse in 2008 who has three wonderful children of her own, and a familiar face to you many of you and Baby Sensory and Toddler Sense Class Leader Claire.  We are both very excited to share this invaluable program with you.

What Our Delegates Have Said..

“Brilliant and professional, relaxed classes run by Ashley she was more than happy to answer questions throughout the session.  All ages were made to feel comfortable and welcome”

“Very Informative – feel more confident knowing signs to look for and how to react in certain situations.”

“Thank you, the course was very good and gave simple instructions to follow”

Where are we?

We hold course all over the Basingstoke and North Hampshire area including Burghfield, Alton, and Crondall.  We can also cater for private groups in your own home at a time that suits you, please contact us for further details.

To book on simply pop along to KeepaBeat Basingstoke Region to secure you space.  Spaces are very limited.

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Baby & Child Resuscitation Course


Hello my name is Natasha Jones and I am a mum to four beautiful children. During the summer of 2010 my daughter Ava-Mai (who was 11 weeks old at the time) experienced an episode known as Near Miss Cot Death. She stopped breathing and was drifting in and out of consciousness. At the time I had no resuscitation training and it was just my maternal instincts that kept Ava-Mai going.   We had to wait 36 minutes for an ambulance, as co-responders were not sent to under ones by Ambulance Service.

As result of this together with my husband we set up Baby and Child Resuscitation Courses in the New Forest. These are funded by a £10 donation per attendee to cover the cost of the Resuscitation Trainer, the venue hire and publicity.  We are a not for profit voluntary organisation and as organisers we do not take wages, salaries or benefits of any kind.

The course involves a full demonstration of resuscitation and choking techniques for Baby or Infant  (newborn to 1 year old) and Child (1 year old to puberty), then time for the attendees to have a try themselves followed by questions. The course costs £10 per person, which includes handouts covering all aspects of the course, and refreshments.  Payment is required at the time of booking to confirm your place. Babies are welcome but please note we do not provide a sitting service.


I have campaigned to get changes made to the Ambulance Service protocol and these are now in place. I have also worked with the Paediatric Sub-Committee of the Resuscitation Council who developed guidance on what should be taught and listed the core competencies that should be achieved, we use this in our training.  Our training is given by Resuscitation Officers who work at Southampton General Hospital.

In 2014 I won a Venus Award Influential Women of the Year. Then in 2015 I won Tesco Community Mum of the Year Award and received a Point of Light Award from the Prime Minster. I had also worked with and supported St John Ambulance with their Baby CPR Campaigns this year.

I am passionate about parents, grandparents and carers learning these potentially lifesaving skills at very little cost. I have a petition online to have resuscitation as part of antenatal or postnatal care. It will be sent to the Department of Health, along with support from our local MP Dr Julian Lewis. I am asking at every opportunity for people to support us by following this link & signing http://tinyurl.com/cbnrw5t ,please forward to friends & family for them to sign too.picture-3

We now have venues in New Forest, Bournemouth, Southampton, Winchester, Whiteley and Basingstoke. On Saturday 25th February 2017 we are coming to Popley Fields Community Centre, Basingstoke, from 10am to 12pm.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this, please contact me if you have any questions about what we do at info@babyresuscitation.co.uk alternatively please visit our website www.babyresuscitation.co.uk

Natasha x

Facebook: www.facebook.com/babyresuscitation

Twitter: @babyresus

Instagram: Baby Resuscitation

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Everything parenthood

Hello 🙂

My name is Sarah Carris and I am a qualified N.N.E.B Nursery Nurse with over 30 years in the childcare industry. I currently am employed as a Nursery Nurse within a Health Visiting Team working for the NHS.

I have extensive knowledge and skills in advising parents on all aspects of parenting. My expertise lies in offering advice and support with issues around settling & sleeping, fussy eating and behaviour management in children under the age of 5 years of age. I am a Mum to three boys of my own.

 Qualified in:

  • Paediatric resuscitation,
  • Safeguarding children
  • Behaviour Management
  • Hold a Current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)certificate

My Services:

  • Individual 1:1 appointments
  • Group sessions
  • Overnight stays
  • Telephone consultations
  • Babysitting
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Toy Safety

Snuggly Sockimals

It always amazes me how little people seem to know about the safety aspect of the toys their children play with.

Do you look for the CE mark on toys? Do you know what it means? Can you tell if something will be safe or not?

2015-01-07 10.29.43

I make soft toys, mostly from socks but also from plush fabrics. Before I began making anything back in 2011, I researched the rules about selling, the trading standards I would need to comply with and what terms and conditions I would need to follow. Those rules have changed over the years and so keeping up to date has become as much a part of my business as making the toys.


The European Toy Safety Standards set out a number of guidelines that should be followed when making soft toys by hand. Yet I continually see toys for sale at craft fairs and markets that do not comply. It’s not just toys as you may consider them either, anything with play value should also follow the guidelines. A cushion shaped like a cloud, a doorstop like a duck or a taggie blanket.


So before I make a toy what do I need to have done? Firstly, I need a certificate from the supplier of any materials used to show that they have been tested for toxicity etc. This means certificates for the main fabrics, stuffing, threads, felt, ribbons, buttons, tags and any other embellishments.

2014-10-03 16.46.58

Whilst making the toy I need to count in and out any pins and needles I use.

Once the toy has been completed it needs to be tested as a completed piece as the materials may react differently to when they were individual pieces.

ATT_1434402994007_2015-03-19 19.28.55

Tests include washing, strength of sewn joins and burning. Yes burning. A burn test is needed to ensure that any flame either extinguishes itself or burns slow enough to enable a child to be removed from harm.

A record of compliance is kept for each model of toy which can then be cross referenced to any new make of the same design. All these tests and gathering of certificates goes towards being able to add the CE mark to a toy or item which is appealing to a child.

ATT_1434402974533_2015-05-03 10.54.57

A label showing the CE symbol, washing instructions, a contact address and a unique batch number must also be attached. Even this label needs all the above testing.

A new design can mean repeating all the certificate gathering and testing.

2015-06-11 12.20.16

So next time you see a handmade toy for sale check if it conforms to the EU toy safety standards and carries the CE mark. Also, understand why that toy may cost a little more than you had expected. Crafters rarely get paid for the time they spend preparing and making their items but we appreciate it when people understand why our items cost a little more than those that could end up harming a child.

Elaine Thorpe

Snuggly Sockimals




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Top Tip 30: Reviews and Age Ratings of Movies, Games, TV, Apps, Books, Music…

I’ve always been really worried about exposing Miss NHM to technology stuff that isn’t age appropriate.

I mentioned this to a fabulous friend of mine recently and she sent me the link to this FANTASTIC website.

If you are looking for suggestions of age appropriate Apps to download or which films are suitable, etc. I recommend checking this website out.


Thanks very much fab friend :-D.


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Sleepless nights because your little one kicks off the bed covers?

Then you need a fidgetbum!

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Hi Mums,

My name’s Mel and I’m a mum of two girls – Hannah (10 years) and Amelia (5 years).

When my girls made the move from cot to toddler bed, we’d have to endure sleepless nights when they kicked off their bed covers. Sometimes, during particularly adventurous dreams, they may have even rolled out of bed. The girls would become cold and call out or cry. Not good for them, and not definitely good for mummy and daddy. Sound familiar?

We tried the different options on the market, but nothing worked quite how we wanted it. Bed guards kept them in the bed, but didn’t solve the ‘bed covers’ issues. Duvet Clips restricted movement and didn’t solve the ‘rolling out’ problem. The only other options was folding covers widthways across the bed to ‘tuck them in’ – but this restricted movement as well.

That’s when I came up with the idea of fidgetbum (www.fidgetbum.co)

Fidgetbum is a stretchy length of fabric, and goes under the mattress, round and over the top of the duvet, and then zips up. Keeping the duvet on the child, and the child in the bed.

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Because of its stretchy nature, it still allows for the little one to move freely. In my daughters words “Its like someone cuddling me all night”.

I used my first (homemade) fidgetbum for three years. It guaranteed a snug and safe nights sleep for my daughters.

In January of this year, I launched fidgetbum as a business. We manufacture in the UK and have two sizes – for toddler bed and for single bed.

We’ve been delighted with the response. So far we have 600 likes on facebook and some great customer testimonials.

The fidgetbum is made from a lovely 100% cotton material – which is really soft to the touch. It folds neatly into its own fidgetbag – ideal for packing and taking on holidays and sleepovers.

To learn more about fidgetbum and see it in action – visit us at:

Bumbo Seats Recalled in the US

I saw this and wanted to share with you…

“About 4 million Bumbo Baby Seats are being recalled in the US after 21 reports of infant skull fractures. Bumbo plan to add a restraint belt to all Bumbo’s because without restraints infants can manouver out or fall from the seat, posing a risk of serious injuries.”

We had a Bumbo when my little one was tiny but I didn’t like it because she used to arch her back when she was in it and several times I had to catch her from falling out of it. We found the Bumbo at the Tiny Tot’s Table Sale in Chineham (wonder why they stopped?) for £3 and I was quite proud of my bargain. But after a few weeks of using it, I realised that I had to keep an eye on my little one permanently, in case she tried to arch her back to get out of it. I’ve read a few reports about how the structure isn’t very good for a babies back development and they shouldn’t be sat in them for more than 30 minutes at a time. However, it was very useful when we first started weaning.

For more information about the recall, please see the links below.



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First Aid Kit’s

I am taking a few weeks off to rediscover my blogging mojo and do some background work on NHM. The regular “Things to do” posts will still be published on Monday’s and if I receive any Guest Post Wednesday’s these will also be published. You may see the odd post pop up on other days but it depends on whether I find my blogging mojo and whether I can “persuade” anyone else to write some guest posts! lol. Thanks for your patience!

Sophie has very kindly put together another post for NHM about First Aid Kit’s. Thanks Sophie! I really must get my first aid kit sorted out at home! 

Sophie: At my last job I was designated First Aider – it came with a pay rise, I got a day off each year to do my refresher course and I only had to deal with two minor cuts and one concussion in 5 years, well worth it.  But now that it is my child I will be looking after, I’m taking it a bit more seriously!  And after a week of nosebleeds, ear infections and sore throats I realize that my medicine cabinet and first aid kit are seriously lacking.

St John Ambulance say that a first aid kit should contain the following:

  • Assorted waterproof plasters
  • 2 sterile eye pads
  • 1 crepe bandage
  • 4 triangular bandages
  • 6 medium sterile dressing pads
  • 2 large sterile dressing pads
  • 2 pairs sterile gloves
  • 1 pair paramedic (tough-cut) scissors
  • 6 alcohol-free wipes
  • 6 safety pins
  • Tape

But let’s be honest, I would swap all of the above for a single bottle of Calpol (other paracetamol suspensions are available).  So what is important for a mother’s first aid kit?

Painkillers  – Make sure you have an age-appropriate painkiller that contains paracetamol or ibuprofen, which can be used for headaches and fevers. You will also need a measuring spoon or, for younger children, a no-needle dosing syringe. Always follow the dosage instructions on the label.

Antiseptic cream or spray – This can be applied to cuts, grazes or minor burns after cleaning to help prevent infection. Some may also contain a mild local anesthetic to numb the pain.

Calamine lotion – This can help to soothe itching irritated skin, rashes (including chicken pox) and sunburn.

Antihistamine cream – This can reduce swelling and soothe insect bites and stings.


Digital thermometers are quick to use, accurate and can be used under the armpit (always use the thermometer under the armpit with children under five). Hold your child’s arm against his or her body and leave the thermometer in place for the time stated in the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ear (or tympanic) thermometers are put in the child’s ear. They take the child’s temperature in one second and do not disturb the child, but they’re expensive. Ear thermometers may give low readings when not correctly placed in the ear, so read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and familiarise yourself with how the thermometer works (this applies to all thermometers).

Strip-type thermometers, which you hold on your child’s forehead, are not an accurate way of taking their temperature. They show the temperature of the skin, not the body.

Mercury-in-glass thermometers haven’t been used in hospitals for some years and are no longer available to buy. They can break, releasing small shards of glass and highly poisonous mercury. Do not use mercury thermometers. If your child is exposed to mercury, get medical advice immediately.

Antiseptic wipes – These are a handy way to clean cuts and grazes and help prevent infection. To use them, take a fresh wipe and clean the wound, gently working away from the centre to remove dirt and germs.

Saline solution and an eye bath – This is useful for washing specks of dust or foreign bodies out of sore eyes.


  • Small pair of scissors for cutting down plasters and tape to size.
  • Tweezers to remove thorns, splinters and bee stings.
  • Ice packs or gel packs can be kept in the fridge and applied to bumps and bruises to relieve swelling. A packet of frozen peas is just as good, but wrap it in a clean tea towel before applying it to skin. Direct contact with ice can cause a ‘cold burn’.
  • Marker pen.  All lotions and medicines have a used by date printed on the bottle but some also have an open use date e.g. use within 12 months of opening.  If this is the case, make sure to write on the label when the bottle was opened, especially if it only gives you this information on an accompanying pamphlet (which may find its way into the bin long before the bottle itself!).

It’s also important to consider what you will be putting your first aid kit into.  Choose a waterproof, durable box that’s easy to carry; it’s much easier to take the box to the child than the child to the box. The box should have a childproof lock and be tall enough to carry bottles of lotion.  Keep the box out of the reach of children, but handy for adults. You don’t want to be hunting for your first aid kit when a child is injured and frightened.  You can either buy a first aid box (green with a white cross) or (if you’re like me and love a craft project) make up your own box.  Whichever way you go make sure it says ‘First Aid’ on it so if you aren’t around, other people know what it is. If someone else is caring for your children, let them know where the kit is kept.

Remember to keep your first aid box up to date. Replace items when stocks have been depleted and check use-by dates of all medicines. Throw away anything past its use-by date. You can take any out-of-date medicines to a pharmacy, which will dispose of them safely.

For more information on first aid for babies visit NHS choices HERE.

There are many specialized First Aid courses available through various agencies but two recognized providers are:

Red Cross – First Aid for Babies and Children – £37.50

St John Ambulance – First Aid for All Ages – £30

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