Mini First Aid: These skills could save a child’s life

Maria Petrou-Dunn has started mini first aid classes for parents of babies and young children. (AB029c0116)
Maria Petrou-Dunn has started mini first aid classes for parents of babies and young children. (AB029c0116)

Would you know what to do if a baby or toddler in your care started choking? Would you know the best way to treat a bump or burn?

As parents and grandparents welcome new arrivals into their family, nearly half of parents don’t know life saving baby first aid skills, But help is now at hand thanks to a Morley mum.

Maria Petrou-Dunn. AB029a0116

Maria Petrou-Dunn. AB029a0116

Maria Petrou-Dunn is a Mini First Aid trainer, visiting parents, grandparents and carers in their home, or soft play areas, for a quick two-hour but thorough First Aid course.

Maria, who has two children, aged three and one, worked training health care professionals how to use surgical equipment in theatre since 2004, but after the birth of her children,decided to become a Mini First Aider.

Maria said: “I visited a soft play area with colleagues and noticed a poster for Mini First Aid, but it was in north Leeds.

“I called the number and asked if there was one in South Leeds, but there wasn’t - so I started one.

“When I had my first child, I looked into doing a first aid course, but they were all two day courses and you couldn’t take your baby along, which is difficult for most new mothers - especially if they are breast feeding.

“But our Mini First Aid courses are just two hours long and we can meet parents, grandparents or carers at their home or soft play area - whether it’s one-on-one or a few people coming together.”

Maria said: “The main points that differentiate us from the fabulous job that St John’s Ambulance do is, offering classes in the comfort of your own home or at a centre where the children are also welcome. It’s a relaxed and informal training provided by a fellow mum who can relate to issues such as sleep deprivation, feeding and teething and in that two hours we cover choking, CPR, bleeding, burns, bumps, breaks, febrile convulsions and meningitis awareness - all for £20 per person.”

Maria started the courses just this month and she says it’s already proving very popular.

“It’s a crash course for anyone who is looking after children. Some grandparents haven’t looked after a baby or young child for a long time so it’s good for them to know what to do. It gives people peace of mind and the confidence to do what’s necessarily should something happen.

“There’s been a lot in the news lately about children choking and parents not knowing what to do - or not being able to be forceful enough if a child is choking. They’re too scared that they will hurt them, but we need to make parents aware that they need to be tough and give aggressive blows - there’s nothing wrong with that compared with the alternative.”

To find out more about the classes, visit, or email Maria at