Every parent wants to provide their children with the best opportunity to build a positive life. We live in a first world country that protects our children with strict child safe and compulsory minimum quality standards. All in all, Australian parents don’t face too many safety issues with protecting their children outside their home, the question is, what else can we do inside to protect them.
While accidents can – and do – happen to virtually everyone, they generally tend to happen at home. We all want to keep our children away from any harm or danger and to be safe and secure at all times. However, as they learn to mobilize themselves sometimes no amount of baby proofing or double duty watch can stop them from getting into places they shouldn’t be.
Do you know what to do if someone burns themselves with hot water at home? What about if your child drinks something poisonous or stops breathing? Have you ever thought what you would do in an emergency situation? And or how terrifying it would feel to not know what to do next.
Australia has the lowest rates of first-aid training in the world, according to the Australian Red Cross, with less than 5 percent of people trained in how to handle an emergency situation.
So to allow parents to be better prepared for these types of situations, Brionhy Westbrook founded KidzAid Australia.
Paediatric First Aid is the immediate care given to a child/infant who has been injured, or who have become ill prior to the arrival of qualified medical assistance. Brionhy see’s her life’s purpose is to teach and educate as many parents, grandparents about the importance of having these lifesaving skills. With 17 years experience as a critical care nurse, she’s applied her expertise in handling life and death emergencies into her business to benefit others.
- Tell us a little about KidzAid and Why you guys started?
Quite simply, we teach parents and carers of kid’s life-saving skills!
We run short educational workshops for parents, grandparents, teachers, pretty much anyone responsible for the care and safety of children. We are so much more than just a first aid course, we focus on giving parents the tools, confidence and knowledge to get them through ANY medical situation involving their most precious commodity.
Who We are?
Kidzaid Australia are a team of healthcare professionals from various medical disciplines. We are Emergency Nurses, Doctors, Paediatricians, Paramedics and we are on a genuine mission to help save little lives. Collectively as a team, our instructors have a wealth of knowledge, first-hand experience and are 100% dedicated to educating the community in life saving paediatric skills.
Our mission at KidzAid Australia is to educate as many people as possible in paediatric first aid and the life saving skill of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). KidzAid training sessions provide parents and carers of kids with the knowledge and skills they need to be able to confidently recognise and manage a seriously ill or injured baby and child. Knowledge is power and through education and training, we are making a difference.
- What would you do if a seemingly perfect child in your care became pale, floppy and unconscious in your arms?
In 2011, Brionhy Westbrook (me), a then stay at home Mum was faced with exactly this crisis. Brionhy, also a highly trained critical care nurse put her knowledge to work, consequently saving her six-month- old daughter’s life. Brionhy’s two children, and 18 years’ experience in critical care nursing, cemented her belief in the need for paediatric first aid training in the community.
”It’s because I’m a Mum and an emergency nurse that the business came-about. I think about how precious my children are and how terrifying it would be if I was in a situation people often face and didn’t know what to do”.
“Being an emergency nurse and dealing with life and death, it’s really devastating seeing families lose their loved ones, so the fear and the opportunity to change circumstances is real. “ Each year approximately 250 Australian children are killed and 58,000 hospitalised by unintentional injuries. This was the impetus for Brionhy to found Kidzaid.
After the terrifying incident with my daughter Poppy in 2010, I wanted to ensure Poppy’s dad and grandparents (whom are non-medical) knew what to do if this was to happen again. I did a tonne of research from my lounge room in Mount Martha looking for a paediatric specific first aid training course for them to attend. In 2010 apart from the big organisations like St John, there was very little on the market.
- What are some of the most common questions parents ask you when completing one of your courses?
Our carefully developed ‘When to Worry’ & ‘Recognise & Respond’ workshops have overcome a gap in the prevention and treatment of babies’ and children’s injuries and illnesses. A significant number of myths and misconceptions remain in this area and our job is to bring up to date information to people who want it. Our popular baby/child first aid workshops have been specifically designed for parents, expecting parents, grandparents and child care providers. Our courses are hands on, interactive and we are baby and breastfeeding friendly too! We cover all the hot topics we see and treat in the Emergency Department every day. Fever, Febrile Convulsion, Burns, Choking, Drowning, Near Drowning, Head Injury, Allergies, more! Although the topics are confronting, we strongly believe knowledge is power and by the end of the session our parents always walk away feeling confident and empowered.
- We understand you have a very comprehensive team, what sets KidzAid apart from competitors in the market?
Kidzaid was first established in 2011 and is the leading paediatric first aid provider in the country. Trusted by Childrens Panadol and powered by Priceline.
Pharmacy, with recommendations from the No. 1 search engine in the world – Google! This speaks volumes for our course content and what we have to offer.
What sets us apart is our team and our genuine passion to make a difference, we have a brilliant presentation that we offer our families. KidzAid Australia are a team of healthcare professionals from various medical disciplines. This includes, Paediatric Emergency Doctors, Paediatricians, Critical Care Nurses from Emergency Departments and Paediatric nurses with a wealth of expertise and knowledge in dealing with sick children. Complementing the team, on board we have dedicated Paramedics and General Practitioners whom have worked in a variety of different countries around the world. Our Intensive Care Paramedics come from world-class Ambulance services and our doctors have treated sick children in state of the art facilities. Collectively as a team, our instructors have a wealth of knowledge, first hand experience and are 100% dedicated to educating the community in life saving paediatric skills.
- Do you have any ‘general’ First Aid tips for a parent who hasn’t completed First Aid Training?
1 in 4 parents do not feel confident in performing CPR.
The scary fact is that children have 4-minutes, that’s 240 seconds until irreversible brain damage kicks in, so participating in a Kidzaid course and learning life saving CPR skills is a no-brainer, non negotiable in our eyes, we feel every parent should participate annually in a paediatric specific first aid workshop, we owe it to our children to know what to do.
When you ring triple-zero an ambulance is not always going to be there within 4-minutes. If you’re armed with the right information you can really help emergency services and drastically reduce your own stress levels in an emergency and this is exactly what we teach parents in our Kidzaid courses.
- What should the Kiddi-Community expect from you?
Since Kidzaid’s humble beginnings, the team have received countless communications of thanks for reducing the stress that can be present in an emergency or during illness. We have also received phone calls from participants who have literally saved their own child’s life using the knowledge gained in a KidzAid course. These types of calls deeply touch the team and give me the determination to continue with the mission of educating as many people as possible in paediatric first aid training.
People walk out of our training courses and go WOW! We leave them feeling empowered, confident and teach them to be calm. Our courses are fun, interactive and very hands on, this is how first aid training should be.
It’s a busy year ahead for the team with more workshops rolling out and a goal of imparting more knowledge in new easily accessible ways, including reaching high-risk regional groups.
- If I was a genie and could grant you a wish, what would you wish for? (and why?…)
Learning CPR in schools should be made mandatory and every year from prep to university, it’s an annual requirement! This would be so amazing to know everyone in the community is armed with knowledge and every individual has the skills to help save a life.
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