The Importance Of Teaching Basic First Aid In Schools
The brain of a child and a teenager is frequently likened to a dry sponge placed in water. They soak up information with a voracious appetite when the subject matter is new and interesting. School-aged children are perfectly placed to learn First Aid from the get-go and then build on those skills with each year that passes. If the systems were there to support it, students could be leaving school with the basis of a medical or degree already well estagmished in their minds, ready to become the next generation of specialists and GPs.
Doctor, or sporting hero?
Did you ever got into arguments with your PE teacher about the real-life benefit of learning javelin, shot put or long distance running – and whether those skills would ever transfer into future employment? (Or perhaps that’s just me!) Wethink nothing of spending 40 minutes of the school day, twice a week, teaching children to use sports equipment only a tiny fraction of them will go uon to use. But what if that time could be spent teaching the class CPR, or how to treat a broken bone? What to do if a toddler is choking and how is it different from what we do for an adult?
There is so much practical, everyday need for First Aid skills in our society, that it seems entirely fair to ask if we should be teaching First Aid courses to school-aged children from day one – at an age-appropriate level, of course. Shouldn’t we be providing children with skills that might actually save a life – be it their own, their future children’s lives, or a random stranger in need of a hero?
Should we be encouraging our children to become gifted doctors, nurses and paramedics as much as we encourage them to become famous sporting stars?
Children Cope Will In Emergencies When They Know What To Do
Emergencies can strike at any time, leaving us scrambling with little time to prepare. If you’ve ever worked with children, you know that it is impossible to plan for every scenario, no matter how well-prepared you may be. Children have a gift for getting into trouble that you never could have anticipated! Meaning there’ll never be a time when first aid for children isn’t a valuable skill.
Accidents and injuries occur when people are active and doing the things they enjoy that come with their individual levels of risk. Basketball training can cause broken fingers that need First Aid treatment and follow-up. Cooking often leads to burns and cuts that need immediate medical care.
Teaching students about different injuries (and how to respond to them) in the years their brains are most capable of learning, is equipping the next generation with the skills to respond to a crisis and care for the people around them. So why wouldn’t you place emphasis on the importance of teaching First Aid to school students and the benefits of incorporating it into the curriculum for the betterment of society at large?
What is First Aid Training?
First Aid training is the act of learning how to help someone after an accident or in a medical emergency. It is the basic knowledge of how to apply First Aid to treat injuries and illnesses. It might mean stopping bleeding, stabilising a wound or broken limb, providing CPR and rescue breaths, or removing blockages in a person’s airway.It means teaching people how to save lives no matter the location or situation.
Why Teach Basic First Aid in High School?
A medical emergency can strike anyone, at any time and in any location. In fact, 40% of all medical emergencies are in people under the age of 35. However, not all of those emergencies require hospital-level attention. A lack of understanding and education about basic medical care is one reason why modern emergency department waiting rooms are often overcrowded, with abnormally long waiting periods. It’s important to prepare and equip students with the knowledge to tell between a genuine emergency that requires immediate medical intervention, and a lesser injury that they can treat with the content of a first aid kit. For less urgent injuries, they can also see their local GP who can provide expert advice, care, and a professional medical assessment. If your GP believes you need to be in hospital, they can make the necessary calls and arrangements.
The Benefits Of Offering Basic First Aid Training
To start with, it’s important to acknowledge that some high schools already offer some degree of healthcare training. However, most of that revolves around diet and exercise, not on the First Aid aspects, leaving the students without the skills to assist as a First Aid Responder. Secondly, having First Aid training as part of the high school curriculum has numerous benefits – for the students themselves, and for society on a broader spectrum. How many students have asthma and need inhalers, or fatal allergies to everyday things that could trigger an anaphylactic reaction – requiring immediate attention (and potentially even CPR), often before a teacher can even be alerted? Does the school have an AED? And do the students know how to use it should a teacher enter cardiac arrest?
How To Teach Basic First Aid In High School
You can use a few strategies to make basic First Aid training a part of your high school curriculum. One of the easiest and most effective is integrating it into your PE or health classes. Every year, you can host a health fair and have booths set up where students can learn about the risks they might be facing and the best ways to protect themselves. Additionally, you can integrate basic First Aid training into your CPR training. By sharing the knowledge of how to apply First Aid to different scenarios, students will be able to practice their First Aid skills and CPR while also learning how to respond to potentially life-threatening emergencies. In many cases, you might already be able to use your current curriculum to make this happen.
Make The Most Of Basic First Aid Training
The most important thing to remember is that basic First Aid training is not meant to be a replacement for extensive medical training. While it is important to understand the basics, you should not hesitate to call 000 if the situation requires it. In addition to these rules, here are a few other things you can teach students to make the most of basic First Aid training.
- Know the signs and symptoms of different injuries and illnesses and how to treat them.
- Practice CPR and the use of AEDs.
- Hire an RTO provider who specialises in providing First Aid Training for group settings – such as First Aid Pro, or First Aid Course Experts. These companies already have nationally recognised accreditation, state of the art equipment, and training protocols with a class syllabus they can customise to the training needs of your students. Many of these operate nationally – so no matter whether your school is in Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, or Darwin, help is at hand.
Final Words On The Importance Of Basic First Aid Training
The benefits of offering First Aid training in primary and high schools are significant. This year, make your curriculum better. Offer basic Child Care First Aid training in your school – either across the board, or as an optional certificate (to see how many students sign up for the course). Basic First Aid training is easy to do and offers many benefits, so make it a part of your high school curriculum or something they do for extra credit and certification. The most important thing is finding a way to make it happen. After all, your life could be the life they are one day required to save. They can’t do that if they don’t have the skills and knowledge in First Aid.