A West Lancashire father who had just completed a first aid taster course found himself using the skills he had learned hours before to resuscitate his own son.
Matt Swift had just completed Lancashire County Council’s Adult Learning course at Park Children’s Centre, Skelmersdale, when he had to put his recently improved skills into practice.
Matt said: “I was about to stay at home to look after our six month old son, Michael, whilst my wife, Grainne, went back to work after maternity leave. I’d done a first aid course before, but I thought it would be useful to top up my skills and give me a confidence boost in my new role as full-time carer for Michael.
“My wife hadn’t done any first aid before, so we thought the course would be incredibly useful for her to learn as well.
“The same evening that we had completed the course, Michael started to choke on his own phlegm. He actually stopped breathing, turned blue and was lifeless. It was an absolutely terrifying experience, but I used what I had just learned about choking and administered first aid to Michael that the medical professionals told me had saved his life.
“The course gave me both the knowledge and the confidence to be able to do this and I’d certainly recommend the course to anyone else.”
The Baby and Small Child First Aid Taster is run by Lancashire Adult Learning. It covers topics that typically concern parents, including what to do in an emergency situation.”
Grainne said: “The reality is that had we not gone on this course, Matt would probably not have had the know-how or the confidence to act like he did when we were facing this crisis.
“The incident gave us both a fright, but Matt had the knowledge and skills to deal with it.
“Michael is fine now, thankfully. I would strongly recommend all parents to go on this course, you just never know when you might need it.”
Lancashire Adult Learning’s course tutor, Pam Parkinson, said: “I’m so glad that the course had such an impact for baby Michael and that Matt and Grainne were able to learn so much. This is a great reminder of why first aid training is so important and how useful it can be.
“We teach in small groups in a comfortable and familiar environment. Hopefully everyone who attends our courses agree that the relaxed atmosphere inspires learning and confidence and allows us to make sure that every participant receives care and attention. You can practice at your own speed and ask us as many questions as you like and be honest with us about any main areas you are concerned about.”
All of the courses offered by Lancashire County Council’s Adult Learning are held in local, accessible venues across the county, such as libraries, community centres, church halls, children’s centres and schools.
A range of courses are available including languages, IT, arts and crafts, exercise, family or local history, healthy eating, and British Sign Language.
Courses can help people to improve work skills, build confidence, improve wellbeing or be useful to help children with homework.
As well as core subjects such as maths and English, other courses include crafts, calligraphy, stress management, floristry, and creative writing.
The qualified tutors are always happy to chat to people about which courses may suit them best.
For more information and a complete list of courses provided by Lancashire Adult Learning, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/adultlearning or call 0300 123 6711.