First aid skills for dads doing the childcare

As men do more parenting they are getting better at it. Jenni Dunman wants to teach dads genuinely vital skills.

First aid medical kit


With the summer holidays in full swing lots of dads – even the ones that work full time – are getting to spend good chunks of time with their kids. 

But it’s not all summer fun – from bee stings to more serious incidents things can go wrong. Knowing how to put them right can be life saving. But more likely just having the knowledge to deal with first aid issues will set parents minds at rest so they can enjoy family time more.

Jenni Dunman is a policewoman and mother of three turned parental first aid evangelist. She shared some basic skills with us and told us the story of her firm Daisy First Aid

What’s the most common first aid need in the summer?

In the summer, we love the outdoors but along with the warm weather comes bees, ticks and sunburn. To treat a bee sting, if the sting is visible, carefully scrape it off the skin with the edge of a credit or similar (do not use tweezers) and apply an icepack. For ticks, use fine tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with a steady, even pressure. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area. For sunburn, get out of the sun immediately. Cool the skin down with lots of cool water, drink plenty of fluids and stay out of the sun.

Sun prevention is the best thing, keep children hydrated with lots of water and high water content food like cucumber, watermelon and tomatoes. Keep out of direct sun where possible and always use high protection lotions and suitable clothes that cover well, hats and sunglasses.

What other first aid techniques are particularly useful to know in the summer holidays?

In the summer we are out and about having picnics and eating on the move so knowing how to deal with choking is a must. Additionally, parents should always carry a basic first aid kit to be prepared. Good things to carry with you are antihistamines in case of any reactions, alcohol free cleansing wipes, plasters, bandages, sun lotion and of course water.

What’s the one bit of first aid that all parents should know?

That choking is SILENT. When we run our classes, choking is one of the things all parents worry about so learning these techniques along with CPR is so important.

Why is it important that dads in particular learn first aid?

Changes in parental leave allows dads to spend even more time with their children. Dads are extremely hands on these days and sharing the care. The stereotype of mum looking after the children is no longer accurate!

Is your experience that knowing first aid can make family time easier because even if you never need it there’s peace of mind in knowing that you would know what to do if something happened?

Absolutely! Knowing first aid gives families the knowledge and confidence to deal with any incidents or emergences that may arise. That peace of mind of knowing what to do, helps calm the situation and along with your parental instincts it makes those situations easier to deal with. You don’t want to be that parent screaming for someone to help your child when it is so easy to learn yourself on how to help them for someone to help your child when it is so easy to learn yourself on how to help them.

It’s better to know it and not need it than to need it and not know it,

What’s the story behind Daisy First Aid?

In 2014, I was sitting in a coffee shop chatting with a friend when her daughter choked on a cookie. Being an advanced first aider as a police officer I knew what to do. I removed the blockage and the little girl recovered. But it was this moment that I realised first aid was not something regularly offered to new parents and that so many parents didn’t have basic first aid skills that could so easily save their child’s life.

When researching suitable first aid training classes I found parents were restricted to longer certified classes aimed at the corporate market who often showed frightening videos and told distressing stories. I want to educate parents in a way that makes them feel happy, confident and empowered rather than terrified and intimidated.

Five years later the business has trainers in over 90 areas across the UK.

Do you think first aid should be taught to children and/or new parents as a matter of course?

Yes, we feel from children to grandparents everyone should know first aid. We already offer classes to children and as of next year the government are introducing first aid into schools so by the time every child leaves school they will know these life saving skills. This is an amazing way forward and now our mission is for every parent learn these skills.

Our two hour classes cover subjects like CPR, choking, burns, febrile seizures and signs of meningitis. We offer classes in venues across the country along with classes in the comfort of your own home.

To find your nearest trainer go to

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