Tag Archives: Illness

We’re in! The British Red Cross First Aid Challenge


It goes without saying how important our little angel’s are. But would we really know what to do if they choked, sustained a burn, fainted…? This is pretty close to my heart (and Craig’s) given Dexter has already been hospitalised twice in his short little life. We were lucky and got to A&E in plenty of time before a Strep B blood infection caused him any major suffering, but I remember all too well how scary the experience was.

On both occasions, one of us had been alone with Dex when the symptoms started. It’s awful being alone with a child when something goes wrong. I remember frantically trying to call Craig when he was out wetting Dexter’s head – I guess I just wanted validation that something was wrong and I wasn’t overreacting. As ridiculous as it seems, you start to blame yourself (and each other) and it can put enormous strain on even the closest of relationships.

Dexter at the Royal Berkshire Hospital aged 6 weeks - He was so ill

Dexter at the Royal Berkshire Hospital aged 6 weeks – He was so ill


Since learning that The British Red Cross are commencing a new nationwide campaign to get all parents learning first aid, we just had to get involved.

The campaign was launched in response to a survey showing that most parents don’t feel confident about what to do if their child were injured. In a survey of over 2,000 parents (undertaken by Bounty’s Word of Mum™ panel) 96% of respondents agreed that all parents should have some first aid knowledge. The study identified the main fears of parents as choking, treating an unconscious baby or child and meningitis – however despite this, many parents struggle to find the time to learn how to treat these cases.

Joe Mulligan, British Red Cross head of first aid education, commented:

We know that the majority of parents want to learn first aid, but may not get round to it for all sorts of reasons. We’re asking parents to set themselves this challenge – learn something, no matter how much time you have. Even 15 minutes is enough to learn something that could make all the difference in an emergency

With over 24,000 parents expected to attend the Baby Show Earls Court over three days, the British Red Cross First Aid Challenge will be launching at the popular event this October 26th. Parents will be able to kick-off the challenge with training sessions taking place every hour. But the good news is that you don’t have to be an attendee to get involved. The website (www.redcross.org.uk/firstaidchallenge) will also launch the same day, featuring free videos, emergency advice and information on first aid courses around the UK – the campaign will also encourage parents to download a letter to send to head teachers to ask local schools to teach first aid in the classroom.

Signing up to the First Aid Challenge is completely free and each participant will receive information on how to deal with day-to-day mishaps confidently and updates about free first aid demonstrations across the UK. Alternatively, if parents prefer to keep a how-to hard-copy in the house, a brand new First Aid manual focussing on treatment for babies and children is available now, priced £10.99.

Tracey Turner from the British Red Cross said:

We hope this challenge will make all parents stop, think and decide to learn some first aid. We all know that as children grow and explore, inevitably they will have some kind of accident, be it big or small. We are passionate about giving everyone the skills and the confidence to know what to do.

Both Craig and I are signed up and we’ll be taking a quick crash course at the Baby Show Earl’s Court on Saturday. I urge all my readers to sign up to the course and get involved too.

You can follow the British Red Cross on Twitter (@BritishRedCross)- they need our help to spread the message so get RT’ing any campaign tweets you see!


Loving my little family


What did I ever do to deserve such an amazing family?

We’ve had a rough time of it in the Mills household. I’ve taken the tough decision to go back on maternity leave. Despite a promising showdown with my mother in hospital, she’s now rediscovered her demons and is ill again. As I’m fearing the worst, I’ve chosen to spend a bit more time with her. Craig has therefore had to forsake his daddy-time and go back to work full-time. It’s taken a lot of late-night chats and tears to get to this point but it’s now decided and I’m with Dexie until February.

Craig allergies also took hold this week and he came down with a full-blown chest infection. He’s a Man so doesn’t complain but I forced him to go to the out-of-hours surgery on Saturday after listening to him struggle to breathe throughout the night. The problem: Billy. I’ve tried to ignore it since Craig and I started living together but it clearly couldn’t go on any longer. Billy the cat is my best friend. I’ve had him for 6 years and he’s been through various house-moves and failed relationships with me. We’ve been inseparable since I got him and I’m gutted that he and Craig can’t live together. But Craig is desperately allergic to Billy and I simply can’t jeopardise his health any longer.

Missing my hairy son Billy

So Billy was re-homed yesterday. He’s gone to live with his Nan and Granddad about 10 minutes down the road. I’m gutted but pleased I’ll still get to see him regularly. He’s well used to staying around Nanny’s house as she’s had him over when Craig and I have taken weekends away. I know he’ll be more than happy there but I still miss tripping over him on the stairs, him meowing at me for a second breakfast because he thinks I’m oblivious to the fact that Craig has already fed him, him chasing dust around the lounge… He’s such a little legend there were no shortage of ‘takers’.

So Craig can finally get some respite. The doctor says he has a chest infection. His chest is really quite weak from years of smoking in his childhood. He gave up years ago but the damage was irreparable and the slightest cold sends him wheezing and brings on his asthma. inevitably, with all the sneezing, I’ve now got it. Luckily, I’m still covered by a flu jab during my pregnancy and tend to fight off illnesses easily. But poor Dexie is, as yet, untested.

He started displaying signs of a cold last night. He sounded a little bit like Darth Vader and was coughing a fair bit. Then the sneezing set in and we began to worry. Dosed with Calpol, and saline drops we put him to bed with a Karvol tissue buried in his teddies. He didn’t complain once and went to sleep. I was up with him again at 3am as he started crying and wrestling with his blanket. As the heating wasn’t on and this house gets chilly downstairs in the night, I changed him in his room then told him I’d be back with things ‘to make him feel better’. I’m not naive and know he doesn’t understand me, but he patiently waited for me to return with a warm bottle and more Calpol. He was so quiet I thought perhaps he had gone back to sleep, but no, he was watching the door waiting for me to return and smiled when I approached his cot.

I administered his meds and he was quiet and seemingly grateful. He snatched his bottle from my hands and fed himself as if to say “I’m okay mum, stop fussing”. I went back to bed when he’d finished and left him coo’ing at his toys. The plan was to let him tire himself out so he would fall asleep naturally. Unfortunately he cried again within 15 mins. I gave him a big cuddle and popped him in bed with us and fell asleep within seconds. The whole night-time saga lasted 3 hours which seems like a lifetime at that time in the morning. It’s also completely out of character given he usually sleeps right through. Having said that, it was an absolute pleasure looking after him as he was such a brave little man. We’re very in-tune with each other now and I feel really confident that I can trust my mummy instincts to help him through the difficult times.

I’m definitely feeling very grateful this week. My employers were very sympathetic and understanding, Craig continues to surprise me with his undying support, love, and resilience, and Dexter is the most perfect baby I could ever have wished for. Given I have thrown more than my fair share of tantrums this week, I’m really in awe of my little family and dedicate this post to them.

When you were poorly…


So far – in your short little life (just 48 days) you’ve spent 13 days in the Royal Berkshire Hospital. After mummy’s Cesarian and a nasty blood infection, mummy and daddy have spent lots of time worrying about you. You caught a blood infection called Strep B within your first few weeks and unfortunately it lingered around unexpectedly and we rushed you back in on your 5th week. Mummy and daddy took it in turns to stay with you and get you through it. We have our fingers crossed you won’t need further antibiotics but, if you do, next time it’ll be Oxford as they have better equipment for tiny people.

Showing off your little cannula on an outpatient visit

You can read more about Strep B here: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Streptococcal-infections/Pages/Introduction.aspx