Even in this day of search engines and symptom finders, there is probably still a place for the family first aid manual. Emergency!: Family First Aid is bound to provide more reliable information than sifting through online results, and this is a handy A5 sized, well organised manual with lots of easy to follow information.

I’m liking

Emergency! Family First Aid is divided into several sections, each colour coded with a tab, and it has a comprehensive index so information is easy to find at relative speed when required. There are lots of photos thoroughout so these make first aid processes easy to follow. First Aid is covered in three tabs (basics, first aid, home care), and the rest of the book is dedicated to safety (home, outdoors, water). In the safety tabs there is some ‘prevention is better than cure’ information – everything from reducing natural plant dangers, safety with tools and how to make your home safer for the elderly.

Topics covered by the book are: What to put in a first aid kit, how to cope in an emergency, resusitation, first aid for injuries, cuts, pain and allergies, child-safe home, fire precautions, safety on the roof and in the garage, safety on the water, child water safety, caring for the elderly.

The book comes bound with a clear plastic cover for durability which I think is a nice touch. It is sensible in suggesting that any reader also sit a first aid course, as in an emergency situation the liklihood of having time to reach for a resource to assist is minimal.

Things that made me go hmmmm

I sat my first aid unit standards right before my son was due last year, so I am fairly up to date with New Zealand first aid best practice at a basic level. I was concerned to read a couple of conflicting pieces of information in this book, which is published in South Africa – I’m unsure if first aid best practice standards may be slightly different there.

The conclusion

I advocate individuals sit their first aid course, as the book does. If one has already done so, this book could be a useful resource for a household to have to hand. It is clear and easy to follow, and doesn’t hesitate to mention seeking further assistance for many potential instances. The book is as much for preparation as it is for actual emergency.


Sally is the Community Manager here at Kiwi Families. She fills her time with her handsome, busy boys and her handsome, busy husband; trying out new recipes and researching and writing about family life in Aotearoa.

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