How Well Do You Know CPR?

I don’t know it well enough… and yesterday I had a stomach-turning reminder of how fast a child could drown. It reminded me of how I need to improve my CPR skills.

I was visiting my older sister and her boys at their house with my 2 year old Julia. They have a rather large kids pool setup and Julia decided she wanted to test it out. So I rolled up my shorts and took her in.

The water was only just past my knees and Julia could stand up easily with the water just above her waist. I held on to her and we waded around enjoying the cool. After a few minutes of wading about, we were standing there and I had taken my hands off of her. I didn’t think much about it, as I was standing right next to her and she was simply standing in the water.

But I turned my head to look up at my older sister who was on her balcony and I started saying something to her. Almost immediately — only a second could have passed — my sister, who was looking at Julia and me in the pool as she stood on the balcony, pointed and said, “She’s Drowning!!!”

I turned my head back to see my precious child starting to sink face first in the water!

I immediately reached down, scooped her up and pulled her out. She started crying like crazy and I wrapped her in a towel and calmed her down. It only took a few minutes to get her settled, but my stomach still hasn’t entirely settled.

It was the most awful image… my baby sprawled face first in the water and sinking like a sack of stones.

It was only a second my head was turned. I hadn’t even turned my body. I was still not even an inch away from her and yet I hadn’t heard single sound.

She must have just toppled forward and started to sink. Her arms flapping were under the water and so they didn’t make any splashing sounds.

Thank the Lord that I was turned talking to my sister who was looking right at us, so that she could immediately tell me Julia had fallen.

But I can’t get past the thought that what if the distraction had been another child and I had turned to talk to them for a minute… I can’t even let myself think about it.

I felt like the most irresponsible mother in the world.

But I imagine that is how every accident happens… in just one second. You turn your eyes from your child in the mall, and he disappears. You turn your eyes from your child in the water, and the unthinkable happens.

It literally makes me sick to think about it. I thank God for the reminder He gave me yesterday and that it was only a reminder.

And it makes me think about how my CPR skills just do not cut it.

I’m constantly frustrated with my lack of ability with CPR and other life saving skills — and I’ve made some attempts to remedy it — but I still doubt I could put it to use when it counted.

You see, before Julia was born, my husband and I took a one-day St. John’s Ambulance course. But I found I was so panicked by the thought that “I can’t do this… I won’t be able to do this…”, that surprisingly I didn’t absorb the information well.

So several months later I decided to order a training video and even the practice mannequins from an online store. But when my video arrived and I put it in my VCR, it immediately ate the tape. My machine had never eaten a tape so I called the company. But they said, they couldn’t help me since it was a problem with my machine. (By the way that machine still has never eaten another tape.)

So the practice mannequins have sat unassembled on my shelves reminding me of my failure to learn the most important life saving skill.

Even as I sit here, I can see the torso of the adult size mannequin laying on the shelf headless.

Enough is clearly enough… I must get this procrastination under control and master CPR!

Can you help me?

How did you learn CPR? (Or are you like me and still not yet there?) Did you take a course? Do you know of any at home training materials — websites, videos, books or DVDs?

I really want to have a video — either online or a DVD — where I can watch it over and over to try to burn it through the cement block I call a brain.


  1. Jenn in AZ says

    What a heart-pounding moment that lingers! I had a similar scare when my baby was about a year. A friend had an in-ground pool and the wee ones were playing on the steps. I turned my head a moment and when I turned back my baby was bobbing and my friend instantly jumped in to grab her. I was within arm’s reach–or closer!

    CPR–I would do a live class with a teacher. You may get some better tips and advice if it is one-on-one (as much so in a classroom!). My hubby is a firefighter and has taught classes, so I would check with your fire department first. Parks and Rec, too, should have some classes. I think the CPR recommendations have changed, too. I believe there are more compressions to breaths now. The idea being, the blood just gets pumping through the body when the compressions stop. Gotta keep working the blood through.

    What a blessing and a great reminder for us all. It can’t hurt *anyone* to take a refresher course.

    (Sorry for the looooong book-like comment!)

  2. says

    Susan, I had a horrifying experience last weekend involving not one but TWO of my children in the pool. (of course, I wrote about it here:

    I know CPR (Well, I learned it in 8th grade) but don’t know that I could do it either. Instead, what I’m doing to be proactive is getting them both swimming lessons. It’s the best thing I can think of to protect them in the future.

    As for CPR, we’d signed up for infant CPR offered at the hospital when I was pregnant earlier this year, and literally, a blizzard came in the night before, so the class was canceled. Then, the next thing you know, the baby was here.

    You are not the most horrible mother in the world. You just (like me, apparently) needed a reminder.

    I, for one, would rather have an email. LOL

    I’m glad she’s ok, but I’d seriously consider swim classes for her – they have them for all ages. :)

    Best wishes,

  3. says

    I’m glad she is OK! I can relate – I have done Heimlich and mouth-to-mouth several times to my son, and feared that the ambulance won’t make it on time. He had serious seizures.

    I took CPR first at Girl Scouts, then at Red Cross, and just read the infant and child portions again when my children were born. I HIGHLY recommend reading this stuff again and again, until you will remember it by heart. The first time my son was choking and having a seizure, I was shocked, but totally calm and instantly remembered how to do the Heimlich and then mouth-to-mouth. I broke down after I saw my husband in the hospital, but until that I just “knew” what to do to save my son’s life.

    Contact your local Red Cross, or hospitals, I’m sure they offer the courses. Lessons might be better – if you have questions, you will have a professional answering.


  4. says

    Our church used to do CPR seminars, especially for the nursery workers and I also learned by watching a video (although I don’t remember what it was called!) I still do not feel like I am completely trained, though, and this is a good reminder to do something about it.


  5. says

    Thank goodness your sister was there as well. It only takes a second. I know exactly how you feel, we experienced the same type of thing this summer while we were on vacation. Thankfully all that happened was everyone was a bit scared and shaken, but it doe haunt you.
    My CPR skills are very minimal as well, and it makes me nervous every time the kids want to go swimming with their friends.
    Praise the Lord that your daughter is ok.

  6. says

    The Red Cross does them several times a year at our local community college–I would check with yours. I learned because I had to for work–I was a Special Ed teacher and worked summer camps with special needs kids through UCP.

    It is amazing how fast things happen–we had the same experience when Rachel had her big seizure–one minute she was fine, I turned away, the next she was having a seizure. When she was little she walked right into a full size adult pool. She has given me more than a few similar scares.

  7. says

    How terrifying!

    I don’t think you want to learn CPR from a video or from the web. You need a real person there who can check your technique and help you make minor adjustments. It is worth it to take the class. I agree with others who recommend the Red Cross. Books, videos, the web, etc. are good for refreshers, for people who already know the basics and just need to brush up.

    You’re not the worst mother in the world. I remember that same feeling from when my daughter got bit by a dog. I, too, had just turned around for a second (to throw something away – I was less than 5 feet from her). Accidents happen so fast. We can’t be vigilant every second. We can only do our best, and be prepared for if something does happen.

    I’ve done the Heimlich on several children, too, including my daughter when I was the only other person home. If I hadn’t known it, she’d be dead. Chilling.

  8. says

    I worked in Daycare for 8 years before I was a stay at home mom, and I had to learn CPR, and update yearly. If you have the same rules as we do in CO. you could probably join one of the daycare groups for a training day. Or our local hospitals have classes that are about $40. Maybe yours does too. I am glad your julia is okay. My baby did the same thing in the 3 ft. part of my mothers pool, she had on one of those swimsuits that have the floaty parts sewn in, and she tipped sideways and her mouth was under and she could not fix herself. Thank God she was okay, but she did not want to get back in the pool for the rest of the day. We have not been swimming again since so I do not know how she will react. Check hospitals and local daycares, they will probably have a lot of info.

  9. says

    How scary! I am so glad that she is ok. I don’t know about at home courses. But if you get several other mommies together, you might be able to get an instructor to come to our home to teach a class. Videos are ok but they can’t tell you if you are doing it wrong. Just a thought.

  10. says

    I did a live class, I think it was with the red cross.

    But I wanted you to know about your worrying about panic. My brother’s son simply stopped breathing at a party (he was a year old) and my brother went into survival mode, doing mouth to mouth, giving instructions to others (to call 911 and such) and he just automatically did what he had to do.

    I told him afterwards that I marvled at his calmness in the face of his own child’s emergency. He said looking back that he was surprised too, but this calmness to do what needed to be done came over him. And then when the boy was breathing and safe, he completely broke down crying.

    People who have heard this story and had a similar circumstance always tell him, “that happened to me too!”

  11. says

    CPR is one of those skills you have to practice over and over and over again. I had to take a CPR course before I could enter nursing school and one again before I could work at the hospital. I don’t work at the hospital now anymore, and I find myself having to stop and think about the steps. It doesn’t come naturally anymore. CPR is different with adults, and children, and infants – so you can’t learn just one way and think that you have it mastered. And there’s a reason why CPR certification expires – you forget how to do it.

    You are not a bad mom!! I had a similar incident happen when I took my nephew to a water park years ago. I was standing right next to him, and he got to a point in the pool where he could not touch. It was horrible seeing him under the water and not able to get up.

    Coincidentally, I had a dream last night that my youngest (2) was in the water with me and we both kept slipping under the water. SCARY!! There is a new (to me) blog that I’ve been reading called Life With Hannah And Lily about a mom who’s just lost her daughter (Hannah) in a drowning accident (a few weeks ago). Unfortunate accidents happen all the time.

    I’ll keep you in my thoughts, and I hope that you can find the positive in such a terrifying moment.

    PS – there is the link to the blog I was talking about just in case you haven’t seen it before

  12. says

    This is a great reminder. Thank you.

    I’m going to call the local Red Cross and see what I can find out. I also think this would be a great activity for “moms” groups or public swimming pools to offer. It’s unfortunate that the courses are often pricey and time-consuming because it’s such an important skill.

  13. says

    Sorry about your scare!

    I took a CPR class at my local YMCA. I work there as a nursery attendent, so I’m required to have CPR certification. I can’t imagine trying to learn the techniques any way but in person. The hands-on aspect not only helps one learn the proper technique, but I also think it helps the information “stick” better in one’s memory, which is crucial in an emergency situation.

  14. says

    I admit I don’t know a lick of it. I should really learn, I know.

    I’m sorry for your experience…I can’t imagine the utter terror of seeing your child face first in the water!

    As far as distractions from other kids…yes, having more than one is distracting, but you seem to development a sixth sense. lol

    I always seem to have one ear tuned to my 3 year old and one to my 9 month old. Very rarely will be 3 year old be allowed out of my sight and never my 9 month old.

    It’s a lot of work, but you seem to get used to it and do just fine. Moms everywhere for years, years, and more years have been doing it. I figured I can find a way to master it, too.

    Again, sorry for that terrifying moment with your little angel. Thank God it turned out the way it did.

  15. says

    Try your local hospital for classes and tapes. Another good resource is fire departments and life squads. When and if you do get certified you need to renew it every two years. When you dont use it very often it is a good refresher. Someone else mentioned the YMCA. the library might have tapes too

  16. says

    When my son was about 2 1/2 i used to take him to the rec center pool here in town, the water only came up to his chest. Every once in awhile he would run and jump in from the egde and when he did he would lose his balance and go under. It happened about 3 times that summer and i have never forgetten the look of panick on his face, his eyes wide open starring at me. The first time he did it i was at the other end of the baby pool and it took me a couple seconds to get there so i can relate with what you are feeling.
    I was a lifeguard for 4 years so i know cpr and all that pretty well, but i have thought about taking another course just to refresh my memory. You could probably call your local community center or hosptial and find out about cpr classes, that is who we took them through.

  17. Ramie says

    I’m so sorry for your scare. I hope that you are doing better today.

    I’ve taken infant/child CPR three times in the past, and Adult CPR twice. Taking it over and over and over reiterates the facts, especially the one that says that you can’t panic, the necessary motions, and the ways to get help if you are the only one around. I know that after my first class, I never thought I could do it, but 5 classes later, I think I could handle it….can’t say I could save someone, since we never know and so many other circumstances could come into effect also, but I feel confident that I could try.

    Both of my kids (4 & 1) are fish… we spend a lot of time in the pool. They’ve both gone under in a manner similar to your description of what happened to your daughter. It’s scary as all get out, for sure, but, thankfully, it’s just been a “reminder” here too. I never take them both into a big pool unless I have another adult with me, or my 4yr old has a life vest on. And we’ve started swimming lessons for her too, as I think its never too early to start.

    Here’s hoping your next pool adventure is all fun and games, and no scares. HUGS


  18. says

    Oh how scary… We live near a lake and our neighbors have a pool, so we’ve put our girls in swimming lessons as soon as they were old enough. I’m still nervous every time they’re in or near the water though. And my little one (18 months) hasn’t had lessons yet and she is fearless – you’re right, it only takes a second for the worst to happen.

    I took a CPR course when I was getting licensed to do daycare but it was a couple of years ago and I don’t know that I could do it if I had to – I should find a refresher course somewhere soon.

    I’m glad everything turned out well – thank goodness your sister was watching!

  19. says

    I would suggest taking a local course at the red cross. Or there may be a company locally that does a class that you can attend. I have to take CPR and first aid for my job. I also had my daughter take a baby sitter training course through the red cross and they taught her CPR and first aid. She has a card to show to prospective parents. And you renew then every year or every other year. (the class I attended this year, they have new calculations for performing CPR so its a good time to get into a class!)

  20. says

    I have just recently taken a refresher course at my home church. I was surprised to see how much things have changes even since I took the infant and child CPR in College just 6 years ago. I am so thankful that our church offers this FREE course to our members …but was disapointed in the class turnout. It was mostly older members(seniors) and a few parent volunteers. I honestly think that people think it can;t happen to them…I think I might link your story to my blog so that people can read how improtant it is to be trained….Keep Spreading the word! You just really never know! STill a HUGE fan of the BLOG! You are the best!

  21. says

    Oh my goodness – praise GOD that it all worked out okay. I took a CPR refresher recently when Lil’ Bug was about 6 months old. The choking portion has helped a good deal while she’s adjusted to finger foods. But since I worked as a lifeguard for many years back in high school and college, I’ve been through CPR training a good bit, and it’s always worth refreshing.

    Sign up through the Red Cross, or through the American Heart Association. Either way, you won’t regret it.

    You are NOT the most irresponsible mother in the world! Accidents truly happen, and praise the Lord that little Julia was saved. I’m rejoicing with you, even as I ached to read your story!

  22. says

    As a Girl Scout Leader I learned it throught the local Girl Scout office and it was Red Cross certified. You can go directly through the Red Cross or call your local Fire Dept., they offer courses many times too.

  23. says

    How frightening! So glad that Julia is okay!

    I have taken a couple of CPR training courses through the Red Cross (certification and recertification) and then was recertified through a lifeguarding certification course I attended. You might also check with your local hospital; I know that a lot of hospitals here in the US offer CPR courses.

    Thanks for the reminder that I need to update my certification.

  24. says

    SOOO Scary!! I took a child CPR class through my church. It was for a small fee of $10.00. Many churches or community colleges offer the class. It is well worth the fee and I’ve been thinking of taking it again as a refresher and your story just made up my mind for me. I almost drowned as a child, so I really do know how scary it can be.

  25. says

    This is frightening, I know, because we had similar experiences (same day, my two children, three times!!) several years ago – too many distractions that day. Some CPR instructors will come to your home/church/business/mom’s group for a small fee and instruct you in infant CPR or basic CPR. Contact your local hospital or Red Cross. You need to be recertified annually. I also hired a certified life guard to give swimming lessons in our home pool to our children right after that scare. They’re never too young to learn. (But they’ll still need supervision around water!)

    Praise God that Julia was fine!!

  26. says

    my cpr first aid expired two years ago in nov. this is a reminder to check out the local opportunities to get certified.

    what i do :
    1) call the local hospitals for cpr/first aid classes
    2) look in our “pennysaver” magazine for american heart association classes locally
    3) go to
    to find the nearest course with the closest date
    4) call the local community college/university to see if they are conducting classes sooner than the advertised one’s i’ve found

    scary. pools are more scarier than we think. most for those of us with experienced and unexperienced little and big kids.

  27. says

    We just took a 1 night class (4 hours, I believe) through the state as part of our efforts to get licensed for foster-to-adopt. I still don’t feel as if I learned enough. I wouldn’t mind having a video and a mannequin myself.

    Glad your little girl is okay!

  28. says

    Oh my that is so scary!! I learned CPR when I was an ambulance attendant years ago and in the first week had to use it. Unfortunately the man died because his wife had waited much too long before calling us. I know this sounds crazy but the first thing you have to do is remain calm, one calm person will keep a whole crowd calm, so you can then concentrate on what you have to do.
    If you still have that tape, why not take it apart, splice it together with some scotch tape, and even put it into another old case? I’ve done it with my children’s videos and they work fine.

  29. says

    Oh, my word! I can only imagine how frightening it was for you. When Hunter was born, our church had a certified CPR teacher come and give a two day class to teach us CPR. They sent home a poster with step by step instructions that I have pinned up to our refrigerator. I review it frequently, but if I were in a frightening situation with my own child, I don’t know what I would do… I pray that as mothers, that the knowledge would pop into our minds immediately!!!

  30. says

    I knew that I needed to learn CPR when my child and her two cousins decided to go exploring. It was Thanksgiving, and we were having a family reunion on a lake in LA. Thank goodness they were okay, but their exploring was at the boat at the dock at the water’s edge.

    I signed up for a CPR class when I witnessed a man having a heart attack, and the girl I was standing with said the people doing CPR on him were doing it wrong. We learned later that night, that the man didn’t make it.

    My certification is expired. I’m going to call tomorrow.

    I agree with the swimming lessons idea. We put our youngest in water babies when she was 10 months old. She loves the water now. We are still right beside her the whole time we are in the pool.

    Hug her tight tonight.

  31. says

    I learned CPR from the American Heart Association. Check the website and see if they have any live classes. I enjoyed having someone there watching me the whole time to make sure I got it right. You can also get certified if you take a AHA course, they give you a little card that’s good for two years, then they suggest you take a refresher course. I have certification in both infant/child and adult CPR.

  32. says

    Oh Susan, thank God Julia was okay. I don’t have any CPR advice, but one of my girlfriends has had a terrible (and serious) pool scare with all three of her children. I’m terrified of that happening to my children.

  33. says

    Thank God she is ok. I’ve had that scare and hugs to you, Susan.

    For the person who commented she was being proactive and getting her kids in swimming lessons…please remember the best of swimmers have needed to be rescued. The knowledge and ability to swim is not a protection against drowning, although it is on the pro side. A friend of mine was the aquatics director of a YMCA, her kids were excellent swimmers. Her child hit her head, fell under at their home pool and drown when no one was looking. She honestly felt her kids were ok because they were such strong swimmers.

    CPR should be taken in a live setting, face to face with instructors. I formerly worked with preschool children in a gymnastics setting and was required to undergo a course (7-10 days I think) in all manner of first aid and CPR. I renewed the training several times.

    Susan, if you ever need to use your CPR training, I honestly believe the ability to do so will “kick in”. The first time I resuscitated Mac as an infant (yeah, first, did it a few times) it was like I was completely detached yet there doing it.

    Everyone should know what to do in any type emergency because you just never know.

  34. says

    Ok, my heart was racing as I scanned to the end of your post – as I must do with any scary thing I read. I am so happy that everything is ok.

    I just added learning toddler CPR to my list. I learned what to do on an infant, but I know it’s different when they get bigger. ((hugs))

  35. says

    thank the sweet Lord that Julia is ok
    big hugs to you
    yes it can happen real quick
    I was in St Johns ambulance as a cadet when I was a child
    It was also covered in the antenatal course I went on with Muzz when I was preggy with Daniel

  36. says

    I’m so glad that she’s alright! Things could have gotten worse so quickly! I still remember having to pull my daughter out from the bottom of a 9′ pool. And I can’t even swim!

    CPR is a requirement in my job however it’s more geared for adults. I really should take a course in CPR for kids. Maybe the Y would have courses you could take.

  37. says

    I took CPR classes in high school in the Health Occupation Classes I was taking. During my senior year, I worked at a nursing home at night and kept my CPR certification up by taking certification classes the nursing home offered.

    It’s been a few years since I’ve my certification renewed, but I still remember everything. The heimlich manuever has come in handy once as well as how to clear a child’s mouth with a sweeping motion of a finger.

  38. Connie says

    I think in person and hands on would be the best. I have to do it every few years for my preschool. Ours is usually done through the fire department, I know they should offer classes. THen, as others have mentioned, American Red Cross and the Heart Association.

    Glad she was okay!! It happens in an instant.

  39. Cole's Mama says

    Being a parent can be so scary. Thank you so much for sharing this with us to remind us that we must not be distracted around any hazards when we are parents. I am so glad she is okay.

    I got my CR certification when I was a summer camp counselor 3 years ago. After reading this, it’s definitely time for a review.

  40. says

    As you know, I had my own sickeningly close call last month, and it too happened in a split second. I know how hard it is to get over. I am so sorry you had such a scare and SO happy for you that all ended well.

    I do not know CPR but am going to get certification this fall so I can serve as a substitute for our Co-Op Preschool teacher. I don’t know where the school will send me, but I am so glad I’m going to learn!

    Hugs to you and precious Julia!

  41. says

    What a scare!

    We’re looking for some CPR training, too. After our scare with Woggie’s febrile seizure last month, we realized how unprepared we were for an emergency.

    I’ll be checking back to see what your readers are saying!

  42. says

    My hubby and I have both taken CPR courses.
    We’ve had courses at church – offered through the children’s ministry and I’ve take a CPR course through the local community college. It was an all day event – but allowed me to learn CPR for both children and adults.
    Now I hear, though, that the numbers of breaths to compressions is different. So I should make an effort to get up dated.

  43. says

    I had several courses.
    One, I’ll call a crash course – 2 hours – just enough so the Home Health Company and the Protective Services worker would release my future foster daughter to me (she’s now been with me since February).

    After one week of no help, because there was a court order in place to prevent her being left with anyone not CPR certified — we hired a friend a certified American Red Cross Instructor to certify myself, my husband, our 12 year old, and four other babysitters.

    Best thing we’ve ever done!! Accidents can happen quickly – and since we have a pool, it was a no brainer.

    Take a course!!

  44. InsaneMom2Four says

    My husband is a CPR instructor/Fire Department Training Officer and he has started teaching classes to the public. The next group in is the football coaches. :)

  45. InsaneMom2Four says

    Sorry, sent before I was ready…. I wanted to let you know that you can contact me if you need something. I am sure my husband can help you out.

  46. Debbie from South Georgia says

    I have actually had to perform CPR twice, not on children but on adults, one as a result of a car accident that happened literally right in front of us. The other was a Heart Attack victim in the building next to where I was working.

    Like other commenters said, you just do it. I don’t really remember alot about my training, I like you felt like it was all greek and not sinking in, however when I was faced with the situation, I don’t know if it was the “motherly” instincts or what, you just react, and do it. In the situations that I was in there was no one else to do it. And I just kinda went into auto pilot until other more qualified help arrived.

    A refresher course is never a bad idea though.

  47. says

    I just posted about an incident I had at the beach last week. My 5 yr. old child went missing when I turned to set up my chair. It did make me feel like an irrisponsible parent. My story ended happily, but it tears me up to think about all the families that aren’t so lucky.

  48. says

    I worked for the YMCA for a number of years. They provided CPR and first aid training. If you contact your local YMCA, or the Red Cross… they offer classes. When I renewed it on my own (since I don’t work there anymore) it cost a little more than I expected… but is totally worth it.

  49. says

    I was able to do a one-on-one refresher CPR session when our twins were in the NICU and Hubby has to have a current CPR card at all times as a part of his employment. I have to say though that I too struggle with feeling completely capable if something were to happen.

    Sure we’ve had our share of scares with the boys, but never anything truly serious. I really do appreciate you sharing your story and reminding me once again how important this is as a mom! I will definitely be approaching the leaders I know of local mom groups and remind them that it’s a great idea to offer this for their group to participate in!

    Meanwhile ((hugs)) to you for your scary ordeal!

  50. says

    I think few realize how fast a drowning can occur, and even with the most vigilant parent watching. It’s not like the movies, where the child flails and calls for help. Most people don’t notice when a child is drowning right next to them.

    I know I emailed you about this, but wanted to share it with everyone else. My husband thought he was watching our son when we were on vacation, but it turned out to be another little boy that looked just like him. So he rushed to me to see if I had Matthew with me. I didn’t.

    I started scanning the very large pool looking for him and found him drowning in the deep end. He couldn’t get his head above the water and was just..drowning.

    No one around him noticed. There were tons of people there playing in the pool. I dove in, pulled him out and he ended up coughing up water and was okay. All I could think was what if it had been just another minute before my husband realized he was missing.

    In addition to CPR skills, I think it’s important for parents to realize that kids look like they’re playing when they’re actually drowning. I not only keep an eye out for my own kids now, I try to be very aware of the kids playing around them to make sure they’re coming up for air.

    Thanks for posting this. It’s so very important.

  51. says

    I took a CRP class at the Red Cross. It was a 2 day course not a 1 day. I have since taken advanced CRP classes and have taken medical provider CPR classes. Sign up with a real person. Try for a small class so you can get close attention from teacher. I have used my training in hospital situations and on the streets. I have done CPR at least 6 times while not in a hospital(at wrecks and other times…..once on a baby pig)

  52. says

    You are definitely not the worst mom in the world. I’ve been there done that and it is just that easy for them to end up face down in the water. My daughter was just over a year when we went to the community kiddie pool which only had water a few inches high. I got distracted with another child and when I turned back to my daughter, she was face down in the water. She was of course fine but it just shows that even in a few inches of water and a few seconds, it could’ve turned out worse. I took CPR/First aid in college but haven’t taken a refresher course since. I was going to look at our local Red Cross for classes. Try looking there as many others have suggested.
    I’m so glad Julia is okay.

  53. says

    I had to learn before i could take my Preemie son home from the NICU. We learned with a CPR Specialist and with a video. We would watch the video then she would talk about what we watched and answered any questions. After the video was over we were asked to show what we learned on a CPR baby. It was the most nerve wracking thing. I felt so much better about taking my son home with me.I would definitely find someone to help you. It was nice to have an actual person there to help answer questions and show you how EXACTLY to do it.

  54. says

    Oh, my goodness… my heartbeat quickened as I was afraid of how your post was going to end! I’m so glad she’s ok! Feel free to delete this if you think it’s spam, but I don’t intend it to be –

    I am a distributor for a product called CPR Teddy. I sell it through my eBay store. I also have a CPR Teddy Blog about it. It’s basically an infant practice manikin, but it’s a teddy bear. Comes with a video, pocket reminder card and (if you sign up for it) the company will send you a quarterly reminder to practice your CPR skills. CPR Teddy is not intended to replace a class, but is helpful in continually reviewing your skills at home, for those who don’t have a manikin. And he’s really cute & cuddly… : )

  55. says

    I have taken several First Aid and CPR classes, since I have worked for several years in Child Care, and the best one that I have ever taken, was given by a fireman, who taught the class on the side. None of the other classes made it to where it was interesting enough for the information to stick, but this one was great! I didn’t even like the one that I had taken years before at the hospital! I suggest calling the Fire Dept.

  56. says

    What a great website! Thanks for sharing your experience with your viewers, it really brings home the importance of knowing CPR and some basic first aid. There are a lot of options for taking CPR classes through community programs, hospitals and private organizations. The key to being able to act during an emergency is hands-on practice with a manikin and an instructor and reviewing the material frequently.

    For those busy moms, a blended learning course combining online learning and hands-on skills may be a perfect fit. We offer this type of training at We recommend taking a course at least every 2 years. CPR steps have changed over the years so if you haven’t taken a class recently, do it today.

    Also, you can listen to the CPR steps on your computer at or on iTunes.

    Don’t be afraid to take a class. The steps have become very simplified and a good instructor will coach you through the class and allow you to practice until you feel comfortable. Don’t forget the 911 operators will also walk you through it during an emergency.

    Hope this helps.

  57. says

    Jenn, everyone, this all very awful. The same thing happened to us with our 5 year old Zoe with choking. What did we do? We struggled with the Heimlich Maneuver and after a few terrifying seconds, the food popped out. But we’ve done something more which I need to shamelessly plug.

    My wife and her friend created Safety Magnets ( Safety Magnets™ are 5″ x 7″ refrigerator magnets that list first aid steps on what to do in common medical emergencies (like CPR, Choking, Burns, and Poisoining). Safety Magnets™ are a must have for all caregivers including new moms and dads, teachers, day care providers, the elderly and baby sitters. Stop looking in the junk drawer for that misplaced CPR manual — try a Safety Magnet and be prepared!!!

  58. says

    Hugs to you. You are not the most irresponsible mother in the world. You are human. Accidents happen. Thank God that she’s ok.

    You don’t want to learn CPR from a video. It’s the kind of thing where you need an actual person to actually show you what to do. Take the time to take a class. In my town, the same group that does pre-childbirth classes does infant/child CPR. The Red Cross also does classes.

    I had to do the Heimlich maneuver on a kid who was choking on a hot dog at the school where I worked. It was TERRIFYING, but it worked, and he was just fine. Since then, I’ve done it several dozen times on my older daughter, who had some sort of anatomical weirdness that resulted in her choking all the time when she was a baby. She has since outgrown it, thank God.

    You know, you may be able to get a group together (your family, your playgroup, etc.) and have the Red Cross come out and teach you. Call your local office and see what the options are.

    Love to you,
    Amy @


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