IT is every parents worst nightmare.

The story of four-year-old Maryellen, who almost choked to death on a lollipop, will strike fear into the heart of mums and dads across the area.

The tot was enjoying the sweet treat with mum Caroline Barker when the sweet became lodged in her throat.

Thankfully her grandmother, a carer, knew first aid and was able to step in.

She eventually swallowed the treat and escaped with a sore throat and bruising on the back.

But this could have easily been a different situation.

With the approach of Halloween, Caroline wants to warn other parents of the dangers of lollipops - and has urged people to learn basic first aid, which could help save lives.

Topics which can be covered include resuscitation, asthma, burns and scalds, head injuries, minor and severe bleeding, seizures and shock.

It is a vital skill which everyone should learn the basics of.

St John's Ambulance deliver first aid, from Community First Responders to emergency response support, and can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

They have taught hundreds of thousands of people to have the skills needed to make a difference - whether at work or home.

You never know when it may be needed.