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Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 16:05 UK
New parents are taught first aid

By Catherine Burns
Newsbeat health reporter

Would you know what to do if a baby started choking? Or maybe broke a bone? Well, a set of free first aid courses for new parents is about to be launched in England, Scotland and Wales. Newsbeat went to a mother and baby group in east London to see what some mums think.

Amarjit with baby Caspar
Amarjit with her baby Caspar at a mother and baby group in east London

This place is organised mayhem. Toddlers scoot all round the place in plastic cars.

There's a queue for the trampoline. The mums are taking it easier.

Some are sitting round drinking coffee, a few are feeding their newborns.

Amarjit is here with her little boy Caspar. The 22-year-old mum has another baby on the way and says it's not easy.

"It is quite scary looking after a child. Nothing prepares you for it," she said.

She says she wouldn't have a clue what she'd do if her son suddenly stopped breathing.

And she's not the only one.


We learnt basic stuff, emergency first aid. It was very useful. A bit scary, but useful

Charlotte's already been on a baby first aid course

Cynthia remembers the time her little boy fell down an entire flight of stairs.

Emma's baby has serious food allergies.

She's had to rush him to hospital three times and says it's always terrifying.

Charlotte's been lucky with her kids, but is still worried about this. She's paid for a private first aid course.

She said: "We just learnt basic stuff, emergency first aid. It was very useful. A bit scary, but useful."

At the moment, there isn't a course like this on the NHS.

But the Royal Life Saving Society UK is going to start giving free two-hour classes in various cities.

Most of the mums here think it's a great idea.

Sarah has three kids and thinks she could do with signing up for the sessions.

She said: "I think it would be great, especially for things like choking.

"It freaks me out that I wouldn't get it right, and that she'd go more blue and I wouldn't know what to do."

But Amanda isn't convinced that a two-hour session could really make that much difference.

"Unless you're going to use it regularly you won't remember it," she said.

"When you're panicking, and your child is ill, you just freeze, and you really need an expert."

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