We are mums too!

An article from Nicole Ovens, Operations Manager at CPR Kids


"Caring for babies, children and families is what I had grown into my adult life doing. It was second nature to me. An intrinsic part of me that seemed as natural as breathing. You would think then, at the age of 40 and pregnant, I would know it all, but, I have a confession to make, I didn't, and the closer it came to birthing the more I realised that. "


Nobody needs to be reminded what an enormous responsibility becoming a parent is. I remember so well what it was like for me when I was having my first baby. My thoughts were occupied totally with the growing life within me...those thoughts were the very same that many of you have experienced or are feeling now as you move towards parenthood. The imagination can run rampant especially when coupled with pregnancy hormones.

My confession

t seems like yesterday when I was the Divisional Manager of Obstetrics at a large metropolitan area health service. I had been in the nursing profession since I was 17 years old. I had extensive  experience as a midwife, and as well, was an experienced paediatric and neonatal intensive care nurse. Caring for babies, children and families is what I had grown into my adult life doing. It was second nature to me. An intrinsic part of me that seemed as natural as breathing. You would think then, at the age of 40 and pregnant, I would know it all, but, I have a confession to make, I didn't, and the closer it came to birthing the more I realised that. What also became evident was that the people around me who would potentially be caring for my baby in my absence didn't know either.

 Choking, head injury, broken bones, oh my!

I remember one of the things that used to worry me enormously was the introduction of solids to my little one and the possibility of her choking. You might be feeling that way too. I was also seriously concerned about my toddler climbing and as time passed and her mobility increased I became even more anxious as she negotiated the play equipment soaring to heights that defied her age. The risk of head injury and broken bones was certainly on the radar and I wondered how I would respond if faced with these emergencies.  Another worrying thought was the contradictory information about fever and the dilemma that caused me. When should I worry and should I be taking my child to the doctor because of that. 

The more things change, the more they stay the same

On a professional level, when I speak to parents and carers today, I realise that not much has changed over the years regarding the fears that haunt them. There is an exception though today and that is the opportunity for parents and carers to gain education, knowledge and empowerment. There is no reason for anyone to feel insecure and fearful anymore. Learn how to respond calmly and confidently in an emergency. At CPR Kids, we understand those insecurities and we would love to support you in gaining the skills and knowledge that will save a child's life.

To find the class that is right for you, please visit: https://www.cprkids.com.au/classes/

Protecting Your Child From Creatures That Slither, Nest, Spin and Bite In The Playground.

By Nicole Ovens, CPR Kids Operations Manager and Midwife

As a CPR Kids Educator, the safety and wellbeing of our children is always on my mind. I often sit and ponder about how, as a guardian and protector of children we, could do more, much more, to ensure they are safe.

A recent article in a newspaper reporting that a snake was found in a playground on the Northern Beaches of Sydney motivates me to write this. Reflecting on this article, I wondered why I had only given a fleeting thought to reptiles, mini beasts and other little critters lurking, camouflaged and unseen where our children are playing.  I’m a mother after all, a carer of children.

Often playgrounds are located in leafy areas and even if they weren’t, there is the attraction for “unwelcome” visitors to nest, spin a web, slither and fly where our children are playing. In most cases, we can coexist harmoniously, but would you know what to do if your child sustained a bite or sting? 

Some bites from ants, bees or wasps cause only minor discomfort and a localised irritation. A hug, a kiss and a cold compress after removing the sting in the case of a bee will do the trick in relieving the pain, however, it is important to know that multiple bites or bites and stings to the face can be very serious and require prompt first aid and medical attention. Some children who are susceptible may have an anaphylactic reaction, which if untreated is life threatening. 

When it comes to ticks, ASCIA (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy) has current guidelines for tick removal. It is imperative that we familiarise ourselves with these guidelines in order to know the correct way to respond to a tick bite. The link below will give you this up to date information.


Other important lifesaving information can be found at:

“Australian Bites and Stings: First Aid Guide to Australian Venomous Creatures”. See link below:


Children love to explore and are adventurous and carefree. That is the beauty of childhood and we would never want it any other way, however, because of this they are at risk. When in the playground, it is always important that the playground equipment and the surrounding areas are inspected for any signs of colonisation of spiders. Red back spiders can dwell under steps, inside cubbyhouses and under logs. It is a medical emergency if a child is bitten by a redback spider. These bites cause extreme pain. If this happens to your child, keep them calm, apply ice, give analgesia and seek immediate medical help. Another dangerous spider is the funnel web spider who is a ground dweller and lives in holes found under leaf debris, branches, logs, rocks and shrubs.  A bite from a funnel web spider is life threatening so you must respond quickly and calmly. Contact 000 immediately. Do not clean the venom off the bite. Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage from below the bite and continue to bandage upwards covering the entire limb leaving the fingers and toes exposed. This can be done over clothing. Ensure that the bandage is not applied too tightly so that it impairs circulation. Apply a splint to the limb using anything that is rigid enough to support the weight of it such as a branch or rolled up magazines or newspapers. A second bandage can be used to keep this in place. Try and keep the child as still and calm as possible by giving reassurance and distraction. Do not apply a tourniquet. If the child becomes unconscious with abnormal or no breathing, commence CPR immediately.

If your child has been bitten by a snake the first aid is the same as for funnel web spider bites.

If a child is having a anaphylactic reaction to a bite or sting you may see the following signs:

  • Difficult/noisy breathing
  • Swelling of tongue
  • Swelling/tightness in throat
  • Difficulty talking and/or hoarse voice
  • Wheeze or persistent cough
  • Persistent dizziness or collapse
  • Pale and floppy (young children)
  • Vomiting and/or abdominal pain for insect stings/bites

Immediate First Aid is required!

  1. Remove allergen if still present.
  2. Call 000 for assistance.
  3. Lay the child flat. Do not allow them to stand or walk. If breathing is difficult, allow them to sit.
  4. If the child becomes unconscious with abnormal or no breathing; DRSABC - commence CPR immediately. 


A very important safety consideration is that children must always wear shoes when playing to minimise any risk of being bitten on the feet. Talk with children about the importance about not touching any mini beasts or spiders and to never approach a snake. Adult supervision in the playground or outside is also an absolute necessity.

Do you have a first aid kit in the car that is useful? Are you ready to respond to an emergency if you are faced with one? Are you confident with DRSABCD? Do you know how to perform effective CPR on a child and are you confident that you could recognise if a child needed this? If you answered yes to those questions, congratulations!  We love to hear that parents and carers of children are equipped with the skills they need in an emergency. At CPR Kids we want every child to have the best outcome when sick or injured. Knowing what to do in an emergency will ensure this happens. 

If you answered no to the questions, or you’re feeling a little “rusty”, let CPR Kids empower you today so you competent in the lifesaving skills you may need to respond to a child! We would love to help you feel confident if ever you are faced with any of these situations.

Contact CPR Kids on 02 8076 5711 or email hello@cprkids.com.au.

CPR Kids and Westpac partner to create Rescue Rashie™


On average, one child dies each week in Australia as a result of preventable drowning. (Kidsafe NSW). This needs to change.

For this reason, we are proud to announce that CPR Kids has partnered with Westpac to create the Rescue Rashie, where the CPR instructions are quickly and readily available on the vest.

Whilst all Australians should know CPR, the Rescue Rashie is designed to be an invaluable addition to hands-on CPR training. Even if you know CPR, the Rescue Rashie serves as readily-available, immediate reminder of the steps.

The CPR instructions are printed onto the Rescue Rashie using sublimation printing which means that they won’t scratch off or fade in the sun. The instructions are designed for any child between 1-8 years old, so even if a child in a Rescue Rashie isn’t the one in trouble, it can be unzipped and the instructions followed easily.

Sarah Hunstead, CPR Kids founding director said "We are thrilled to partner with Westpac on the Rescue Rashie initiative. We know that CPR absolutely saves lives. Whilst hands-on CPR training remains invaluable, the addition of a Rescue Rashie where CPR instructions are written right on the vest, will be a great reminder of the CPR steps should a child be in trouble.

The CPR instructions align with the Australian Resuscitation Council Basic Life Support (CPR) guidelines - every child should wear one".

We’re getting Rescue Rashie ready before next summer hits. We’re inviting parents to register their interest in being one of the first to get one at rescuerashie.com.au and we’re committed to begin distributing them from summer.

About CPR Kids:

CPR Kids was founded in 2012 by Paediatric Emergency Nurse and mother of two – Sarah Hunstead. CPR Kids has a range of services from in-home CPR and First Aid classes and baby-specific first aid classes in selected maternity hospitals to corporate wellbeing programs and education programs encompassing the recognition of a sick child, as well as injury prevention and response.

CPR Kids also provides classes to the clients of Not- For -Profit organisations bringing this essential knowledge to those who otherwise may not have access to these life-saving skills.

 About Westpac and the Rescue Rashie project:

Westpac has a long history of saving Australian lives through the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service. As they mark out their 200th year as Australia’s oldest company, they wanted to create something that would help save Australian lives for years to come. The Rescue Rashie takes the lifesaving instructions on CPR signs and puts them right onto a child’s rash vest, exactly where they need to be.

Reference: KidSafe NSW http://www.kidsafensw.org/water-safety/