Save a Life: CPR for Parents, Free Training in San Diego

I’ve had the pleasure of celebrating and meeting many newborn babies this year.  Some are my patients.  Some are babies of dear friends.

Baby showers.  Baby registries.  Birth plans and Lamaze classes.  Questions about what to buy, which diapers to use, what books to read… you name it.  Then the hormones.  And the fatigue.  Nesting takes over.

The weeks preceding the due date can often feel frenzied and overwhelming.

In the midst of all the anticipation and excitement, rarely do we as parents think about brushing up on our CPR skills.

It’s just not something that’s brought up with soon-to-be parents.  We don’t talk about it at baby showers.  Even veteran parents may not know how to administer proper CPR or understand what to do in the case of choking.

Although nobody likes to imagine a loved one in a life-threatening situation, knowing CPR can save a life.  Especially a child’s.  It is a skill that every parent needs to know.

Whereas adults often need CPR due to cardiac-related illness, children often need CPR due to breathing-related problems that then lead to the need for resuscitation.  Choking or drowning are common examples.  These scenarios can respond well to CPR when started quickly and efficiently.

For families here in San Diego, the American Red Cross is hosting Save A Life San Diego, a free event on Saturday, May 12, 2012.  There will be teaching sessions on emergency preparedness, safety, basic first aid, as well as training in hands-only CPR (no mouth-to-mouth contact).  Take advantage of this free event and let others know!  Children are encouraged to come along with their parents and participate in some of the event’s activities.

CPR classes are often available through hospitals, community centers, or your local American Red Cross.  I encourage parents to attend a class rather than learn about it online or from a book because proper technique is critical for effective CPR.  Practicing CPR with an instructor who will give you feedback is important in developing good CPR technique.

To look for CPR classes near you, visit the Red Cross website or call (800) 733-2767 (800-RED-CROSS).

Hopefully you will never need to do CPR.  But if a time comes when you do, you will be grateful to know how.

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