Friday, January 28, 2011

Shekels Worth Spending - The Importance of Learning CPR.

Okay, frugalistos and frugalistas, I know there was no recipe posted yesterday, as has been my Thursday custom.  Thursdays are normally pretty chill around here but yesterday things were crazy - and I mean CUH-RAY-ZEE.  I want to tell you what I was up to last evening that made the first part of my day so frantic, even though just 24 hours ago I thought I was too embarrassed to post about it.

Here goes.

So you know how b''H* I had three babies in the space of three years?  And how it is pretty much implied that when I took each of them home with me from the hospital I was now responsible for keeping them alive?  And un-maimed?

And you know how I had absolutely no idea what I would do if I found one of them choking, or not breathing, or without a pulse (chas v'shalom)?

Um, yeah.  I'm not proud that I didn't know how to give my children CPR, mouth-to-mouth, or First Aid properly until last night.

According to the CDC:

  • Injury is the leading cause of death in children and young adults. According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 2,800 children, ages one to 14 years, that died from an unintentional injury .
  • Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury for children.  Children ages 14 and under account for one-third of all fall-related visits to hospital emergency rooms.
  • unintentional injury-related death among children ages one to 14. The majority of drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools and in open water sites.  However, children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  • Airway obstruction injury is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among infants under age one.
  • Approximately 45 percent of unintentional injury deaths occurred in and around the home. Unintentional home injury deaths to children are caused primarily by fire and burns, suffocation, drowning, firearms, falls, choking and poisoning.
So last night, David and I attended a CPR and First Aid course that our boys' preschool graciously hosted.  It cost $40 for each of us, and we paid the babysitter $40.  That is $120 that we could have spent on two (or maybe even three) date nights.  It represents three months' clothing budget and one and a half weeks worth of groceries.  It's a month's worth of gas and half a year's worth of my personal "hobbies" budget.

And it was worth every single penny.  More, even.  We got to practice on some dummies, and ask questions. While it was totally freaky to be doing rescue breathing on anything even remotely resembling my baby, I am so glad that I got some hands-on instruction.  Even David, who was reluctant to go because he had worked on the ambulances with Magen David Adom back in 2001, was really happy that he went, because the guidelines and best practices for CPR have changed in the last couple of years.

Pikuach Nefesh means "Saving a Life," and it is pretty much the highest Jewish value.  You can transgress almost any commandment for the sake of saving a life.  So it seemed to me that $120 was a paltry amount of cash in the name of doing that.  

If you haven't brushed up on your CPR and First Aid skills in awhile, especially if you are a parent, consider taking a class or, at the very least, watching some videos online as a refresher.  Here's one that was pretty decent and up-to-date.

In summary, as much of a cheapskate as I am, no amount of money is too much to make sure I can help my children or anyone else who may be in trouble, God forbid.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to have spent what was, for us, a pretty big chunk of change to learn how to do that.

Shabbat Shalom Umevorach from the Kopans Bayit to you!


*Baruch HaShem = "Thank God"
** Chas V'Shalom = "God forbid."


  1. So glad you got to go and that it was worthwhile for you! I had wanted to attend - we had four conflicting things that night (crazy, right?), so we decided to just stay in and cook for Shabbat!

  2. Hi Leigh Ann, I totally agree that it is worth the cost. I know mostly doggie-first-aid that I learned from several books, but I wouldn't know how to give CPR. Thanks for the reminder that I should look into this.
    Have a nice Sunday!


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