A BALLYCLARE mother has backed a call to make first aid training essential for all new parents.
Cathy Turner organised a paediatric awareness event in Ballyclare Sixmile Leisure Centre on Monday night to highlight the need for the training to help stop preventable deaths of young children.
Cathy, a specialist physiotherapist, was moved by the story of little English girl Millie Thompson.
Tragically, Millie died from a choking incident at the age of just 10 months old. Her family have established a charitable trust in her memory and lobbied the Government to make first aid training mandatory for new parents.
Cathy told the Times: “My little boy Seth was born around the same time as Millie and I remembering hearing about their tragic event on the news and couldn’t imagine what they were going through.
“Their story and strength really touched me. As a first-time mummy I was and still am anxious regarding my little boy’s safety, as are many of my new mummy friends.
“Although I am trained in first aid and have covered paediatrics for my job, I still had anxieties and speaking to all our new mummies, I found that they had similar anxieties.”
Monday’s event was for new mums and friends of Cathy to raise awareness of the need for first aid training.
The leisure centre kindly donated the room free of charge for the one-off event and trainer Adam Hannah, who demonstrated common first aid techniques, waived his fee for his attendance.
Cathy thanked both Adam and staff at the leisure centre for facilitating the event.
She added: “It went very well. There is a real need for antenatal first aid training for people, especially locally which would be very beneficial for new parents.
“Millie’s trust is campaigning for Government to make first aid training mandatory and I would urge anyone to sign her e-petition to support this very worthwhile cause.”
More information on Millie’s Trust can be found at www.milliestrust.com and the petition can be signed by searching for ‘Millie’s Trust raising awareness in paediatric first aid’ on epetitions.direct.gov.uk.