Knitters urged to comfort babies
BABIES could be kept warmed in ambulances across Victoria thanks to a campaign initiated by Arawata’s Lee-Anne McLean.
The graduate paramedic has launched a call for knitters to create bonnets for babies to wear when they are rushed from their homes to hospital following emergency births at home.
Ambulance Victoria has supported the campaign that aims to collect 1500 knitted, crocheted or sewn bonnets and place two bonnets in each of the 700 ambulances in the state.
“Not only will paramedics have a purpose made, home knitted or home sewn bonnet to keep the babies’ head warm, but the parent/s will have a keepsake memento to go with their unique birthing story,” Mrs McLean said.
“Babies lose a lot of heat through their heads so it’s really important for paramedics to maintain their body temperature.
“If babies get cold, they can get low body temperature which can lead to infections.”
The project Lee’s Bonnets for Babies has already received donations as well as interest from as far afield as Scotland and Japan.
“One lady is already posting 15 bonnets from Scotland that she made in 12 days. How cool is that?” Mrs McLean said.
“Everyone loves babies because they are valuable and they need our help.”
Should Mrs McLean receive more bonnets than Victorian ambulances need, bonnets will be sent to ambulance services interstate.
“I’m going to learn how to knit a bonnet,” she said.
Mrs McLean had two dreams in life: to be a mother and to be a paramedic. With her children Tait, Tayla and Ri now older, she finally embarked on a three year course to become a paramedic.
Firstly, she raised funds towards the course by appearing on the television game show Deal or No Deal.
She travelled to the Australian Catholic University’s city campus every day for three years and completed the comprehensive course last year.
It was while studying obstetrics emergencies she learnt ambulances were not equipped with gear to keep babies’ heads warm.
“Often paramedics are called to where babies were being born at home and would need to be taken to hospital,” Mrs McLean said.
While she hopes for a job as a paramedic, Mrs McLean is now working at Neerim South as an ambulance community officer assisting paramedics from Warragul.
“I’ve dreamt of being a paramedic since my brother was killed as a 17 year old in a hit and run. I was 10 at the time,” she said.
“I joined the CFA as a 14 year old because I wanted to help people and remember watching the ambos work and from then I wanted to be a paramedic.”
To donate, post bonnets to PO Box 375, Korumburra 3950 or see the Facebook page: Lee’s “Bonnets for Babies”.
Bonnets must be new, without neck ties, tightly knitted and made with love.
Patterns are available on the Facebook page.
Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=17597