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The importance of children learning First Aid

Do you feel confident in first aid? Have your children learnt first aid and would they know what to do in an emergency?

Research has shown that just 5% of adults in the UK have the skills and confidence to perform basic first aid on someone if it were needed (British Red Cross, 2018). When it comes to sudden cardiac arrests outside of a hospital setting, the survival rates in the UK are super low – a measly 8.6%. The act of performing CPR is at just 39% in parts of the UK, whereas Norway is at 73% and Sweden is 70% as a comparison.

If we take Sweden as an example (as it is my father’s heritage and the reason I have a double ‘s’ in my company name!), they have invested heavily in training of the general public in first aid and children in schools. This investment appears to have made a big difference as the percentage of people who have performed CPR on someone who needs it outside of hospital has increased by about 40% in the last 20-30years.

First Aid has now been introduced to the school curriculum in the UK and I believe this can only be a good thing. It will however take a bit of time for our rates of first aid confidence and skill levels to go up so here are three things I think you can do at home to help increase your family’s knowledge and confidence:

  1. Check with your school to see if they are starting to teach first aid. Find out what they are teaching and whether you can practice some of the things they learn together at home.
  2. Teach your child(ren) how to call the emergency services at home. From three years old you can start teaching your child:

– What their home address is

– How to call 999 on a mobile phone

– When to call 999 (not as a joke!)

– What to tell the operator when they are speaking to emergency service

3. Join a children’s first aid class. From January next year I will be holding ‘mini medic’ first aid classes for children which are 1-hour classes for primary school age children to learn some basic first aid. For the younger primary school age children we will have fun learning how to put someone in the recovery position, doing some bandaging and helping someone who is choking. For the older primary school age, we will also learn how to perform CPR.

So in this month’s blog, I am giving you some homework(!); make sure your family know their address and how to call 999.

If you are interested in joining an Emergency First Aid at Work course as an adult or would like your child to learn some first aid skills, pop me a message at katie@anderssonfirstaidtraining.co.uk    If you are interested in hearing an amazing three year old speak to the emergency services to help her mum then click here (to me this video shows just why children learning basic first aid is so important!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvOI3dQ5a30

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