Women learn life saving skills at Boronia Pre Release Centre

28 October 2016

17 women at the Boronia Pre-Release Centre have today learned skills that could save their children's lives, with Royal Life Saving Society WA working with Hope Community Services to host a free CPR and first aid workshop for mothers at Boronia Pre-Release Centre.

Attendees completed the Royal Life Saving Society WA’s ‘Heart Beat Club’, a short community training course designed specifically for parents. The course covers resuscitation and first aid for common childhood injuries such as burns and scalds, choking, falls and drowning.

The course was delivered by Royal Life Saving Society Trainer Rebecca Ross and made available through the Keep Watch toddler drowning prevention program. Since 2014, the Keep Watch program has provided grants for community organisations working with disadvantaged communities to provide Heart Beat Club courses. Many groups in the community do not attend first aid training due to barriers such as cost, and the grants program aims to overcome these barriers.

Drowning is the leading cause of preventable death in children under the age of five in Australia, and CPR performed at the scene is one potential way to protect children in the event of an emergency. In a recent survey, only one third of parents had completed first aid or CPR training in the past 12 months suggesting that parents may not be able to help their child in the event of an emergency.

Stephanie Green, Keep Watch Program Coordinator, says “the single most important drowning prevention strategy is supervision of young children, but unfortunately we know that at times adult supervision lapses, allowing a child to find their way into water. In many cases of child drowning, a parent will be the first person on the scene. In these situations, a parent applying basic CPR skills can genuinely be the difference between life and death. Heart Beat Club grants allow parents who normally would not have the opportunity to learn CPR and basic first aid to develop lifesaving skills.”

Mick Geaney, Hope Community Services Chief Executive Officer says “it is great to have this opportunity available for mothers in our program, many of whom wouldn’t normally be able to access this kind of course.”

Hope provides parenting support and services to women and their children at Boronia Pre-Release Centre for Women, including the Pine Tree Tots Nursery. Boronia provides a community-style setting for women and their children to bond, learn, grow and prepare for their lives in the community, post release. Educational topics are designed and delivered to the clients weekly.

The aim is to educate parents on the positive and negative effects that their choices can have on their children and their children’s futures.

For more information about how to organise a Heart Beat Club in your local community click the link below.