6 year old Elijah knew what to do when his sister suffered a heavy nosebleed.

6 year old Elijah knew what to do when his sister suffered a heavy nosebleed.

We were on the second last day of our week long visit to Co Clare and decided to spend some time in Ennis town.  Nathan, our eldest aged 7, headed off to do some shopping with Mum, Pauline, whilst I looked after our other two Elijah, 6, and Abbey, 3.  I should mention hear that both Nathan and Elijah are in their 2nd year as T-bears with the Irish Red Cross in Waterford City.

Abbey gets a nose bleed and I panic

The 3 of us spent half an hour exploring the town square then headed back to the car to meet the others.  We were in a few yards of the car when Elijah called out to me, “Abbey’s nose is bleeding”.  Looking round and expecting to see nothing more than a trickle of blood, I saw a face covered in blood with large drops falling from her chin.  It was indeed a heavy nosebleed.  All I could think to do, as I began to panic, was put my hand under her chin to catch the drops of blood.  A passing lady exclaimed, “oh my god the poor child”, which only added to my rising sense of panic.

Our 6 year old takes over

Out of nowhere a calm small voice said to me, “I’ll take care of it Dad. We are trained to do it”.  A surge of pride began to takeover from my panic.  My 6 year old said he knew what to do, Could this be true? Could I trust him?  “Can I have a tissue please and could you fold it?”, Elijah said in a unhurried voice.  ‘A tissue?’, I thought, this from the little boy who usually uses the cuff of his jumper to wipe his nose. Elijah interrupted my train of thought to instruct me to sit Abbey down on the step of the open car door.

Elijah took the tissue and gently squeezed Abbey’s nostrils between his forefinger and thumb, asking her to put her chin on her chest.  She didn’t understand, so he mimed it for her as he gently positioned her head with his free hand.  Suddenly he began to count out loud, slowly to 20. A passerby stopped to ask did we need help as by now a small audience had gathered. My pride in Elijah swelled.  He was I – Dad – doing nothing while a 6 year old attended to his bleeding sister. To save my blushes all I could answer was “He is Irish Red Cross trained”. Elijah’s count had reached 20. He peeped at Abbey’s nose, pinched closed the nostrils again, resuming a count and adding “still bleeding”.   Abbey was calm, Elijah was calm and I was close to panic again!

Another peep at Abbey’s nose after a further 20 seconds and Elijah declared, “Stopped”.  A few whispers of well done from audience. “Job done”, I said, before being quietly reprimanded by Elijah with a demand for wipes to clean Abbey’s face.  “It’s alright Dad”, pipes up Elijah, “we were told that in emergencies we don’t always have to have our gloves with us”.  He wiped away the blood from his ever so quiet sister’s face and hands (the same sister who would howl the house down if I dared wipe her face with a face cloth). All clean, I place Abbey in her car seat and Elijah climbs in next to her and holds her hand like nothing’s happened.

Soon, Nathan and Pauline were back  and I recounted the story. Nathan interjects with “we know how to do the recovery position as well”.  I don’t doubt that they do, they nearly had to use it on me.

All praise goes to our boy’s instructors at the Irish Red Cross in Waterford City who teach the T-bears lessons for life.  Well done to you all.  Your time and dedication to our children is greatly appreciated.


Proud Parents, Pauline and Tom