If childminder Ane Lene Frederiksen Mølbak from Støvring in Denmark had not done a first-aid course, 18-month-old toddler Victoria would not be alive today.
The little girl started choking and, panicking, accidentally pulled a heavy microwave oven down on top of herself and started suffocating. Luckily, Ane Lene acted quickly and saved Victoria’s life using first aid. One of the toddlers she was minding fetched her when he saw something was wrong with Victoria.
Recounting what happened, Ane Lene explained, “I saw Victoria with the oven lying on top of her and almost panicked. I removed the microwave and saw her lying there with her head tilted, her face all blue and that her lips were an odd colour. The panic only lasted a moment, and then the training kicked in – without thinking, I knew what to do.”
“I took her head in my left hand and blew air into her mouth twice before picking her up and carrying her so I could get my colleague Bente to help and call an ambulance. I put her on the bench, and then I start giving her CPR. Suddenly, Victoria started breathing again and in that moment I thought, ‘yes, she is going to survive!’.The first aid training saved her life.”
Ane Lene was nominated as First Aid Person of the year in 2010 – an annual award given by the Danish Red Cross to someone who has saved the life of another through first aid.
Each year, the Danish Red Cross trains more than 60,000 people in first aid. Victoria was lucky that her childminder had learned how to give first aid. Not all accident victims are so lucky.
“The story of Ane Lene and Victoria shows how important it is that the people who take care of children know how to help when accidents happen. We believe that everybody who works professionally with children should be able to provide first aid,” says Anders Ladekarl, secretary general of the Danish Red Cross.
There is, as yet, no law in Denmark that requires childminders and kindergarten teachers to be able to provide first aid, but the Danish Red Cross is working on it. Since 2007, completing first-aid training is required to get a driving licence in Denmark – and local Red Cross branches are the main providers of first-aid training for these new drivers.
In 2012, the Danish Red Cross also introduced a business award to highlight the need for companies to train their employees in first aid.