It's every mom or caretaker's worst nightmare. You're living life as normal and, suddenly, your baby stops breathing. No matter how much training you may have had in infant first aid and CPR, it's difficult, if not impossible, to keep your head and not panic. One woman experienced firsthand the frightening reality of this scenario while she was driving with her 5-month-old nephew on a Florida highway. Pamela Rauseo pulled her vehicle over to the side of the road when she realized the child who was in her care had stopped breathing and was turning blue.
Pamela immediately jumped out of her car when she noticed her nephew, who has had respiratory issues since his premature birth, was not moving. She screamed for help. One driver, Lucila Godoy, stopped and performed chest pumps on the baby. A photographer for the Miami Herald also stopped and called a police officer, who pumped the infant's chest while Pamela breathed into his mouth until he began breathing on his own.
Pamela had CPR training but says it's been seven years since she's performed CPR on someone. The infant was taken to a nearby hospital and is in stable condition.
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It's impossible to read this story or view the powerful images that were captured by the photographer without getting goosebumps. A situation like this could happen to any parent or guardian. It's crucial that we moms and dads sign up for infant first aid and CPR classes before or shortly after our babies are born. And it's a really good idea for us to ask anyone who will be spending a good chunk of time watching our children alone -- whether that person is a grandparent, aunt, or friend -- to join us and learn how they could save our baby's life if it ever became necessary.
For more information on infant first aid and CPR classes in your area, visit The Red Cross website or call 800-733-2767 (800-RED-CROSS). You can also contact your local hospital or community center and find out if they offer classes for parents and caregivers.
These powerful images of the roadside nightmare aren't easy to watch but should serve as encouragement to receive training ASAP if you haven't already:
Have you ever taken an infant first aid or CPR class? Do you insist that relatives and friends who watch your child take these courses?
Image via Weird Beard/Flickr