Most people know the benefits of first aid training for adults. Whether you’re trained in first aid or not, most of us understand the importance of knowing how to handle a minor injury or even a serious medical emergency. However, it is often considered a predominantly adult ability, and a wealth of training courses out there for adults looking to learn first aid. Skillstg even offers a pediatric first aid course for those looking to learn how to treat children properly. It is commonly believed that children don’t need to know any more than how to get help if someone is sick or hurt.
Is there any value in teaching young people first aid skills? Is it realistic to expect a minor to be able to help in an emergency?
Children sometimes don’t have access to adults when they or someone near them is injured. There are some injuries, like burns, where early first aid treatment can greatly reduce long-term damage. Understanding what to do in a more serious scenario can be critical for a child. In some situations, it has even saved lives!
Having said that, a younger child completing a whole first aid training course is unrealistic. What first aid skills could children of different ages learn?
Before school, children may have limited physical strength and limited first aid supplies, which makes it difficult for them to understand first aid concepts. However, there are still valuable lessons they can take. The most critical thing they can learn at this time is how to seek assistance, especially when someone is injured and in trouble.
Even if the only adult present is unconscious and in need of help, a child as young as three may be able to call emergency services. Many lives have been saved throughout the years because of a three-year-old calling 000 or 911 when their parent collapsed.
It’s a good idea to explain to your child that the individuals on the phone want to help them if they are in danger. You might also wish to teach them to state their name and address so that the dispatcher knows who and where they are. You may even employ the Triple Zero Kids Challenge application to assist them with studying how to dial triple zero without making an actual call.
Of course, you must teach your child when to call 000 and when not to. Emergency operators deal with prank calls and accidental dials (people sitting on their phones) every day, so don’t worry if your child accidentally calls 000. Although it’s important to teach your child only to use the number when someone is in distress, it’s better for them to call when it’s not necessary than not to call when it is.
Once a child is approaching school age, they are able to comprehend more and learn faster. They are also able to handle more difficult concepts and assignments. What basic first aid skills should a school-aged child be taught?
- Making sure there is no immediate danger, then checking to see if the person is responsive or breathing
- Remaining calm and assuring the injured person that help is on the way
- Getting help and knowing when to dial 000
- How to make someone comfortable if they have collapsed, including putting them into the recovery position (on their side)
- How to cover and put pressure on a bleeding wound
- Cooling a burn down by running cool tap water over it, or putting on a cool, wet towel if they can’t reach a tap
- Pinching a nose shut for 10 minutes to stop a nosebleed
Once they reach high school, a child’s physical abilities as well as their understanding of concepts improve dramatically. For many years, first aid has been included in badge training for scouts and guides, and high school students nowadays can comprehend most of the ideas. CPR, for example, can be performed by most high school students.
How do I go about teaching first aid skills to my children?
Younger children learn differently from adults, so teaching first aid skills to a child is not lecturing them or giving them worksheets. Make sure if you’re teaching younger children that it’s light, interactive, and fun. To practice skills, you can use role-playing or make-believe, for example.
Bandage teddy’s wounds after an accident. Have dolly sit under a running faucet if she touches the hot plate in the play kitchen. Create a wound on your arm by applying tomato sauce, and then ask your child to apply pressure. Role-play through the scenario that 000 operators might encounter on the play phone.
You could get children to think of first aid as a unique ability or superpower. You can link the abilities to a cartoon character who helps others.
Having fun while learning can help children grasp important concepts in a lighthearted way, so that they have a mental framework for responding in a serious situation.
How can it help your child?
- Having some basic first aid knowledge can provide a lot of value in addition to the main purpose. Consider the many secondary benefits that come with it.
- They’ll know what to do in a medical emergency
- They’ll learn to stay calm in a crisis
- They’ll learn to assess a situation and make judgements
- It will improve their communication skills
- It will boost their confidence and leadership skills
- For older children, it might help them get their first job, or they might even decide to go into the medical field
First aid for all ages
Children of all ages can benefit enormously from first aid and knowledge. There are accounts of children using CPR and other first aid skills to save the lives of sick and injured people, ranging from a three-year-old who alerted emergency services when his parent collapsed to a thirteen-year-old who saved his coach. Why not provide your children with the tools to assist those around them if someone is hurt or ill?
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