Regulations within the childcare sector will be changed to ensure that all staff working in the childcare sector have appropriate paediatric training to deal with an emergency following work by Independent election candidate Denis Naughten.
“At present the law only requires that one person on the premises be trained in paediatric first aid: a fact that has shocked many parents and grandparents of young children alike,” explained Denis Naughten.
“While there are many people employed in this area who are undoubtedly trained specifically in first aid for children the fact remains that any crèche etc is only required by law to have one person on the premises with such training. Following my work with UK based charity Millie’s Trust, the Minister for Children now supports my view that this situation needs to be addressed.”
Responding to Denis Naughten, the Minister stated: “I am very anxious that all people working directly with children in the early year’s sector have an appropriate Paediatric First Aid qualification.”
“I am delighted that as a result of my work, in conjunction with Dan and Joanne from Millie’s Trust, this current anomaly will be resolved,” added Denis Naughten. “The Department of Children & Youth Affairs is presently drafting new childcare regulations to give effect to legislation to strengthen the current inspection regime and underpin the Early Years Quality Agenda. We have clearly outlined the need for the new rules to require all staff working directly with young children to be trained in paediatric first aid and be competent to deal with emergencies such as choking and CPR.”
This is just one example of what an independent TD can achieve when they are prepared to put a case together and work within the system to deliver real change.
Denis Naughten added: “We have seen that the ambulance service responds to 17 emergency choking incidents every week which underlines the need for this training. In the case of choking, minutes can be the difference between life and death, and it is not possible for any ambulance service to be there in time for each such emergency.
“Incidents relating to choking are quite frequent in children, and toddlers in particular, when they are learning to eat and who are likely to put anything they can lay their hands on into their mouths.
Denis Naughten previously took the unusual step of opening up his constituency offices to host such courses, firstly to encourage all parents to have a basic understanding of paediatric first aid and, secondly, to promote the need to change the law in this area to ensure that everybody working with or caring for young children has paediatric first aid.
The training was provided Millie’s Trust, a charity dedicated to providing first aid training for families, and the charity’s founders Joanne and Dan Thompson gave the training for both parents and politicians in Dáil Eireann. Joanne and Dan’s daughter Millie passed away in October 2012 aged just nine months following a choking incident that occurred while she was in the care of a nursery in the UK.