Devizes dad's first aid saves choking son
1:00pm Saturday 1st February 2014 in By Joanne Moore
Dad Sam Weller did not panic when his toddler son started to choke when he got sweets stuck in his throat.
Thanks to lessons during an emergency first aid course in Chippenham, he knew exactly what to do and his quick action meant Oscar, 18 months, was soon laughing again.
Mr Weller, 31, a design engineer of Meadow Drive, Devizes, said: “It was the first time we had given Oscar chocolate buttons and he was very excited. He put a few in his mouth all at once, but then some got stuck in his throat and he started to go blue.
“Luckily, because of the course, I didn’t panic. I knew to at first see if I could dislodge the chocolate with my finger and then, when that didn’t work, to turn him upside down and use the ball of my hand on his back. It took two attempts to get the chocolate to come out.
“The course gave me a lot more confidence to carry out the procedure and to know you are doing it without hurting the child.
“I think it is a really good thing for parents to do.”
Another couple pleased they attended a course are Ben and Natasha Carter, of Sutton Benger. Their two year-old son, Lucas, was burned by steam from a barbecue last summer.
Mr Carter said: “He was crying and holding his hand, but we couldn’t see anything wrong. Because we had been on the course, we knew that burns can take a while to come out.
“We knew to put cold water on the burn and to use the special burns dressings that were in a first aid kit we got from the course.
“Within half an hour he was okay again and knowing what to do had saved us a visit to casualty.
“I really think every parent should go on a course like this. We have a new baby, Toby, now and I would definitely go again for a refresher.”
The classes were launched last year by new parents Matt and Anna Johnston, who were inspired to act by what had happened to Millie Thompson, a nine-month-old from Cheshire, who died after choking at nursery.
Her bereaved parents set up Millie’s Trust, a charity to pay for parents to have first aid lessons.
Mr and Mrs Johnston, from Calne, hold classes at Scoffs Café in New Road, Chippenham, and have set up a website, Rescue Centre, to give parents advice and publicise the courses.
They cover cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), choking, wounds, fractures, burns and poisoning.
Mr Johnston has a background in first aid and works as part of a mine rescue team in Corsham and as a health and safety advisor at a mine near Bath.
The next class will be held on Sunday, March 23, from 10am to noon.
It costs £9 and each person is given a first aid manual to take home. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the couple’s website www.parentstotherescue.co.uk