THEY ARE the life-saving skills you learn in the hope that you’ll never need them.
But just five days after Rachel Davidson took a first aid course at her local children’s centre, she was faced with every parent’s worst nightmare when her three-year-old daughter Holly started to choke.
Mrs Davidson, 33, of Skipton, said: “Holly was eating her dinner with her grandparents, she was getting close to the end of her meal when I could hear her coughing from the kitchen.
“When I turned to talk to her she was clutching her throat and her eyes were rolling. She was gasping for breath.”
And the training she had learnt just a few days earlier automatically kicked in.
“It was instinctive, “ Mrs Davidson said. “I was absolutely terrified - my daughter was choking - but I just dropped everything, rushed over to her and started doing the techniques we learnt on the course.”
Mrs Davidson had attended a first aid course for parents and carers at Skipton Children’s Centre, which cost just £1 for a two-hour session.
She added: “It was as if the course tutor was talking me through it in my mind.
“I laid her over my arm, with her head slightly tilted and hit her with sharp blows between the shoulder blades and out popped the Yorkshire pudding. We were all mortified, everyone was in tears, and I think I was probably in shock for a couple of hours afterwards.
“Holly was tearful but fine, and I was just so grateful I’d been on the course.”
The course, ran by Keighley-based Home and Away Training, covered choking, burns and scalds CPR, cuts and minor injuries.
Mrs Davidson, an architects’ receptionist, had taken first aid courses in the past for working but chose to take the course as the content is tailored to parents’ requests.
The evening course was just two hours long - time which could not have been better spent for Mrs Davidson and her family.
She said: “In my mind attending courses like this should be compulsory for parents.
“Everything was so fresh in my mind I knew instinctively what to do, I dread to think what could have happened had I not been on the course.”
Mrs Davidson, who also has a five month old baby Bethany, added: “Holly is absolutely fine now, back to her old self, running around at 100 miles an hour.”
Skipton Children’s Centre runs first aid courses for parents and carer six times a year. It is offering the course again in May and June.
Caroline Porter, children’s centre service manager, said: “The courses are specifically tailored to people’s fears as to what they might have to deal with. It’s about giving parents the skills they need to keep their children safe.
“Some people are reluctant to come along as they feel they may be tempting fate, but as Rachel showed, you just never know when you might need them.
“Having the skills to respond quickly in an emergency can indeed save a life.
“A pound doesn’t even buy a cup of coffee these days, but spending a pound doing a course like this can save a life.”
Contact Skipton Children’s Centre on 01609 798094 to book a place on a course. Similar courses are available across North Yorkshire Children’s Centres.