Friday, February 13, 2015

The Emergency Escape Plan, and other Adventures in First Aid

The First Aid Girl Scout badge is one that the kids have been working on off and on for a while now. They've taken a field trip to a fire station, completed biographies of Florence Nightingale, taken the class on medicinal plants and outdoor first aid that the Brownie badge requires, read a ton about emergency and medical personnel (this was the academic lens through which we completed most of this unit), and memorized the information that they'd be asked if they called 911 (the trickiest one is location; unless they're home or at another familiar place, they need to concentrate on observing and describing landmarks. I've done a lot of stopping at random street corners on walks and saying things like, "Okay, tell the 911 operator where you are").

When we moved to our new house, we found in one of the top cupboards a set of blueprints from the house's 1980s remodel. I plan to frame and display the nicest copy, but one of the copies was so gross and stained that I gave it to Will with the assignment to map two emergency escape routes from each room in the house, and our emergency meet-up spot. I could tell that she thought it was VERY cool to be writing on the real-live blueprint:

It didn't actually end up looking quite as informative as I'd hoped--


--but I mounted it in their playroom anyway, as a visual reminder.

Here's what we have left to do:
  • Interview a medical professional. I had an interview scheduled for my troop with an ER doctor in Ft. Worth, Texas (soooo close to the Ebola case--she even had a suit of Ebola protection clothing to model for us!), but she had to cancel. Now I'm thinking of hitting up my Uncle Carlos, a doctor in Mexico, for a Skype interview.
  • Study practical first aid. I'd been putting this off in hopes of coming across a children's first aid class, but they don't seem to exist, at least in our area. I plan now to simply have the children watch some instructional videos and read some kid-appropriate books. Perhaps I can set up this type of class myself for our troop after cookie season.
  • Make a portable first-aid kit. I also want this to be an activity for my troop as a whole. I want them to make kits that will be small enough for each kid to keep it in her backpack, and ideally, I'd like the kids to find a charity that also would appreciate having these kits to hand out. This, too, will have to wait until after cookie season, primarily because the children can use some of their cookie profits to buy the supplies.
And here are the resources that we've used so far--remember, it's all backgroundy stuff, no real practical first aid information yet:



I was disappointed that so many of the books for these subjects are so babyish; surely there's a market for vividly telling older children what it's like to be a paramedic or firefighter or emergency room worker! I'm still on the lookout for that, as well as accurate fiction on the subject, as well as explanatory videos of medical procedures, especially if they're graphic--my kids have sensitive stomachs, and I'm determined to desensitize them.

And stay tuned--one day I'll finish up our practical first aid studies and then tell you about all the wonderful resources that I'll find for those, too!

P.S. The kids are still collecting donations for Operation Cookie Drop, which sends Girl Scout cookies to military personnel. Check out the Paypal Donate button at the top left of my blog if you'd like to contribute!

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