First Aid for Parents

Being prepared for the unexpected!
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As parents to be and new parents, much of our focus in preparing for the baby is around setting up the nursery, buying the appropriate car seat and baby gear and learning about birth and after care. It is human nature to not want to focus on the worst case scenario. But it's worth considering: are you equipped with the knowledge to deal with an emergency situation with your child? Life will inevitably bring on bumps and bruises, but are you prepared for the scarier situations that life might throw at you?

We spoke with Jennifer Sybrandy, registered nurse, Red Cross Instructor and owner of National Capital First Aid located in Ottawa, Ontario. Jennifer created a non-certification 2 hour class for parents, caregivers and grandparents to learn all they need to know to keep their children safe.

“We have noticed many parents and grandparents attending our two day class only to access the information they needed for their little ones. We know that many parents do not have two days to spend in class, especially with the time contraints of being a parent. Out of this need we have created First Aid for Parents! This is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive 2+hour class that offers EASY TO UNDERSTAND instructions on how to help a newborn or child in life’s scary situations. It focuses on the information parents, grandparents or anyone who looks after children should learn in order to help them feel more prepared and to keep their children safe.”

Finding a class in your area that focuses on the information that relates to infants and children will give you the confidence in your skills to know what to do in all types of situations! These courses follow the latest guidelines in First Aid and CPR and are taught by a Red Cross instructor with an extensive medical background. If your town or city does not offer the Parent First Aid and CPR class, we do encourage you to take the full certification program.

These are some of the very important topics the First Aid for Parents class offers:

  • Patient Assessment
  • When to call 911
  • Choking/CPR Breathing Emergencies
  • Severe Allergic Reactions
  • Wounds – Cuts/scrapes
  • Bruising
  • Nose Bleeds
  • Knocked out teeth
  • Eye injuries
  • Ear Injuries
  • Burns
  • Poisonings

Jennifer has put together a couple of tips to help families with some basic first aid over the summer months.

The best way to clean minor cuts and scrapes?

Ask almost any grandparent out there including your mother and she will tell you that the best way to clean minor cuts and scrapes is with alcohol and peroxide. Not anymore! The best way to clean them is with soap and water. Although alcohol and peroxide do disinfect, they can also kill the healthy skin cells around the scrape, which delays healing.

Many parents wonder when a wound requires stitches.

A wound should be stitched by a trained medical professional in the first few hours after an injury. Your little one may require stitching if:

  • The edges of the skin do not fall together.
  • The wound is more than 1 inch long.
  • The wound is near joints on the hands or feet.
  • The wound is on the face.

Stitches will help speed up healing, reduce the chance of infection and leave a less noticeable scar.

For more helpful tips on how to prevent injuries and how to care for your little ones in an emergency, please contact National Capital First Aid or your local Red Cross provider to book a first aid course.


Jennifer is a registered nurse with 13 of years of experience in both acute and chronic care.  She has worked in a variety of fields including Oncology, Hematology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Dialysis. She is the proud mother to 7 year old identical twins and she is a Red Cross instructor. From a young age, Jennifer has dreamed of helping people learn the skills needed to save lives in a crisis situation. Her passion for safety, education and teaching has led her to create National Capital First Aid. Jennifer is pleased to be able to offer high quality training.