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Free online CPR training for families during May

May 7th, 2024

Despite 90 per cent of parents acknowledging how critical CPR training is, a recent survey by RLSSA revealed a concerning gap with only 59 per cent of Australian parents completing CPR training, and a mere 23 per cent having gained the skill in the past 12 months.

Royal Lifesaving and Kids Alive have joined forces to help more Australians know how to save the life of a little one by setting up the Heart Beat Club – a training site aimed at empowering Australians learn vital CPR and first aid knowledge to help save infants and toddlers. The one-hour course costs $39 but is free during May 2024.

Lauren Nimmo from at RLS WA says the statistics suggested families were underprepared to handle an emergency.

“More than 40 per cent of parents don’t have any CPR skills and we know resuscitation knowledge significantly diminishes within 3-6 months post-training, so there is a huge need for more education and for people to refresh their skills.

“The Heart Beat Club makes it easy because it removes some of the common barriers such as cost and time that people claim prevents them from gaining this life saving knowledge.”

Laurie Lawrence, founder of Kids Alive, urged every parent and grandparent to take advantage of the free course.

“Last year 16 children died from drowning in Australia and for every one of them eight children were hospitalised following a non- fatal drowning incident, many of which are left with lifelong impact. Lives are lost in pools, dams, baths, sinks and even nappy buckets.

“These lives could potentially be saved using the skills learnt in just an hour at home with The Heart Beat Club.

“This initiative represents a vital bridge to helping curb these numbers and ensure that every Australian can confidently respond in a crisis because any attempt at CPR when a child is not breathing can dramatically increase survival rates.”

The online training covers a range of topics including CPR skills, how to treat common injuries, choking, burns, scalds, control of bleeding, dealing with shock, and control of communicable disease.

A scream for help

Mother of seven (soon to be eight) Krystal Karacsony, knows how vital CPR skills are after saving an 11-month-old girl.

“It was baking a birthday cake for my family, when I heard a scream for help.

“I poked my head out to see what was going on and heard my neighbour pleading for anyone who knew first aid. I yelled that I did, and she ran towards me, put her baby in my arms and told me she wasn’t breathing,” says Karacsony.

Her neighbour had found her 11-month-old daughter unresponsive in the bath. The girl was blue and floppy, and Karacsony immediately went into action.

“I was pregnant with my own daughter at the time, and I just knew I had to do something. I grabbed the child and quickly checked to see if she was breathing, checked her pulse and started doing CPR,” she says.

“I was hyper-focused just counting compressions and breaths. All I kept thinking was, what if this was my own daughter? Her life was in my hands.”

A few minutes later the baby began coughing up water and taking laboured breaths, so Karacsony placed her in the recovery position and continued to monitor her. The child, who is now four years old, went on to make a full recovery after being treated in hospital.

Image Supplied: The Karacsony family

By Chris Maher
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