Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, M.S. SpEd
In late October Melode Davis-Holland was working at Davis-Holland Learning Center, the preschool she owns in Hamilton Township, NJ. She had approximately 80 kids in attendance when one of them, one-year-old Jasleen Chacon-Fernandez, appeared to be ill.
The little girl had been asleep but when she woke up she didn’t want her lunch and she appeared to have a temperature. Suddenly she started to fit and her preschool teacher took her immediately to Davis-Holland who asked that 911 be called, but the child was already turning blue.
The 911 operator told her to carry out CPR, and luckily Davis-Holland had been trained in the procedure. Even so it was one thing to have completed the training, and another to actually have to put it into practice. However, while waiting for the ambulance, she started CPR and the child began to breathe again. Once the ambulance arrived she was then rushed to hospital.
A spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families said that there are several requirements which must be followed by child care centers and they include that a minimum of two staff must be qualified in first aid and CPR. Due to these requirements, in New Jersey alone, around six children have had their lives saved by preschool teachers over the past two decades.
Choking is another situation which staff should know how to cope with and they need to be trained in the Heimlich maneuver.
The New Jersey Child Care Association will be giving a commendation award to Davis-Holland for her swift action.
Jasleen’s mother, Yoharris Chacon-Fernandez said that the child returned home on Wednesday and was much improved. She went on to say that she was very pleased Davis-Holland had been there to help with the situation.