Today we have a guest blog post from Geoff Gohacki, co-owner of CommonSenseCPR. He and Vanessa Anton are amazing at making an unpleasant and scary subject, incredibly fun and empowering. They have provided their specialized Infant CPR & Safety classes at Birth Day Presence for years! Of all the classes you can take to prepare for having a baby, this is one of the most important.
People who already have children before taking CPR will say, “I am late to this class, I meant to take it before the baby came.” My response to that is this – It’s only too late if you have had to use CPR before you ever made it to the class – otherwise, you are right on time. So to all of you who are thinking that maybe the CPR class is not important right now, or that you missed the opportunity I say – Take the CPR class before it is truly too late.
Both Vanessa and I teach Infant and Child CPR several times a week and up to twenty times a month! Most students in our classes fall in one of two categories: Expecting parents and parents with infants around six months old. Typically expecting parents are there on recommendation from their pediatrician, OB or midwife. That’s great to come before the baby is born! Unfortunately, most people get caught up in life and do not actually make it to a class until they have a baby.
For the first five or so months of a baby’s life, he/she is pretty much limited to being either held by a parent or caregiver, or sleeping. Although there are dangers involved in this early period, the real “fun” begins at about month number six when a child often discovers his/her fingers and how to use them, which results in the child holding objects and subsequently putting them into – you guessed it – the mouth.
To make matters more dangerous, parents typically start introducing solid foods to their children between 6-12 months. Needless to say, the opportunities for choking are numerous. I am not trying to freak anyone out, but choking is a major concern for every parent. Fortunately, choking incidents are usually very easy to remedy. Our CPR class will clearly cover how to remedy a choking situation. We also focus on remedying most types of respiratory distress in infants. In most choking events, the object can be removed using the techniques taught in the class. In the unlikely event that the item cannot be cleared, CPR is the next step.
We use the approach of building the steps in clearing and resuscitation in order to empower parents and caregivers in how to treat a choking incident.
It also helps parents and caregivers to know that if CPR is started in the first 2 minutes of an infant or child becoming unconscious or unresponsive there is approximately an 85% chance of successfully resuscitating. Those are pretty good odds!
When I do introductions in my classes, I usually ask the participants to share their “baby status”. The expecting parents are usually a bit nervous, sometimes scared, but generally excited about the prospect of talking a class to potentially help their children. Often, the new parents will make the statement “I am late to this class, I meant to take it before the baby came.” My response to that is this – It’s only too late if you have had to use CPR before you ever made it to the class – otherwise, you are right on time. So to all of you who are thinking that maybe the CPR class is not important right now, or that you missed the opportunity I say – Take the CPR class before it is truly too late.