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The guilt is bad but there’s something far worse

Free online CPR course with the Australian Red Cross“They say that guilt is the gift that keeps on giving, and as every mum knows, there’s no returns policy. You’re stuck with it. I’m always adding new stock items to my personal guilt list but no matter how many new things I pile on steadily, stealthily, making the way to the top of my guilt hit parade is CPR training – or lack thereof.

You see for the past four years I’ve worked with the people behind April Pools Day – an initiative aimed at increasing the number of people in the community with current CPR knowledge. I’ve read and written many harrowing stories about kids tragically drowning in backyard pools, the parents standing by, horrified and helpless. So I know how important yearly CPR training is.

However, over the past four years the number of times I’ve completed a CPR refresher course is about the same amount of times Donald Trump has apologised for saying something wildly inappropriate — zip, zero, nada.

What makes this worse is that now I have a two-year-old – I should be more conscientious about safety than ever before but apparently I’m not. Apparently, I’m a bit of a slacker.

These were the thoughts running through my mind as I watched my two-year old giddily launch himself into a friend’s pool last weekend. We were over a 1000 kilometres from home, on a caravanning road trip from Queensland to Victoria, a trip I knew would involve lots of swimming — at the beach, in mountain creeks and in backyard pools. Yet I still didn’t do a quick CPR refresher course before we left.

Before we left I sensibly packed a first aid kit for the car, and while doing this I thought about doing a CPR course. As I sensibly checked the car’s water, oil and tyre pressure I thought about doing a CPR course. And yet when we finally set off, I still had not done a CPR refresher course.

Why was that? I, of all people, should not let something like that slide.

Was it the expense – it can’t be that – I’m well aware that Australian Red Cross offers free online CPR courses every April Pools Day.

Was it the time? The average CPR course is only 3 hours – I’ve spent longer at the hairdresser getting hair coloured.

Did I think it was too hard? Nope – I’ve done CPR courses before. Nothing to it.

The best answer I can come up with is that it was just another thing to organise and schedule.

I said it was the best answer, not a good one.

Because if my child had been found unconscious in the water I would not have known what to do. I have some vague recollection of the basics, but I really don’t think it would be enough.

I would have had to stand by helplessly like all those parents I’ve read about who no longer get to tuck their child in at night. No longer get to cuddle them when they graze their knees. No longer get to watch them grow.

We’re now on the north coast of New South Wales, beautiful spot, and we’re nearly home. My little boy is splashing in a rock pool. Earlier this week I went on the April Pools Day website and watched Laurie Lawrence’s 5-minute video on CPR for children. I’ve made a promise to myself to sign up to their CPR course as soon as we get home. Because if I can find the time to go on a three-week road trip half way across the country surely I can find three hours to do something that just might save my own child’s life.

What’s your excuse? Why is it that parents seem so reluctant to learn CPR? We’d love to know your thoughts.”

by Tracey Ballie

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The Bub Hub is proud to support April Pools Day

Poolwerx and the Australian Red Cross have joined forces to give Australians the opportunity to upskill with a FREE CPR online course until 30th of April.

To join or to watch Laurie Lawrence’s CPR for Children video visit www.poolwerx.com.au/about-us/april-pools-day

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