Darling Downs Region Has Second Highest Baby And Child Death Rate In Australia

Mum Tracey Browne with Teddy Browne, David Janetzki MP and Parentmedic educator Claire Eiser discuss the importance of first aid for parents.

Toowoomba child health nurse Claire Eiser is on a mission to provide first aid training to as many parents as possible with the shocking statistic that our region has the second highest baby and child death rate in Australia. 

A recently released Australian Government report showed the Darling Downs and West Moreton region had moved from the third highest to the second highest region for combined infant and child mortality rates with 6.3 deaths per 1000 live births. 

Mrs Eiser, who is also a mother of four children, became a Parentmedic educator two years ago after noticing the intense fear and anxiety many parents expressed about potential medical emergencies. 

“Through my work as a child health nurse, I saw a lot of parents get scared or anxious about what to do if something happens to their kids,” she said. 

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP said the report’s statistics were concerning. 

“Toowoomba is a family city and it is worrying we have the second highest infant and child mortality rate in the country,” Mr Janetzki said.

“As a father of three young children I understand that it is a parent’s worst nightmare to see a child in a medical emergency,” he said.

“Any further training and education for parents with young children is certainly welcomed.”

As a Parentmedic educator, Mrs Eiser provides two-hour sessions on baby and child first aid for parents. 

These first aid sessions cover baby and child CPR, choking, fevers and febrile convulsions, rashes, allergies and anaphylaxis, safe sleeping and SIDS. 

Mrs Eiser recently provided a series of sessions to local parents through the Darling Downs and West Moreton primary health network which were funded by the government. 

Parentmedic is lobbying the state government to fund more sessions to make their services more accessible. 

“Parentmedic believes all parents should know how to keep their children safe, regardless of language, situation or finances,” Mrs Eiser said. 

Mrs Eiser currently runs paid sessions monthly at My Midwives in Toowoomba and also offers in-home sessions at a cost of between $65 and $75 per person.

**Source: The Public Health Network Darling Downs and West Moreton Health Needs Assessment 2019-2021 https://www.ddwmphn.com.au/our-publications