Tuesday, 12 June 2018

BBQ Safety Tips

What a glorious weekend we just had for a BBQ.  What is better than spending an afternoon with friends or family eating delicious (sometimes charcoaled) food and enjoying a nice cool drink of your choice.  BBQs are such a lovely way to enjoy a summer's afternoon, but of course here at Safety First we want you all to be able to enjoy the day safely. 

So what can go wrong? the beer is flowing, the chef is cooking and the kids are running around in the garden, everything is idyllic. One of the biggest risks at a BBQ is burns.  Children love to explore the world through their hands and fires can be mesmerising.  They are so pretty to look at.  It takes two seconds for those little paws to reach out and grab the grill. 

Some other things to consider when hosting a BBQ are things like allergies.  Food allergies are becoming more common in their occurrence, so this is worth checking with your guests beforehand.  For more information on managing allergies check out my other blog post.

Another important thing is to make sure all food is properly cooked, especially meat like chicken.  A charred appearance does not necessarily = cooked food.  Things like chicken can be started off in the oven to ensure the middle is cooked.  We would not want guests to be ill after such a lovely day.

The main topic of this post is burns and their management.   


According to the Child Accident Prevention Trust Website, 95% of burns happen in the family home so there isn't much that can be said for that except that we need to be really watchful at all times.    Make sure hot drinks are kept out of hand's reach - a cup of tea can burn up to 15 minutes after it is made, keep BBQs attended at all times when they are hot and unplug appliances like hair straighteners when not in use.

Burns are categorised by their severity and we now talk about: 

  • Superficial burns - these affect the top layer of skin and are characterised by redness and discomfort, 
  • Partial thickness burns are really painful and appear red and blistered
  • Full thickness burns are waxy and singed in appearance or the skin may look charred.  They are the most severe of all burns
The main risks associated with burns are infection and shock if the burns cover a big enough surface area.

We measure burns in percentages.  The palm of a person's hand will measure 1% of their body surface area.  

Burns | Safety First Welling | Bexley

Anything more than 1% in a child needs to be checked out in hospital. 

The areas which are worst for getting burnt are your hands, feet, face and groin.  In the instance of an interested toddler at a BBQ, it is most likely to be the hands which are affected.


Burn treatment | Safety First Welling | Bexley
1) Cool the burn down under running water, this should be colder than the substance which caused the burn but does not need to be really cold.  The burn should be held under running water fot at least 10 minutes but a lot of hospitals are recommending 20 minutes

Burns Treatment | Safety First Welling |  Bexley
2) Remove any clothing or jewellery around the area but not if it is stuck to the burnt area

3) Cover with clingfilm if possible or otherwise something that is not going to stick to the burn and cause further damage to the skin

It is really important that you don't burst blisters, the hospital may well burst them but it is not advised that you do this yourself.  

Enjoy your sausages in the sun, but just remember to look after your own fingers when cooking for the family as well as those around you belonging to little people

If you want to know more about first aid why not book onto one of my courses www.safety-first-welling.org

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Managing the summer with a new arrival

It seems like the hideous weather of the last few months has finally broken through into some sun, long may it continue.  I was delivering a first aid course today in the glorious sun to some parents to be, one of whom was actually due tomorrow and  we were discussing how to manage the heat with a new arrival.  It is always a worry for new parents in the summer and overheating can actually increase the risk of SIDS -  or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  Babies and small children struggle to regulate their temperature.

Here are some hints and tips to get you through the hot season (unless a snow spell comes along to join us again).  Small children and babies are the most susceptible to extremes of heat and do not cope particularly well with either extreme heat or extreme cold, so what do you do when your temperature gauge is glowing red and telling you it is 24 degrees in the baby's nursery?  How do you get through the night without them melting?  

Safe Room Temperature

Ideally the room in which a baby will be sleeping should be between 16 - 20 degrees either in the winter or the summer.  If the room thermometer is consistently reading higher in the warmer weather you could try opening a window or door if possible.  Another idea would be to keep a fan circulating the air around the room but not pointing directly at the baby.

Safer Sleep Advice

It is recommended by the Lullaby Trust that cots should be kept clear of any bumpers, duvets or pillows.  They should also be clear of soft toys and loose bedding.  A clear cot allows the air to flow freely around the baby, therefore helping to keep them cool in the summer.  Light weight sleeping bags are ideal for use in the summer months and if you get a proper "gro bag" they will give you a guide on what your baby should wear.  There are also different togs available, so lighter ones for the summer months. 

Also consider their night wear underneath the sleeping bag.  If you are uncertain if your baby is too hot or cold, you can check by placing your hand on their chest.  This is more accurate than touching their hand / foot which are often exposed & cold.

Feeding advice

In this hot weather it is important to make sure your baby is getting enough fluid.  If your baby is bottle fed you can offer the cool boiled water between feeds when it is really hot.  If they are breast fed offer them the breast more frequently to keep their fluids topped up. Make sure they are still having plenty of wet nappies

Keeping Safe in the sun

Babies who are under 6 months of age should be kept out of direct sun.  When they are a bit older the sun should be avoided between 11 and 3pm.  If you do venture out you can attach a sun shade to the pushchair but do not cover with a blanket.  Make sure you apply sunscreen to their skin with a factor higher than 15 and make sure you check out the UVA and UVB content of the brand you choose.  Make sure you cover their heads & neck with an appropriate hat (where possible) and keep loose garments on them.

Summer can be lots of fun especially if you are on maternity leave and enjoying a well earned break with your baby just make sure you enjoy it safely.


Monday, 30 April 2018

Fits and Seizures

As a first aid instructor it is always good to hear back from someone that they have learnt something useful and practical on my courses.  I delivered a course the other week and the next day one of the ladies was at a family gathering when her niece unfortunately and out of the blue started to have a fit.  It was a bit of a shock to the family, but because of my course the day before she remembered what I had told her and how to act in order to help her niece in this situation.  One of the things about first aid is that it is mostly common sense that you need to use in order to help someone out when they need it. 

When you first see someone having a seizure it can be quite scary and upsetting, especially if it is a friend or relative that it is happening to. Children can have seizures for a number of reasons, so if  it happened to someone you knew, would you be able to help them?  What is a seizure?  What causes them to happen?  

What causes a seizure?

A head injury
A sudden rise in temperature in children under the age of 5 (febrile convulsion)
Lack of oxygen to the brain

What are the triggers?

Flashing lights
A sore throat
A metallic taste

A seizure is caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain.  The type of seizure which is being referred to here is a "tonic clonic" seizure or generalised seizure.  They can occur without warning several times a day for some people.  

Initially the person would appear to go quite stiff and then they would start jerking / twitching.  They may fall to the floor if they are standing (which increases the risk of injury) and they will be to all intents and purposes "unconscious" as they will not respond to you.  The fit may last for a few minutes.  The person may foam at the mouth or even bleed from the mouth if they bite their tongue.  They may wet themselves.  If the fit is an uncomplicated one it should stop on its own.  

Seizures | Safety First | First Aid | Bexley How can I help?

  • Make sure the area around the person is safe and free from dangers
  • Support their head with your hands or a towel / coat
  • Ask someone to call 999
  • Time the seizure
  • Once it has stopped if necessary put them in the recovery position as they may be drowsy / unconscious.

Seizures | Fits | Safety First Welling | Bexley

If you would like more information please do visit the Epilepsy Action Website 

If you would like to enquire about a first aid course why not visit our website https://bit.ly/2jgtf1x

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Tips on Allergy Management


Allergies | Easter | Safety First

Allergy season has now arrived meaning lots of sniffles and sneezes for those affected.  Hayfever can make peoples' lives miserable for a number of months of the year.  

I went on a fascinating training day the other day all about allergy management in children which gave me lots of useful hints and tips. 

With Easter almost upon us it is important to remember that there are those out there who will not be able to have their fill of chocolate because of a tummy ache caused by dairy allergy, or anaphylaxis caused by potential nut allergies.  

Navigating the world of food and treats can be a tricky one for lots of children and families, especially when a lot of labels will say "may contain traces of nuts" for example and other phrases. 

Would you know how to recognise that a person in your care or your company has the signs of an allergy? 

Would you know how to keep them safe?


Allergies are triggered by an auto immune response to something (the immune system attacking itself).  Allergies may not develop the first few times someone is exposed to the trigger and they tend to get worse with each exposure. 

The most common allergies in children are egg.  This is one that many will grow out of by the age of 5.  

Other triggers are:

  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi Fruit
  • Medication
  • Shell fish
  • Fish
  • Latex

Signs and Symptoms

In a severe allergic reaction, symptoms can be quite dramatic and pronounced.  They come on quickly and in the worst case can be fatal.  Having said this, the chances of dying from anaphylaxis are apparently less than the chances of being murdered but nevertheless they can be life threatening and come on unexpectedly.  

It is worth noting the symptoms of allergies:

    Allergies | Safety First | Bexley | Kent
  • Tingling / tickling of the throat
  • Swelling to the face, lips and around the eyes.
  • A rash which can spread all over the body and is very itchy
  • Difficulty in breathing and wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach ache
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting or nausea.
  • Sense of impending doom
  • Feeling clammy / cold

Difficulty in breathing and facial swelling are symptoms of a more significant allergy and can develop within minutes of exposure.  The exposure can be as simple as some nut oil on the skin or cross contamination when eating out.


Allergies | Safety First | Bexley | Welling
If you think a person is developing a severe allergic reaction take the following steps.  

  • Sit them down and try to keep them calm as they may be feeling a sense of panic at the developing symptoms.  
  • Ask them if they have an allergy that they know of. 
  • If they do, see if they have an adrenaline auto injector on them.  This is the treatment which should be given in the event of a severe allergic reaction.  It helps to reverse the symptoms which are shown above very quickly.
  • Call 999.
  • If they are carrying an adrenaline auto injector on them it will either be a jext, epi pen or emerade pen.  Check the date and encourage the person to administer this as shown in the pictures on the device (or above). 
  • If they don't have an adrenaline auto injector on them keep them calm and if they become unconscious put them in the recovery position.  
 Easter is a lovely family time for us all to enjoy and I know I will be tucking into some chocolatey treats, but as allergies can be unpredictable and arise all of a sudden make sure you know how to recognise them

For more information please visit www.safety-first-welling.org

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Child Safety Week What Are You Doing?

So what have I learnt in the 4 and a half years since I became a parent.....?  My little one seems to get clumsier with every passing minute.  She has trip after fall after blood spillage with no sign of it abating.  When she was immobile she was pretty unscathed but then she started to move.....


    Hair Straighteners
    pills and tablets

  • Accidents in the home remain the biggest risk to the under 5s, in fact they are the leading cause of death in boys under the age of 4  according to the Child Accident Prevention Trust
  • 1 in 10 parents of children under 5 admitted that their children had sustained a serious burn from hair straighteners or tong
  • Suspected poisoning is one of the most common causes of attendance to Accident and Emergency and while childproof lids might slow them down some 3 - 4 year olds can open them in seconds
  • 95% of all burns and scalds happen in the home.
  • Every day around 40 under 5s are rushed to hospital following choking

  • Well that was a cheerful little whistlestop tour through some gruesome facts.....but it just highlights how we need to be so mindful of childrens' safety in everything they do.  Things can change in the blink of an eye and not everything is preventable.  All we can do is be mindful of what we are doing when our children are around

    Child Safety Week 

    The Child Accident Prevention Trust is instrumental in spreading the word on safety offering free advice and tips to parents and professionals on how to keep little people safe.  The offer training as well as resources and publications. 

    This year it is taking place from 5th - 11th June.  The subject is "Safe Children, sharing is caring"

    Why not visit their website for further information and tips www.capt.org.uk

    The focus is on asking people what they do to keep children safe.....what do you do?

    Here at safety first I try to educate parents on keeping their babies and children safe as well as teaching childminders and nannies on how to provide first aid in their work place.  I am trying to get first aid into schools and after school clubs for 4 to 11 yesr olds.  Flat Stan is an amazing resource developed by Simon Ferris.  It enables children to get hands on and reminds them how to call for help etc....thus empowering them to help out in an emergency.  Flat Stan First Aid now have resources for EarlyYears Settings which I can advise you on further

    If you would like some hands on training why not drop me a line at safetyfirst1704@gmail.com

    Tuesday, 16 May 2017

    My Top Tips for First Aid

    I can't believe it has been nearly 3 years since I started Safety First.  What a great time I have had teaching children from 3.5 years of age to parents and professionals how to administer first aid.  Getting the safety message out there and empowering them to deal with unexpected emergencies.

    During this time I have had my fair share of bumps and bleeds to deal with as the mother of an eternally bruised 4 year old.  I thought it may be a good time to share my top topics and tips that I would like all first time parents to know and think about

    1) Choking 

    From my experience of teaching first aid to parents, I think this is the subject that most people are concerned with especially around weaning.....so

    How to recognise choking:

    • The person may be unable to talk or breathe
    • They may be grabbing their throat
    • Attempts to cough will be weakening
    • They will look really distressed
    • They may initially be quite red in the face becoming pale and blue.

    How to minimise the risk of choking 

    Choking hazards - How to cut up grapes

    • Cut food up into reasonable sized pieces - grapes should be cut in half vertically
    • Try not to leave coins and other small objects lying around
    • Don't feed them when they are on the move, try to keep them sitting down
    • Remember that their airways are very small so be mindful of what goes in their mouth
    If your child chokes, lean them forward over your lap (supporting the head if it is a baby) and administer 5 back blows, followed by 5 abdominal thrusts (chest thrusts in babies).

    If you cannot remove the obstruction call 999 and if they collapse commence CPR

    First Aid for Choking

    2) Febrile Convulsions

    Children under the age of 5 are unable to manage their own body temperature as the hypothalamus (part of the brain) is immature.  Anyone who has had a baby or small child will know that when they get sick their temperature can soar.  Most of the time this will come down with some calpol.  However there is a more serious side to temperatures which many parents are unaware of.  

    In 1 in 20 children a high temperature can lead to a febrile convulsion.  This is a fit associated with a rapidly rising temperature.

    A normal temperature is between 36.5 to 37.5.  

    If your child has a temperature - do not overdress them, keep them well hydrated and keep the room well ventilated without directly pointing a fan at the child, administer calpol (paracetamol) and nurofen (ibuprofen) as per the instructions on the bottle.

    How to recognise a febrile convulsion

    • The child will become stiff with jerky movements
    • Or they may become really floppy
    • Their eyes may roll back 
    • The child will be unresponsive
    • Their limbs will start twitching and jerking
    • They may foam at the mouth
    • They may become a bit blue around the mouth

    This product has not yet been reviewed ( Write a Review )What to do?

    • Time the seizure - an uncomplicated seizure should no more than around 3 minutes
    • Protect the head
    • Make sure the area is safe
    • Take them to hospital to investigate the cause

    These are just a couple of things I think parents of small children should know about, but if you would like to know more please do not hesitate to get in touch and book yourself on to a first aid course today www.safety-first-welling.org