We all know that for parents, worrying comes pretty naturally.
Those "what ifs" -- from silly stuff like "what if his head is
always that big?" to more serious questions like "what if she
chokes on that carrot?" -- keep you up nights.
So a program from the American Heart Association aims to make
sure rookie parents and their second-string of grandparents and
babysitters are prepared to handle an emergency, should it
I took the Family & Friends CPR class at Central DuPage
Hospital in Winfield, where it's offered as a prenatal education
class. CDH usually offers at least five classes each month.
In the four years that CDH has facilitated the class, Stephanie
Krantz, head of prenatal education, says it has been very
successful. Each class at CDH lasts about three hours, easy to
accomplish in just one evening or weekend afternoon.
The video-led American Heart Association materials include three
modules of CPR and choking -- infant (under 1 year), child (1 year
until the onset of puberty) and adult (past puberty) --
interspersed with time to practice on a CPR mannequin.
Some hospitals simply use the video model, or people can buy the
Family & Friends CPR Anytime kit ($34.95 each adult/child and
At CDH, Krantz says they use the video curriculum and supplement
with a trained instructor who can observe and correct each person's
Taking a CPR class might not be the most glamorous way to spend
a few hours, but the Family & Friends course is an excellent
and nonthreatening way to brush-up your skills or learn the basics
for the first time -- and make sure you're ready for all those
scary "what ifs."
Elizabeth Diffin is the senior editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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