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Should First Aid Be Taught In Schools?

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Should First Aid Be Taught In Schools?

“Every year 140,000 people die from injuries and sudden illnesses who could have had a chance of survival if they had experienced immediate and effective first aid.” (St John Ambulance)

St John Ambulance also state that only 1 in 10 people could or would administer CPR if someone needed it, with the vast majority of people choosing instead to wait for the emergency services to help – which in many cases is the right course of action, but unfortunately comes too late for more than 140,000 people a year…

How can our children help save lives?

So what’s the solution? How can we increase the confidence and skills of a nation so that we are all ready and capable of delivering emergency first aid to our families, friends, co-workers and even strangers in the street? Many believe we should begin by teaching first aid to children in schools. In Wales and Ireland this is already the case with first aid being a compulsory part of the curriculum, but in Scotland and here in England, this is not the case.

Maisie Parkinson, aged just 11, learnt basic first aid skills during lessons at Derby High School and put them to good use when her mum Rachel, dropped a scalding hot drink on her hand. Although the injury wasn’t life or death, Maisie knew enough to cool the burn under cold running water and remove her mum’s ring to stop swelling. She stayed calm throughout, proving that she has the confidence and the ability to act quickly in an emergency!

Then there’s teenager Murium Asim, who aged just 14 saved her grandfather’s life by recognising the symptoms of his heart attack and treating him until the paramedics arrived to take over.

And of course there’s 13 year old Courtney Lanfear who gave her 3 year old brother, Lucas, CPR after he had a seizure in his cot, saving his little life!

All these children had undergone first aid training and were able to put their skills to good use in an emergency – something many adults couldn’t do!

The Red Cross believe that every child aged between 5 and 11 should be taught basic first aid, helping them to stay safe and save lives in emergency situations. It will ensure that from the day they learn their new skills, we have a new culture of first aid, with a whole generation of children growing up with the skills and confidence to save a life.

Children are less likely to experience the ‘Bystander Effect’ – the more people there are at the scene of an accident, the less likely anyone is to help as they all expect someone else to take charge. So if you faint, have a heart attack or fall and break a bone, if there is a child present you are much more likely to get the help you need.

By teaching children lifesaving skills they will always have them, ready to help their classmates and families, and will take these skills with them wherever they go for the rest of their lives!

That’s one of the reasons St John Ambulance are running the National Schools’ First Aid Competition. They are hoping lots of students will take part to demonstrate their skills, develop their confidence and strengthen their first aid knowledge.

This post was written on behalf of Health and Safety Training Ltd who are one of the leading UK experts in emergency first aid courses and first aid for the workplace. Get in touch with our friendly team today to learn more on emergency first aid.

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