Raising Standards of Care: Paediatric First Aid Training

Training Manager Fay Gibbin at Busy Bees Training, part of the Busy Bees nursery group, currently oversees over 700 childcare, management and catering apprenticeships as well as 20 short courses delivered at each of their 12 venues throughout the country. Here, Fay offers her views on the importance of Paediatric First Aid training and how the childcare sector needs to champion an increase in qualified first aid practitioners.

Each day childcare settings strive to deliver the best lifelong learning experiences and development opportunities to children, and build strong partnerships with parents to instil confidence in the care they provide. However, as important as these factors are in the mix of delivering quality childcare, it is the safety of children that is at the forefront of a practitioner’s responsibility. Given its importance, the sector needs to do more to ensure that a sufficient amount of early years practitioners are available on site at all times taking into account many factors including the layout of the nursery and the number of children, and ensure practitioners receive regular refresher training so they are kept up to date on the latest guidelines and procedures.

This year alone, Busy Bees Training have delivered Paediatric First Aid to over 950 early years practitioners, both within Busy Bees nurseries and to external settings. This is an increase of 25% on last year, so conscientious childcare providers are starting doing more to ensure first aiders are on hand, and we hope to see more practitioners enrolling on the course each year.

Current Requirements

Current legislation requires nursery settings and preschools to have at least one paediatric first aider on site at all times. Although this may be considered sufficient in the average day-to-day running of a setting, many nurseries strive for a higher number than this to ensure the safety of all the children in their care.

Sadly, it took the tragic death of 9-month old Millie Thompson in 2012 and the ensuing review by the Department for Education before the current laws were revised. New first aid training will be made compulsory for all new nursery recruits holding a childcare level 2 or 3 qualification, and only then will they count towards the required staff ratios. The new proposal is set to come into effect as of September 2016, and will add approximately 15,000 additional trained early years professionals to our nurseries and pre-schools each year.

Gyimah, S. MP (2015) First aid training to be made compulsory for new nursery recruits, Department for Education. Date accessed 27.08.2015.

So, with currently only one qualified first aid trainer required on site, how can nursery settings start working towards these new government proposals.

Championing Paediatric First Aid Training

Equipping as many practitioners as possible with the skills, knowhow and confidence required to safely and effectively manage instances where children require first aid attention is crucial.

Children are so precious and when parents leave their child at school or nursery, they entrust their most treasured belonging to the staff responsible for their care. Regular first aid training and refresher courses play a vital part in reassuring parents that, should their child need first aid attention, they will receive the right treatment, quickly and from a familiar member of staff who feels both capable and confident in what they’re doing.

What it Involves

In addition to teaching practitioners to identify potential signs and symptoms of childhood health conditions, from whooping cough to meningitis, Paediatric First Aid training also tackles how to manage emergency situations such as allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

Recognised, quality training providers will ensure the course covers important topics such as choking, mouth-to-mouth, CPR, bandaging, and what to do in the event of injuries such as scolds, burns, cuts or broken bones. At the end of the accredited course, each participant will receive a certificate approved by an Awarding Organisation.

Going the Extra Mile

As it stands, the new government proposals only require newly qualified members of staff to be trained in Paediatric first aid. However refresher courses are available that will upskill existing qualified members of staff who hold a first aid certificate. This can be completed in just a couple of days for under £100. This investment will not only means more first aid trained staff working within the setting, but will also motive and enhance existing staff teams and allow parents to feel confident in the nursery’s dedication to providing the best possible care for their child.

Nurseries can also extend the training service to existing parents and to parents in the local area, helping to give new parents the confidence to act quickly and effectively when dealing with accidents and emergencies. Busy Bees offered this service to their parents through Busy Bees Training, and as a result many more parents are now trained in Paediatric First Aid.

Online and face-to-face courses are available and, although Busy Bees Training is committed to delivering accredited first aid training face-to-face to ensure delegates demonstrate a firm understanding of techniques, refresher online training videos are used as a reminder of best practice. Busy Bees Training recently created a video of the hazards of choking and how to respond quickly and effectively. This will be distributed to all Busy Bees staff, meaning that all childcare professionals within our nurseries will be trained in this crucial area of Paediatric First Aid.

The early years sector as a whole should work together to ensure as many practitioners as possible who regularly care for a child, whether a nursery practitioner, childminder, parent or family member, is trained in at least the basics of paediatric first aid so we can collectively continue to care for our children in the safest possible environment.

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