The Game Changers of Business
Have you ever had that moment? Or a series of aha’s? When life came into sharp focus – and you realised you had to take a new direction with your career?
I did. Just after my precious babies were born.
I started to realise how many parents felt anxious and even panicked about dealing with a bang to the head, a bee sting, burns, and of course the ever present threat of choking.
I saw my friends turn to me when their children got injured and say “Thank goodness you were there.” I heard people joke “Don’t choke now, Karyn is leaving!” I saw my husband hesitate a little too long when my son was flinging blood from his badly cut finger to the ceiling, waiting for me to jump in.
And, you’d be amazed how many times I heard “I’ve always meant to do a first aid course but it’s so hard to find the time”, or similar.
Putting the Puzzle Together
With all of these situations and conversations mounting up, I realised it was time to shift course. Literally.
Can you guess what the answer was? Yes, I decided to take my years of experience and help create more confident first aiders in the community.
Because if I was a highly experienced nurse and a bad first aid situation with my children felt stressful for me, how would a parent with no training feel?
It wasn’t just about parents either. It became my mission to deliver nationally recognised training courses that were fun, flexible, practical, engaging and made first aid ‘doable’. And so, head2toe First Aid was born.
Life-Saving First Aid is My Everyday Life
There was another reason a lot closer to home that motivated this shift.
I got a shocking and life-changing diagnosis when my son was just 8 months old.
It was confirmed that he had severe food allergies (to dairy, eggs, nuts and sesame), and from then on, we had the risk of anaphylaxis hanging over our heads.
Believe me – it takes the protective parenting instinct and anxiety to a whole new level.
And yes, while you’d think I would have been totally ready to be a parent and deal with the ‘little’ first aid challenges our children throw at us…boy was that wrong!
Now I Help Other Allergy Parents
What I’ve since discovered, is that 10% of infants are being diagnosed with severe food allergies every year, so it’s highly likely that either you or someone close to you has a child that’s affected.
This is why it’s become a heartfelt mission of mine to spread the first aid word which includes offering allergy education.
So, to finish my story off, I’d love to share with you a small selection of what it’s like inside the life and mind of an allergy parent.
If you are an allergy parent, I expect this will resonate with you, and if you know someone dealing with allergies it will help you to understand how much it can impact their life.
What I now know, is that allergy parents have the ability to transform into super-organised, advocating superheroes for the sake of their children.
Yes, every stage of life (be it childcare, school, camps, parties, travel or leaving home) can create overwhelm, but you’ll discover what works for your child and family, and you will turn on your superpowers and make it work.
1. Childcare & Early School years ARE stressful
I used to describe sending my son to childcare or school as the feeling of sending him off to cross a major 4-lane highway by himself.
Yes, he’ll probably be ok, but…what if?
Educators are AMAZING, but it’s still hard to trust fully.
You’ll most likely have background anxiety when your child is there, especially if your phone rings. There will be plenty of discussion around how to keep your child safe and what food they can potentially be exposed to.
2. You handbag has to fit an EpiPen pouch!
Your partner makes the same choice – and yes, husbands will rock a man bag!
And you never leave the house without it! Your mantra on departure will quickly become:
- Wallet – check
- Keys – check
- Phone – check
- EpiPen – check, check and triple checked!
3. You are ALWAYS thinking about food
You take safe snacks everywhere, more than can possibly be eaten. You can even develop a phobia about getting stuck without food.
To begin with, it feels like you live in the kitchen, and if you get invited to dinner, you fire off a world of questions.
For roadtrips, you’ve researched exactly where is safe to stop for food. (But you’ve also probably packed 2 weeks’ worth of food to get you through the 4 hours – ha ha!)
4. You stay at playdates and parties
Other parents leave, but you don’t. You stay and offer to help.
Often, the other parent may ask you to stay too. It’s hard to hand over the EpiPen until you know the other parents well. And even then, when you ‘leave’, it may only be to sit in the car outside.
“What I now know, is that allergy parents have the ability to transform into super-organised, advocating superheroes for the sake of their children.”
Karyn Hindle, head2toe First Aid
5. Restaurants can be a minefield
You’ve rung in advance to check the Chef can cater, and mention it again when you’re seated. You hope the server doesn’t look stressed, or say “We can’t guarantee…”.
When the food arrives, you double-check everything and occasionally have to send things back (people are only human).
But… “No! It’s not ok to take the cheese out, we need a whole new burger please, he isn’t intolerant, he is ANAPHYLACTIC!
6. You are forever grateful for wonderful friends
I agree. 6 is an odd number for a list but I couldn’t leave this one out…
There will always be a few that REALLY get it.
They let you cry on their shoulder when it all gets too much. They put up with your paranoia and happily let you question them even though they’ve cooked and cared for your child countless times.
They don’t take offense when you come armed with 2 weeks of food even though they have safe food. And you’re only popping over for a quick cuppa!
Once a Nurse, always a carer.
Like many caring Professions, being a Nurse isn’t a job, it’s a way of life and is who you are.
So, in many ways, I’m not surprised that my career has taken this turn.
I’m proud to be a Nurse and to now deliver potentially life-saving training to parents, adults, children, organisations and professionals throughout our community, so they feel confident to follow best practice, even when it’s hard to do so.
Because a first aid situation comes when you least expect it. Which is why I believe that everyone needs regular training to feel empowered and prepared.
I also believe that everyone deserves high quality training that meets their needs, and that is why each of my courses are individualised. In fact, I like to say with each of my courses, you get a little piece of me.
Connect with Karyn:
Facebook: head2toe First Aid
head2toe First Aid
Karyn Hindle is a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience, the Founder and Head Trainer of head2toe First Aid and most importantly a Wife and Mother.
head2toe First Aid is huge passion of Karyn’s. Her mission is to empower people by providing first aid training that is flexible, practical, engaging, hands-on and relevant to the group’s individual needs.
Karyn is highly skilled at adapting courses to the participants, creating a fun and relaxed training environment that caters for all learning styles where adults (and children) can learn best.