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TODAY

Saturday, June 15

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Airbags

As parents, you read as much information as possible with regards to your child's health and well-being, so much so that you soon have Spock and Sears coming out of your ears. You have your pediatrician's phone number on speed dial, you have every thermometer and nasal aspirator known to humankind, but will you know what to do when it really matters?

It isn't something parents want to think about, but accidents are the leading cause of death for infants and children. According to the Center for Disease Control's National Vital Statistics Report (Vol. 52, No. 13, February 11, 2004), there were 1,609 deaths due to accidents for children under the age of 4 in 2002. Sadly, many of these deaths could easily have been prevented.

One thing you can do to prepare yourself is to take a CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resusitation) class. The American Heart Association states on their website, "Time is very important when dealing with an unconscious infant who is not breathing. Permanent brain damage begins after only 4 minutes without oxygen, and death can occur in as little as 4 to 6 minutes later." A cool head and the right training can become critical assets. CPR can save lives by providing oxygen to the victim's lungs via artificial respiration (Rescue Breathing) and by the circulation of blood through chest compressions.

While adult and infant/child CPR are basically the same process, there are a few important differences between the two. For instance, while two hands are used in adult CPR, only two fingers are used in child CPR. So even if you have taken adult CPR classes in the past, keep in mind it isn't the exact same thing.

There are myriad city and suburban locations where you can take first-aid CPR classes: local hospitals, the YMCA, private instructors and of course your local chapter of the Red Cross. Wherever you decide to take the class, remember that this is vital knowledge to have and, hopefully, you will never have to use it.

One trend is to hire a certified instructor to teach the class in your home and make a couples' evening out of it. Several couples can get together, have a potluck dinner and collectively pay for the instruction. Not only is the evening informative, it is also entertaining.

What can I say about CPR? Think like a scout, and be prepared! A few hours out of your day to take a class may one day save your child's life. Be safe and be well.

Upcoming CPR Classes in and around Chicago:

Children's Memorial Hospital
2300 Children's Plaza
773/880-4114

Wednesdays, 5-9pm
October 20
November 3
December 8
Research building, room. R.130

Condell Medical Center
801 South Milwaukee Avenue
Libertyville, lL
847/990-5407

Tuesdays, 7-9pm
October 12
November 9
December 7

Thursdays, 7-9pm
November 11, 18

Edward Hospital
801 S. Washington
Naperville, IL
630/369-6363

Call for more information and dates; the class is free.

Evanston Northwestern Healthcare
Evanston Hospital
2650 Ridge Ave.
Evanston, IL
847/570-5020

Call for more information and dates.

National Safety Council
Chicago Chapter
800/621-2855

November 1-3
February 14-16
June 6-8
Call for more information.

New City YMCA
1515 N. Halsted
312/440-7272

Infant/Child CPR
November 22, 7pm

First-Aid
November 29, 7pm

Rush University Medical Center
Women's and Children's Resource Center
1653 W. Congress Pkwy.
312/942-2336

Call for more information.

Saint Joseph Hospital
The Family Birthplace
2900 N. Lake Shore Drive
877/737-4636

Call for more information.

University of Chicago Children's Hospital
5758 S. Maryland Avenue
Third floor, Room 3737
(Enter through 3G or 3H)
773/702-9200

Thursdays, 1-3pm
Next session: November 11

Saturdays, 9-11am at University of Chicago Hospitals
5815 S. Maryland, Room TN-208
Next session: October 16, 2004

Visit the American Heart Association's site for more listings.

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About the Author(s)

Alejandra Valera is a new mom and writer. If there's a baby- or kid-friendly place, product or event you think she should cover, email her at .

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