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 Skills
Basic Life Support training provides children with a strong knowledge base for dealing with any medical emergencies they may be faced with. 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.
What Age Should Children Learn CPR?
CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is just one of the many areas covered in the Basic Life Support class, 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 Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation skills. 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 a chest compression on an adult, learning this lifesaving skill will stick with them for the rest of their life.
Basic First Aid Skills
When it comes to teaching BLS and first aid 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
- How to call for help
- Application of Automated External Defibrillators 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.
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.
Activities & Learning Materials
As a complement to the basic life saving skills and first aid lessons that kids will learn, there are several supplementary training kit or materials and some hands-on activities that they can complete to summarize their new knowledge and educate other children around them. Some of the activities and learning materials associated with learning first aid are:
- Providing kids with a basic first aid manual
- Giving a list of items to include in a first aid kit
- Having children create educational posters on BLS techniques, safety precautions, and how to handle dangerous situations
- Creating classroom displays on safety tips and how to prevent accidents
- Doing presentations on circumstances where BLS is needed
- Practicing mock first aid techniques with partners
- Writing essays or reports on how to respond to specific emergency situations and sharing them with the class
Children can quickly learn the American Heart Association BLS skills and lessons outlined here, which will help them understand the importance of safety and give them the confidence to react calmly in emergencies. In addition, first aid lessons from the classroom will encourage kids to complete the full Basic Life Support training program and help turn children into responsible citizens.
- According to the American Heart Association, kids as young as nine can learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation skills
- BLS course for children can teach them high-quality CPR for cardiac arrest victims while waiting for the Emergency Medical Services team to arrive
- The approach to BLS in infants and children for a single rescuer slightly differs for single rescuers
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