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Would you Know What to Do in Case of an Emergency? Free Baby & Child First Aid App by the British Red Cross

Is first aid a skill you want to learn? Have you not yet found the time to attend a course? That was me, before that fatal night when I thought my baby might die in my arms…

When I realised Jumpy was covered in hives at just 6 months old, I had no idea what was happening. Shortly after, she started swelling, so much so that ten minutes later, she could not open her eyes. I knew straight away she was having an allergic reaction but I did not know what to do. I went into ‘automatic mode’ and drove her to A&E.

As soon as I was in the car, I realised I had made a foolish decision. I could not check on her. She was at the back of the Mini in her rear-facing seat and I was driving. She was too young to tell me she was fine.  She was not crying and I could not hear a sound coming from the back. What if her tongue had swollen so much she had choked? What if she was unconscious?

It was without the shadow of a doubt the longest four minute drive of my life. I did not do the right thing. I should have called 999. I could not describe the horror that engulfed me when I realised I could not check on my baby until I had parked the car at the hospital.

Since then, I have attended a couple of first aid courses. Those courses are invaluable because they are not all about the theory; they are about putting it all into practice. Repeating gestures again and again makes them second nature. That, to me, is important, because if anything happened to anyone in front of me, I would want to be able to recall what I am supposed to do rather than panic about the situation.

I really believe everyone should attend first aid courses, not just paramedics, first aiders or medical professionals, but everyone. First aid should be compulsory at school. Can you imagine anything happening to your child or someone else’s and not be able to do anything, simply because you had no idea what to do? I could not live with that.

With four children seven and under, no matter how vigilant I may be, there is always a possibility my children might hurt themselves and I want to make sure I am fully prepared for every eventuality. Avoiding accidents or injuries is always better than having to treat them, but small children fall over, hurt themselves occasionally, whether we as parents are with them or not. I feel responsible for the safety of my children, but I would also be reassured if everyone around them feel confident enough to take action should anything happen to them.

Doing nothing is the worst you can do. If Crevette burnt his hand during a sleepover, I would want his friends’ parents to make sure they keep his hand under running cold water for at least ten minutes before they even considered calling me.

What to do in Case of Burns

If Jumpy had an allergic reaction and was struggling to breathe, I would like the friend looking after her to use her adrenalin auto-injector then call for an ambulance before they called me.

British Red Cross - First Aid App - Allergic Reaction

I have handbooks from the first aid courses I attended. They are full of useful information on what to do should anything happen but I tend not to carry them around. My phone, however, is always in my handbag.

I see the British Red Cross as a source of reliable and convenient First Aid advice, so when I found out about their free Baby and Child First Aid app, I downloaded it in a heartbeat.

Here is a bit of background information about the app:

“Parents and carers: help is at hand. If your child chokes on a sweet or suffers a nasty cut, you’ll only be a few clicks away from knowing exactly what to do. This free app is packed with useful videos, animations and tips. It provides simple and easy advice, and each skill only takes minutes to learn. You can test your knowledge using the built in first aid quizzes. There is also a handy device to record your child’s medication needs and any allergies.” 

I wish I had had the app before! As soon as you open it, it is set to show you the ‘Emergency’ section, with common ailments such as allergic reaction, asthma, bleeding, burns, choking, fever, vomiting etc. It is really clear, with an illustration accompanying the word, and organised in alphabetical order.

British Red Cross - Free Baby & Child First Aid App - Emergency

Each section is clearly laid out, with a short video, quick description of the ailment or condition, steps to follow, related first aid as well as questions and answers.

British Red Cross - Free Baby & Child First Aid App - steps

It covers even the most basic of questions, formulated simply like: “If I’m looking after a child with a known allergy and they have their own auto-injector, can I use the injector if they suffer a severe allergic reaction?” Yes, yes and yes! It is not too wordy or complicated; just what you need in an emergency situation.

British Red Cross - Free Baby & Child First Aid App - Q&A

Here are the kinds of questions the app can answer for you:

  • Can I give the baby or child something to drink if they have taken a harmful substance?
  • Should I put butter, ointment or a cream on a burn?
  • If a child is choking, how hard should the back blows I give be?

Check this rap video by the British Red Cross about poison:


I really love the free app. I urge every single person who reads this post to download it. It could save lives. I think the app is the tool anyone should have on their phone, in conjunction with attending a first aid course.

I asked Hubby to have a look at the app and let me know what he thought. Here is what he said: “I like to have the information on tap all the time. It’s nice to have it there rather than having to Google the symptoms. It gives you a sequence of events and outcomes. You know what to do next, how to relieve the symptoms and when to call an ambulance.”

We then looked at the section on asthma attacks with my friend Solène who is studying to become a pharmacist. She found the app brilliant. All she would improve would be to include a clear description of the procedure for administering the medication to relieve the symptoms (e.g. asthma, allergic reaction), but I guess these would be at hand with the medication needed.

You can learn first aid easily with the British Red Cross.  Would you like to attend a first aid course with the British Red Cross or download their free Baby & Child First Aid app? Do not wait; do it now! Find out more about the app and first aid courses here.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The British Red Cross but all opinions and photos are my own.


  1. Sara (@mumturnedmom)
    30/07/2015 / 2:07 pm

    Great post Mel, so important. I have to admit, I’ve never taken a first aid course, and I know that I really should. You’ve given me a much needed reminder about that! The app looks great, just what you need to avoid going into panic mode, which is what I worry I would do.

    • Mel
      30/07/2015 / 10:27 pm

      Did you check the app, Sara? It really is brilliant. I find it quite reassuring having it on my phone. x

  2. 30/07/2015 / 9:29 pm

    Gosh, how terrifying! I can’t imagine how you must have felt and am SO glad Jumpy was ok. I have actually attended a course, best investment of a day ever. 🙂

    • Mel
      30/07/2015 / 10:26 pm

      I could not agree more! I had been thinking of going on a first aid course for ages, but never quite managed it, partly because I couldn’t find the time or didn’t have the money to pay for the course. I now know you can find courses that don’t cost the earth and it really is time well spent. x

  3. Louise
    30/07/2015 / 11:33 pm

    So important to be aware of first aid and whilst it is not always possible for everyone to attend a course to make sure they know what to do, at least having an app like this can help. I have a similar app on my phone. That drive with Jumpy must have been utterly terrifying – so glad that she was okay. Thanks for helping to raise awareness of the importance of knowing first aid and reminding me that I really must try and attend a course at some point.

    • Mel
      30/07/2015 / 11:58 pm

      I know it’s not always possible to attend a course. Although I really wanted to attend one for years and years, I didn’t manage until 2 years ago. If you ever decide to go on one, the British Red Cross have lots of courses. They even hold evening ones. I think I will book my next one with them next time I need a refresher. xx

  4. ebabeelikes
    31/07/2015 / 8:01 am

    Your experience sounds frightening. I had a similar experience when A was nearly one and choked on a hair clip. Really choked – it was lodged at the back of her throat and she was turning blue in front of my eyes. There was clearly no time to call 999 and I had done no first aid course or anything like that. But luckily just the previous week I had been randomly chatting about choking to my friend who was an airline stewardess. All cabin crew have to take first aid courses and she had in conversation told me what they are trained to do if anyone chokes when on board. It was this casual conversation from the previous week that saved A’s life. I lifted her and hit her hard on the back – at first not hard enough as I was scared of hurting her. But the second time I knew I had no choice and whacked her with all my strength and the clip came flying out. I am shaking writing this even now because it was such a close call. But just makes me think how useful it would have been to have an app like this. I will be downloading for sure. Everybody should. Great post and I really hope parents take notice. You never realise you need an app like this till you need it so it’s best to have it there just in case if that makes sense.

    • Mel
      01/08/2015 / 10:22 pm

      Nomita, it sounds like a terrifying experience. My younger brother choked on a sugared almond when he was six months old. I was only 9 but I still remember his little face turning blue and his mouth foaming profusely. My mum had no idea what to do. Eventually, she managed to dislodge the sugared almond, but it took quite a bit of trial and error methods, which is the last thing you want to do in case of an emergency. The app it is for us…

  5. Pingback: Nuffnang UK | The World’s Leading Blog Advertising Community » Some British Red Cross Favourites: The Baby and Child First Aid App
  6. Victoria Welton
    31/07/2015 / 9:29 pm

    What an absolutely brilliant idea – this app sounds like it is really worthwhile and looks easy to use as well. I will definitely look into this one. Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo 🙂 x

    • Mel
      03/08/2015 / 12:17 am

      It’s a fab little app. It’s free, but I would have paid for it with no hesitation whatsoever. x

  7. 04/08/2015 / 8:27 am

    Wow what a scary experience! I remember doing basic first aid and resuscitation when the twins were in nicu, the staff gave every parent with a child in nicu a first aid lesson in resuscitation which I thought was great! One night when Isabella couldn’t breath I did remember to check her airways and thankfully the hubby was with us and he drove us to A&E I really do not know what I would have done if i was on my own. I will definitely be looking at the app xx

    • Mel
      13/08/2015 / 10:00 am

      You’ll love the app, sweetie. It is fab and everything you need is easy to find / it is all explained in simple terms. x

  8. 04/08/2015 / 9:35 pm

    This is a great post Mel, and I will be checking out the app!

    Your description of the severe reaction, brought back memories of Callum’s, just horrible to go through!!

    Thank you for sharing! x

    • Mel
      09/08/2015 / 10:24 pm

      It really is a great reminder of what to do in case of an emergency. I hope I never have to use it, but I’ll be relieved to have it on my phone should anything happen. x

  9. thenthefunbegan
    18/08/2015 / 9:05 pm

    Such a great post Mel – I have never learnt any kind of first aid and – thank heavens – never had to know any up to this point but that app is definitely something I will download. My mum has always said to me that if I ever get offered a first aid course at work I should jump at it. And I agree – why do schools do subjects like home economics to teach children things they need to know to live their lives in the future but not automatically teach basic first aid to everyone – I think that is a briliant idea. Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout hon xx

    • Mel
      19/08/2015 / 10:07 pm

      My pleasure, Sam. You’ll love the app. It’s not technical, easy to use and it answers loads of questions with no medical jargon whatsoever.

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