The first time baby threw up, I panicked. I nearly screamed for my husband and had no idea whether I was supposed to hold baby upright or lay him flat and how to stop the Merlion-like spewing. I ran around like a headless chicken throwing towels everywhere and almost called 995 (Just so you know, that’s the number for medical emergencies, not 999, which is for police response).
I learned a hard lesson that day that I was almost completely ignorant of what to do in an emergency situation when it came to baby. Heck, I didn’t even know regular CPR, much less infant CPR! And what if he was choking? Was I supposed to perform the Heimlich maneuver on his little body? What about seizures? Cuts? Even colds. It wouldn’t do to bring him to the doctor’s for every little thing. And what if a doctor wasn’t available?
Luckily, there are a myriad of first aid courses in Singapore that teach you how to handle these emergencies – from injuries to common childhood illnesses. The best part? You can even take some of these courses in the comfort of your own home! We’ve gathered some of the best courses for you below.
Get the most bang for your buck with the practical first aid class offered by Parentlink Singapore that teaches you hands-on CPR and Heimlich maneuvers under the supervision of certified St. John Ambulance Singapore First Aid instructor Eileen Goh. Home visits can be organized at your convenience but requires a minimum attendance of 3pax. Alternatively, you can attend the class at the Parentlink Office, where class sizes run from 2 – 15pax at the maximum.
Home visits: $120 per session
Monthly classes at Parentlink office: $90 per session
Each session lasts 3 hours
32 Robin Close
Tel. +65 6536-4626
Let’s be honest, if you’re a working family in Singapore, chances are that you are not the one spending the most time with your child, it’s probably your helper. In that case, we strongly recommend the Mother and Child’s First Aid for Helpers class, which takes special care to make sure that helpers understand the information and techniques. On top of the usual CPR and first aid procedures, it also covers hygiene in the kitchen and safe play for babies and young children. Mother & Child also offers first aid classes for mothers and couples.
Cost: $250 per helper
Duration: 3 x 2 hours
163 Tanglin Road
#03-11 Tanglin Mall
Tel: (+65) 6836 0063
If you’re truly serious about first aid, why not go all the way? Get professionally certified with this course conducted by the Singapore Emergency Responder Academy (SERA) that covers everything from caring for allergies to muscle sprains to asthma attacks. It also includes a first aid simulation segment for hands-on practice. Be prepared for a theory test and practicum after the course, which will award you with a professional certificate that last 2 years.
Course fee: $160 per pax (no GST required)
Course duration: 8 hours (1 day)
Singapore Emergency Responder Academy (SERA)
9 Penang Rd
#13 to 19 Park Mall
We can’t stress the importance of staying calm in an emergency. The best way to stay calm is to be in control and know what to do. Having a thorough knowledge and hands-on practice of first aid can ensure that. However, there may be times when we need medical attention. Always have the number of your pediatrician in your contacts list, and know where the nearest hospital is to you. You should also have your child’s medical information (such as allergies and other conditions, vaccinations etc) on hand at all times, especially when you’re travelling.
Don’t forget to regularly check and replenish your first aid kit, or if you don’t have one yet (tsk tsk), head down to Watson’s or Guardian and get a basic first aid kit (which should contain adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes or solution, and antibiotic ointment, at the very least), then buy these other items separately:
Braun’s Thermoscan Ear Thermometer is my personal choice, though it is recommended that you use a rectal thermometer for newborns to 3 month-old infants.
Instant cold pack
An instant cold pack need not be frozen but will be activated with pressure. These can help bring down sudden fevers, or the swelling from an insect bite or sprain.
Baby-safe fever and pain medication
Never wait until your child has a fever or is in pain to have these on hand. Baby-safe medication is clearly labeled on the shelves of any reputable pharmacy. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are usually safe and effective for little ones.
Remember that it is best to seek medical advice from your doctor before administering any medicine to your child.
If you used to be a girl scout and like to be prepared, you can also include the following items in your baby first aid kit:
Children are notorious for suddenly developing rashes or itchiness. This can help to soothe the itch or inflammation temporarily. Use in moderation.
Antihistamines will relieve the symptoms of allergic reactions such as running nose and watery eyes.
More common in colder climates, a stuffy nose needs to be decongested or the child will likely throw up. (It happened to my best friend’s daughter when they just moved to Australia)
Your child can’t be sleeping well if he / she is coughing every minute, a cough suppressant, such as dextromethorpan, will help to suppress the coughing.