Yay – Saved a Life!

Please give yourself CPR – get training, that is…

By | ARE you ready to help?, Blog, Choking help, EasyCPR Adult class at Home, Parenting Advice, Safety Tips, Yay - Saved a Life! | No Comments

Yes, give yourself CPR – get training

I’ve been teaching CPR for 15 years and I have some YES or NO questions for you:

  • When someone is coughing and choking, do you hit them on the back?

Answer:   No, medical directors state that it is counterproductive.    (You’re right – we used to train it, but it’s changed)


  • If a 3 year old is choking, do you stand them on a chair so you can perform the abdominal thrust?

Answer: No, they could fall and be injured.   You kneel down behind them for the thrust.


  • If someone insists they are OK and insists that you DO NOT call 911, do you comply and not call?

Answer:   You do not need permission to call 911 (only permission to touch someone’s body to give care).   Call !


  • If an elderly person is coughing and coughing, is alarmed to be choking, do you give them the abdominal thrust?

Answer:   No.   If they are coughing, the body is trying to expel it.   You only take action when they are utterly silent; no air is getting in or out; the body isn’t doing it.


  • If someone is woozy and not feeling well, do you encourage them to walk slowly and breathe deeply?

Answer:   No. Encourage them to lie down – they may lose consciousness and FALL down.   Then there are very likely added injuries.


  • If a very pregnant woman is choking, do you do nothing because the abdominal thrust will injure the baby inside her?

Answer:   There is a special choking technique to use for people in wheelchairs and pregnant women because you can’t thrust on their abdomen.

CPR – get training

Take just a moment and imagine three people you love dearly.    Do you see the three faces of those loved ones?

Would you give two hours of time to save their life?   Yes?   That’s what a  CPR/choking skills class takes – two hours.   For such a beautiful reason.

Statistics show that you are most likely to help someone you love who is choking, or who is unconscious and not breathing, or who is experiencing an altered state of consciousness.

Perhaps you know that an altered state of consciousness, confusion, low responsiveness to your questions could mean an allergic reaction, or possibly a diabetic emergency, or maybe a stroke.   Can you tell?

You don’t need to know what is the problem – you only need to do one thing, now.   You have Recognized An Emergency – so you call 911.     So much of helping loved ones is to be alert and SEE that something is wrong.

calling 911

Call 911 – Reach out for help

911 Dispatchers are there for you!

Do you envision 911 happens like this?   Step 1: You call 911   Step 2: You hear sirens as the truck arrives

Nope, this is what happens…

Step 1: You call 911   Step 2: Dispatch talks to you and helps you   Step 3:  You give care in that vital Window of Time  Step 4: You hear sirens as the truck arrives

Dispatch is amazing.   They are there for you –  to help you stay calm if you are very frightened.   They focus in on the questions to ask about the person in trouble.    That information helps you take action – that information helps them convey to the en route response team what they need to know.

What if they say to you, “Do you know how to give CPR compressions?”


What if you say, “No, no I don’t…”

You don’t want that feeling!    Scared.  Helpless.

I (and all health care agencies) want you to be able to say, “Yes, yes, I do!

You’re Smart.   For 2016, you are going to do it, right?  CPR – get training!

For 15 years, I have taught a youth (age 11+) Babysitting Safety/CPR class.   We work with dolls to diaper and burp, first aid, spending quality time, the choking skill and, yes, full CPR training.    I tell my young students as we begin class that I commend them for taking the 4 hour course to get trained before they babysit.   Many parents – and maybe the parents they will babysit for – are not trained.   Yes, the parents love their little precious children – but they STILL don’t get trained!    As babysitters, I tell them they may be more able to save a young life than those parents are!


I can DO it!

If someone gets trained, there is a presence of confidence and security that I believe is priceless.   That person, in their heart and mind, has a background sense of being empowered to respond, to be able to save a life.

I consider it similar to knowing how to change a tire on your vehicle, as a possible example.   You may never have to change a tire but someone taught you and there is a quiet, silent confidence in the back of your mind of “I know what to do if I need to change a tire!”.   Nice feeling, that confidence that you are empowered to act.

Changing a tire?   Small potatoes.

Saving a loved one’s life?   Priceless.


Jean Lesmeister, 15 year Babysitting CPR, Adult CPR & First Aid Instructor

American Safety & Health Institute (ASHI)

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TV tip-over

TV tip-over like falling 10 stories?

By | Blog, Prevent injury, Yay - Saved a Life!, Youth Babysitter Tips | No Comments

Injuries and accidents happen so VERY quickly.    Adults know a lot about safety and preventing injuries.   Adults have had decades and decades to accumulate experiences, warnings, education and more.   Even so, ADULTS get hurt all too often!    Just think of little kids – they have little or no idea of what can hurt them.   They could fall from that?   They could get burned on that?   That is very sharp?   That could fall on you?   (Like a TV tip-over!)   They just don’t know.

Thus, an injury or accident can occur.    Teaching First Aid and CPR and youth Babysitting CPR (age 11+) for these 15 years, I certainly am passionate about training for safety.   I am also the recipient of a tsunami of stories, over these years.    Students, young or old, will share in class family experiences, their own accident details, or something that happened to their friend…




Little kids climbing up on furniture to get to something they want can cause the furniture – and the TV on top of it – to fall over onto them.    Beyond serious injury, the TV tip-over can cause death.

From the website of Safe Kids Worldwide:

Because of its weight, a 36-inch CRT television falling three feet

creates the same momentum as a 1-year-old child falling 10 stories.

Safe Kids reports, regarding TV & furniture tip-overs:    22,200 children (ages 19 and under) are seen in emergency departments for injuries related to  furniture, appliance and TV tip-overs each year, on average.
IKEA Offers a Helping Hand
As a major furniture provider, IKEA includes free kits to attach furniture to a wall to help prevent child injury and death.     They sell massive amounts of chest of drawers, bookshelves, side tables and more.    This is wonderful that IKEA is committed to this safety issue.
IKEA offers an informational brochure called SECURE IT – Preventing Furniture and TV tip-over Accidents.   The brochure explains the need but also shows how to install a safe wall unit.
Prevent a TV tip-over and other furniture.    It’s always “better to be safe than sorry”.
Stay Safe – Get Trained!
Jean Lesmeister, 15 year CPR & First Aid Training JEANius
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emergency vehicles

Emergency vehicle approaching? MOVE OVER

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Emergency vehicle?   MOVE OVER!

When emergency vehicle, ambulances and fire engines respond to emergency calls, other vehicles are required to pull over to the right side of the road and come to a stop.

So…. DO they?    Emergency personnel (firefighters, paramedics, other EMS) report that drivers often neglect to do so.     (It’s a crime, heah!)


“These problems have always existed, (but) it’s gotten worse,” reports a firefighter Chief.

There are factors that most complicate the job for drivers of emergency vehicles.   They are: drivers who pull over to the left instead of the right, drivers who stop in the middle of the road and drivers who refuse to stop.   EMS drivers are trained to pass vehicles on the left side.   So, motorists who pull over to the left disrupt the traffic flow and increase the chance of collisions.    Pull over to the RIGHT and STOP.

Further complicating the matter are drivers who are distracted by activities such as talking on their cellphones, listening to headphones, eating, yes – even applying makeup on their face!

Everything Except Driving?

“Everybody seems to be doing everything in their vehicles except driving!” says one paramedic.

Also, NOT GOOD is that modern vehicle design also affects driver awareness because outside noise is muted due to the “improved” vehicle design.    So they don’t HEAR the emergency vehicle – how mindless is that?

Sirens on any emergency vehicle, fire engines and ambulances are approximately 120 decibels, which is comparable to a car horn.

It is believed only about 30 percent of drivers follow the law and pull over to the right.   If at least one driver does pull over, many times other drivers will follow suit.    SO, YEAH to every one who does care about their community and someone’s right to emergency care and who DO PULL OVER for an emergency vehicle?   You are a role model to many other drivers.    Great.    But let me say one more time – ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of motorists should be pulling over.    Don’t be a doofuss.

As a 15-year CPR, Babysitting CPR and First Aid Instructor, who continually stresses the need to

a) recognize an emergency and

b) call 911 promptly,

it drive me NUTS that any dense motorist gets in the way of that vital response.

pull over

Spread the word, please!

POST THIS on your refrigerator, your social media, tell teen drivers, on your job board and on your brain about emergency vehicles:

-Pull over to the right side of the road when emergency vehicles are approaching.

-Do not stop in the middle of the road.

-Keep radio volume at a reasonable level.

Do not wear headphones while driving.

-Do not talk on cellphone or text while driving.

Frequently check rearview mirrors.

-Do not be distracted by vehicle crashes – “Rubbernecking” causes additional crashes.


Stay safe!    Get trained!    Best wishes!

Jean Lesmeister, Instructor


THINK – Cause No Further Harm

By | ARE you ready to help?, Blog, Choking help, What my student said..., Yay - Saved a Life!, Youth Babysitter Tips | No Comments

Stories about injuries and emergencies – Cause No Further Harm

One of the really rich things about teaching CPR, youth Babysitting CPR, First Aid, etc. these 15 years are the STORIES! I hear so many, many stories from students; of course, the happy ending stories are best. Students share how a family member got hurt doing this or that – but was OK.   A student shares how the neighbor fell off his roof – but was OK.  Some of the MOST amazing stories of all are when the youth (age 11-15) Babysitting CPR class shares their own youth injuries! They raise their hand and share.   For instance – one student ate $3.50 worth of quarters when a piggy bank broke before his parents found him. Another shared he hid in the clothes dryer and his mom turned it on, returning from a phone call.   Much screaming and shrieking ensued. A girl shared that she put beads into her ear canal wanting to wear “jewelry” like her mommy. And, of course, there’s the old “I put peanuts up my nose”.

Think Before You Act – Cause No Further Harm

But there are also the sad and heart breaking stories: how a neighbor family suffered the tragedy of SIDS with their infant, and how a sibling ended up for life in a wheelchair after a fall from high up.

osha-think-before-you-act-safety-signAccidents can stem from inattention, being careless, and can happen so quickly – but a mistake that always is at the forefront of my mind is when people “charge into action” without the pause to THINK, first, when there’s an accident. My most recent example of this type of NOT thinking first is a story shared by a man about an incident at his home with his two-year old son. Apparently, the child began to choke and so the grandma administered the abdominal thrust (Heimlich maneuver) – but wasn’t trained to do so. The wife thrust her fingers into the child’s mouth to grab the instruction – also not trained – nor do you put fingers in a mouth because it usually shoves the obstruction deeper. It turns out the obstruction came out of the throat, ultimately – so glad. BUT this man shared that out on the porch was sitting the grandfather who is a retired firefighter. You get my drift? Two untrained women start responding to the emergency – when a TRAINED person was THAT CLOSE. A perfect example of NOT thinking, not staying calm to make the best choice.  Ladies, don’t “help” the choking child – GO GET grandpa!

stay calm hands

As usual, I end each post with my message “get trained” – but this time I’ll add “THINK before you act.  Cause No Further Harm”.

Jean Lesmeister

boy calls 911

6 yr old boy calls 911 – saves MOM!

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Boy calls 911

For the little 6 year old boy in this story, he had been taught the two BIG POINTS:

a) Recognizing an emergency

b) Responding with a 911 call

Those two steps are what it’s all about.    The boy calls 911.

Of course, being able to, next, give care in an emergency is so important, as well!    But that’s for older people.    It’s about getting TRAINED.    You are most likely to give care to someone you love, statistically.   Until he’s older, for care training, this boy was trained to call.

boy calls 911

The stories I’ve been told in 15 years of teaching CPR

I’ve enjoyed teaching Adult CPR & First Aid and Youth Babysitting CPR so very much.    Everyone LOVES their people – and teaching people what to do has so much meaning for me.   It’s amazing, as I teach class, the stories I’ve heard over these many years.   People share family stories of happy endings, not-so-happy endings, brave helpers, amazing coincidences when needed – I love the stories.   I’m also an actor and believe, with all my heart, that story-telling is the best way for all of us to learn.    I share the stories when it’s applicable to a class situation.   It’s a rich flow of humanity, these stories.

And there are stories about really young people!


Yes, I’m teaching an older age group – Adult CPR or Babysitting CPR (age 11+).    But, if trained, LITTLE kids, amazingly young kids, are saving lives, too!    They’ve been “trained” to utilize 911.   They’ve been reassured that there are kind and helpful people who will answer the phone.   They’ve been trained to reach out for help to these “nice people” (dispatchers).    As you know, THAT’S NOT SMALL!    The little child’s ability to use 911 is a big deal!  They can access the professionals to come and help.   And they can help a family member.   In this story, this little boy calls 911 and SAVES a family member – his MOM.

This story is from ABC News about a 6 year old who had been trained to contact 911.   Now he still has his MOM!

I hope you enjoy this happy, happy story.

A 6 year old hero!


Jean Lesmeister, 15 year CPR/First Aid Instructor   

American Safety and Health Institute Training Center, Denver, CO

Why am I shaking AFTER I saved someone’s life? Hint: You’re Human

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For 15 years, as a CPR, AED, First Aid, and youth Babysitting Safety instructor, people are used to hearing me say, “get trained” and “recognize an emergency” and “you’re most likely to give care to someone you love” and “4 out 5 cardiac arrests happen in the home“.

Yes, you bet, all that is true.    I’m REALLY liking this article from the Health & Safety Institute (HSI) [I’m a certified Training Center with HSI] because it offers compassionate advice about how one might feel after the emergency incident is over, after the pressure is off.

Someone who has bravely stepped up to help certainly felt adrenalin rush through their body, certainly got themselves very laser-focused on contacting EMS and giving initial care, certainly mustered their training memories, quickly, from their memory bank.    That’s a big deal!    That’s what being a “first responder” is!


The key word here is COMPASSION.    If you’ve assisted with a frightening emergency, be kind to yourself.   Calm down, give yourself an “atta girl” pat on the back, do something nice for yourself (yeah, a massage), cry a bit to let it all out, eat chocolate!   Yeah!    If you can offer support to someone who is calming down after an incident, that’s great, too!

Please read this HSI article about “After The Emergency” – it offers supportive tips for helping children after an event, too.

In short – please Get Trained, Save a Life, and afterwards Be Nice To You!






Stayin’ Alive SONG helps you do CPR – it’s the right speed!

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In this recent post from the American Safety & Health Institute, they reiterate that “Songs and rhymes are often used in teaching because they stick.”

Educators and teachers have always used songs and phrases as a big support for students to retain information – so the knowledge is there when you NEED it.

For CPR, the Stayin’ Alive song is referenced because it has the correct speed of 100 compressions in 60 seconds.    When YOU charged with adrenalin because you’re helping someone in an emergency, will this song pop into your memory?   You BET it will.    Thus, you’ll go the correct pace, neither too slow or too fast.

CPR classRead more about The Connection Between Music and CPR Skill Training.


Stay safe!    More about Jean, the CPR Training JEANius

My upcoming youth BABYSITTING CPR classes

My ongoing CPR Adult/Teen classes