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A First Aid Emergency

by Sherrell Aliza (Social Media Manager)

 

I typically do not walk to get my girls from school anymore. It was huge adjustment for all of us, but especially me. My goal was to always be able to accompany them to and from school, but when I started working, my hours meant they'd have to walk home alone.


They were ready. They told me they were ready and they showed all signs of readiness. They have both completed the Stay Safe course, they are well versed in stranger danger, they are familiar with the neighbourhood and the neighbours and they know the importance of safely getting home without stopping, talking, or veering off the path. My oldest daughter has a cell phone and we communicate the entirety of their 10 minute walk home.


This day I was working from home and when I looked at the clock, I decided the dog needed a walk and it was a beautiful day, so why not go get them from school. They were excited to see me waiting at the door.


We began our walk home and as approached the woods behind the school, we came across a patch of solid ice and as they gleefully skated on the ice with their boots, I took the opportunity to remind them of the importance of not taking unnecessary risks when walking home, especially when I'm not walking with them. "We know, Mom."


As we continued on our walk, I noticed a girl go in to, and come out of the treed area. She didn't go far in, but I kept an eye on her because she is always walking home alone. I was a few steps past her when I heard her say, "excuse me, I think I might need your help."


Her pant leg was covered in blood and when she lifted her pant leg, a 8 inch gash spread across her calf. I asked her what happened as I helped her sit down so I could assess the wound. I asked her if she knew her parents numbers, she did not. I am trained in First Aid and yet, the panic that was beginning to take over me was alarming.


I took another look at the gash, I could see muscle and fat tissue, and I said, we need to call 911. I immediately began applying pressure to the wound. The child was in shock and she did not feel any pain. The 911 operator was very helpful as she took as much information as we had and encouraged me to continue applying pressure until the ambulance got there.


It took almost 20 minutes for the paramedics to get to us. We were on a walking path, with no specific address. I luckily had stopped the bleeding, and this little girl was the bravest person I have ever met. Another parent had walked down the path while I was aiding, and they knew where the child lived, and were able to get to the home and inform the mother. The mother arrived as the paramedics arrived, the child was so happy to see her mom. She explained that she was checking out a cut off tree trunk, as they had been doing in their science class, but something hidden under the snow hit her leg. We aren't sure if it was a cut off tree branch, or possibly barbed wire from the construction sites nearby.


There is no fault in a situation like this. It reminded me of the importance of children knowing their emergency contact information, so that their parents can be contacted in a situation such as this one. Or for a child walking alone to have their own way of contacting their parents, or the ambulance.


I know we want to think that something like this would never happen, but being prepared for the unexpected is how we prevent worse outcomes.


The child was taken to the Stollery Children's Hospital and got almost 20 stitches in her leg. She was in good spirits the next day when we dropped by with flowers and a get well card.


Along with your child knowing your emergency contact information, name, phone number and address, I urge you to have your child take a Stay Safe course, it teaches them important skills not just when home alone, but even when walking alone, or being out and about.


Grab a first aid kit so you're prepared with the supplies to handle minor injuries, and please, as a parent or caregiver, take one of our workshops or certified courses so you know what to do in the event of an emergency.



Join us on our mission of No Child Lost.




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