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Survey highlights need for first aid
Research out today reveals more than half of parents in Yorkshire and the Humber lack the first aid skills needed to save their child’s life.
To encourage more people to learn them, the charity has recorded an emotive television advert from the award-winning director behind the John Lewis commercials, which will air tonight during ITV’s Doc Martin.
The campaign was developed after research found 19 per cent of parents in the region do not think knowing first aid is important and 51 per cent lack the skills necessary to save their child in the event of a life-threatening accident.
In Bingley a child’s first aid skills saved his mum from choking during a family meal.
Cherie Briggs was eating with her nine-year-old son, Kayne, and toddler Red when she began to choke. Unable to draw breath, she looked at Kayne, got down on her knees and pointed to her back.
Seeing his mum in distress, Kayne began hitting her back between the shoulders to try to free whatever was blocking her airway, without success.
As Cherie, 38, began to panic, Kayne put his arms around his mum from behind and pulled his fist upwards into her abdomen.
A pea flew out and his mum was able to breathe again.
He had learnt the Heimlich Manoeuvre only a few days before at a West Yorkshire Police summer camp.
Kayne said: “I patted mum on the back first and then I squeezed her belly twice and the pea fell out.
“If I hadn’t learnt that on Monday, I wouldn’t have a mummy.”
Cherie said: “It's hard to believe a pea could do that, but it's the way the food gets lodged. Kayne's strength came from nowhere and when he did his manoeuvre, I thought ‘what's he doing?’
“I'm going on a first aid course – everybody should, it's so important. We may think we'd know what to do, but we might not. He saved my life."
Regional director for St John Ambulance North East Simon Dunn said: “It’s devastating to find that approaching half of parents wouldn’t have the first aid confidence to save their own child’s life. And it’s not just parents, nationally over two-fifths of people admit that it would take something as severe as the death of a loved one to make them learn first aid.”