(NEW YORK) — A Maryland mother is hosting “CPR Parties” to help teach CPR to members of her community so they can feel confident and prepared in the case of an emergency.
Laura Metro, 42, told ABC News that the parties — which feature finger food and music — are her way of making learning the life-saving resuscitation technique fun.
“People don’t want to think being in these situations. They don’t want to think about their loved ones dying,” Metro said. “So it helps to kind of couch it a little bit.”
Metro said she made it her mission to spread CPR awareness after her son almost drowned at a local pool in 2011 and was saved by a family friend who performed what CPR he knew on her son, who was 3 years old at the time.
“He wasn’t breathing,” Metro said of the incident, saying that even though he has since made a full recovery, every night when she puts him to sleep she still listens for his breath.
Metro said that teaching CPR in her community began as a way for her to cope with the aftermath of the harrowing incident when her son stopped breathing, saying, “doing these parties was absolutely, especially in the beginning, my way of coping.”
In the six years since her son’s life was saved, Metro has hosted 150 CPR parties, reaching more than 1,000 people.
She partners with the organization “Rescue One Training For Life” to get instructors with CPR expertise.
Metro said that for her learning CPR means “empowerment.”
“It really means giving you the skills to be able to save the lives of the people that you love,” Metro added. “It’s really empowering you in those situations where you will feel the most helpless you’ve ever felt in your life, but just giving people those skills so they know how to handle that scenario.”
Lipica Shah, health and safety instructor for the Greater New York Red Cross, shared CPR tips Friday on ABC News’ Good Morning America.
Shah said the first step when a child is in distress is to check if the child is still responsive. If the child is not breathing, the adult should call 911 and start compressions.
To start compressions, place one hand on the child’s forehead and two to three fingers in the center of the child’s chest, along the breastbone. With fingers placed vertically, press down 30 times on the child’s chest, according to Shah.
Once you’ve done 30 compressions, Shah said to begin giving oxygen to the child. Shah also said all parents should take a formal CPR course to learn the lifesaving technique.
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