Teaching Kids Basic Life Support Skills: A Guide for Educators and Parents

It’s important for children to have some knowledge of the fundamental teachings of Basic Life Support skills, so they can help others who are injured or even save lives in emergency situations like cardiac arrest. Children are an eager audience and are receptive to learning the skills they need to provide first aid help to others. The age of the kids you teach will give you a sense of how in-depth the lessons should be, with general basics discussed for younger ages and more advanced BLS training taught to older kids and adolescents. In addition, there are several online resources that adults can access to supplement basic first aid training for children, including course materials, worksheets, interactive websites, and videos.

Why Children Should Learn Basic Life Support (BLS) Skills?

Teaching CPR and basic First Aid skills helps children gaining a strong knowledge of life-saving skills and give them confidence while dealing with any medical emergencies. The approach to BLS in infants and children for a single rescuer slightly differs for single rescues. Learning basic life support skills is essential, and there is rising pressure on schools to provide it as a necessary part of the school curriculum. In fact, CPR education has been implemented already in schools in many countries in the last decade.

child learning cpr basic life support skills

What Age Should Children Learn CPR?

CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is just one of the many areas covered in the basic life support classes, but it is one of the most important. Therefore, we must equip more people with the skills, ability, and confidence to help. According to the American Heart Association, kids as young as nine can learn basic steps of CPR. It can double the survival rate from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Though many children at that age don’t have the strength to perform chest compression on an adult, learning this lifesaving skill will stick with them for the rest of their life.

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Basic First Aid Skills:

When it comes to teaching BLS and giving first aid training to kids, the primary material should cover these essential lessons based on the American Heart Association guidelines:

  • How to treat wounds and proper bandaging techniques?
  • How to provide high-quality CPR to cardiac arrest victims, whether they are infants, children, or adults while waiting for the Emergency Medical Services team to arrive?
  • How to treat choking or foreign-body airway obstruction victims of all ages?
  • How to administer mouth to mouth resuscitation (Rescue Breaths)?
  • How to do chest compressions?
  • How to handle blood and other bodily fluids?
  • How to apply pressure to stop bleeding?
  • How to administer an EPI Pen to someone who is having an anaphylactic allergic reaction? This can be learned by taking Epi pen training.
  • How to call for 911 help?
  • Application of Automated External Defibrillators (AED) before the arrival of the emergency medical service.

Accident and Injury Prevention:

Prevention measures are another important lesson to teach so that children are aware of the proactive safety precautions they can take to prevent serious injury and reduce the need for using BLS techniques. Some of the key topics should include:

  • How to safely exit a dangerous or hazardous environment?
  • How to safely approach a situation where first aid is needed?
  • Completing activities that require safety measures, like biking or riding motorcycles with helmets, and the importance of seatbelts.
  • Fire prevention techniques and skills on navigating fires, such as how to test a door to see if there is a fire on the other side
  • Water safety skills, including boating safety and rescuing techniques.

Also Read- A Study Guide for BLS Class

Ideas for Educating Kids:

When it comes to BLS training for children, various tools are helpful in getting the message across so that young minds can easily comprehend it. Some ideas for educating kids on first aid include:

  • Watching demonstration videos so that children can see first aid techniques in action and gain a visual understanding of what they need to do in an emergency.
  • A field trip or virtual tour of a hospital so they can see some of the emergency measures used, understand triage techniques, and know the importance of adhering to safety precautions firsthand.
  • A classroom visit from a nurse, firefighter, or Emergency Medical Technician to speak to kids on the importance of first aid, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills, and other critical lifesaving measures. These professionals will give kids an insight into some of the serious situations that may arise and teach children how to handle them.