Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A German Experience

Today a first aid seminar was conducted at a local kindergarten for parents who wanted to know more about how to save a child’s life in an emergency. It was quite a German experience…

The lady conducting the seminar began by giving a summary of all the topics normally covered in a full 8 hour course and then asked the parents to let her know what the most pressing, interesting, or important issues they wanted her to cover were. One mom raised her hand.

“What do I do when my kid won’t stop holding their breath?”

This was a very popular question. Several parents chimed in. “Yes, that happens to me a lot!” “Is that dangerous?” “What can I do?” They were all relieved to find out that it was nothing serious, but were warned. Turns out kids figure out that it is not serious as well, but will use this method repeatedly if they get what they want. (Thus the apparent epidemic of breath holding in German culture.)

The next topic of choice was poisoning. Several related questions and situations were addressed. Turns out that soaps and shampoos in Germany are not toxic. However, one should never induce vomiting when a child swallows some… this will cause the soap to suds-up and the resulting suds will come out of the mouth, nose and ears and could cause respiratory problems. Also, alcoholism begins as early as the age of ten in Germany. Many parents seemed shocked to hear this, but many of these same parents already reeked of alcohol and it was only four in the afternoon.

Another helpful bit of information directed against old German remedies: only apply cold to bumps on the head; don’t try to push them back in.


  1. with all those parents there, were you careful to get a seat and not sit on the tile floor? Would hate for you to get a kidney infection.

  2. WOW! Such differences culturally! When I read about holding their breath, I was thinking when they cried and held their breat, but you mean as in a temper tantrum! And don't push their bumps back in? Are you kidding me??? LOL!

  3. "don’t try to push them back in." omgosh, i can't stop laughing! <gasp>

  4. that above comment was from me, btw--love this comment interface but i skipped over the whole identity thing, ack.

  5. Haha! I can't stop laughing.


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