Whether you’re a paramedic, firefighter, Garda, GP, midwife or social worker, involvement with a sudden child death can be incomprehensible and can cause you to question your professional capacity and extent to which you should get involved with the bereaved family.



FirstLight advice on supporting a suddenly bereaved family

There are no set guidelines as to how much you should be involved or what you should say to a bereaved family, but there are a few things that you can do that will make a world of difference to someone coping with the sudden loss of a child.

Most importantly, make contact, don’t avoid it. When hearing of a bereavement many people including friends and relatives stay away, so even a two-minute call will be appreciated. You don’t need a counselling qualification or special training, just a good ear.

Here are a few tips.


  • Keep it brief.
  • Say how sorry you are.
  • Use the child’s name.
  • Ask if there is anything you can help with immediately according to your professional capacity.
  • Offer future availability.
  • Check they have information about FirstLight, especially the 24/7 Emergency Support number 1850 391 391.
  • Leave your own phone number


  • Use any clichéd expressions of condolences such as ‘time’s a great healer’ etc.
  • Ask them to repeat the story unless they are eager to do so.
  • Become defensive of your own or any colleague’s practice.
  • Speculate about anything you’re not completely sure about.
  • Compare it to another case.

If you would like further help, advice or are interested in organising training for your organisation, please call FirstLight at our head office on 01-8732711 or email info@firstlight.ie

Conferences And Seminars

Our experienced and qualified professionals are invited to take part in many conferences and seminars as guest speakers and workshop leaders


If you would like a FirstLight Speaker to attend your conference or event, please contact us to discuss in more detail.
Events from the following organisation of which we have contributed to include :


  • Irish Primary Health Care Series
  • Irish College of General Practitioners
  • INO
  • Institute of Community Health Nursing
  • Irish Foster Carers Conference
  • TCD School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • Coroners Society of Ireland
  • Irish Association of Funeral Directors
  • Irish Association of Directors of Nursing and Midwifery
  • Regulating Health Social Care Professionals
  • Irish Practice Nurses Association
  • Irish Community Health Nurses
  • Nursing Midwifery Planning and Development Units
  • Irish Hospice Foundation
  • Irish National Health Care Conference
  • All Public Health Nurses Courses

Our Partners

How you can help


National 24-Hour Helpline: 1850 391 391

Head office: +353 (0) 1 873 2711