Children and First Aid
First aid and children is a combination that not only can save lives but can start children off with the desire to take their learning further as they grow older. Who knows, here at The Training Fox we could be providing tomorrow’s paramedics with their introduction to how to save a life!
In June, here at The Training Fox we were pleased to welcome Charlie, David, Jazmin and Olivia otherwise known as the Mini Medics. By introducing this first aid educational programme, we are introducing children at an early age to the skills they may need to save the life of a loved one.
What is the Mini Medics programme?
The programme itself is not unique to The Training Fox, and is offered by many training companies up and down the country, that said, here at The Training Fox, we go one step further by not only sending the children home with their Mini Medics resource pack, we also include a bandage for them to continue practising at home on their parents, teddies and dolls. The programme has been designed for children aged between the ages of 8 and 11-years old, however we are able to adapt this to other age ranges, ensuring to keep at a basic level with no confusing terminology, as well as keeping respect for the child’s individual abilities.
The children will walk away from the programme proud to call themselves ‘Mini Medics’. This pride can be further accelerated by purchasing additional Mini Medics merchandise for them from our affiliated shop:
Children saving lives
Often, we hear stories of children doing remarkable feats and saving lives. Some adults do not consider children able to learn the key skills, or that they should be trusted with the emergency telephone number because they will ring it and cause problems. In reality, should children be given the information, and the explanation of only using the number when it is really needed, they are usually able to understand this and are responsible enough to only use ‘999’ as and when they need to.
If we take a look through the news pages, we can see a whole array of stories where children have dialled 999, given the operator important information and saved the lives of adults.
1 such story occurred in Bristol, and is the story of Henry and his diabetic mum Bethany. As she was concerned what would happen should she have a diabetic emergency at home and alone with Henry, she had taught him to call 999. She explained that he would have to tell them that mummy has diabetes and the ‘ambulance people’ would understand. Henry, a 6-year-old child, has been used to bringing his mummy Lucozade in the morning when her blood sugar levels were low, but one fateful day in January 2018 Henry really came to his mummy’s aid.
On that morning, Bethany had woken up unable to speak or move properly, having managed to call Henry into her room, she pointed at the Lucozade, so Henry went downstairs to get some and returned to his mum’s side. Sadly, she was unable to take enough, being in an extreme hypo. She managed to army crawl down the stairs, where she then passed out. In an interview with the Bristol Post she explains that she awoke to Henry on the telephone, followed by the appearance of her brother, shortly followed by the paramedics.
In the same article, Jasmine Bale, a 999 call handler explained that they get additional training as to how to communicate with child callers, tips include changing the tone of voice, and speaking in a way that doesn’t frighten or scare them. She explained the most important thing that they can do for children is to stay on the phone with them and reassure them that what they have done is very brave.
Jasmine also stated that it is important for parents to teach their children how to call 999 in an emergency. She said,
‘I would encourage other parents to make sure that their children know their address and make them aware of any health problems they may have and to teach their children to give as much information as they can to be able to send an ambulance, just like Henry did.’
On that day in January 2018, Henry definitely saved his mum’s life; we are sure that she is proud of him and his actions that day.
Henry’s story is not unique by a long chalk of the imagination; it does however show how important it is that children are given the knowledge and information needed to help them to do what is right and save a life should the situation they are in require life-saving skills or for them to contact the emergency services’ operator.
First Aid in Education
Following a review of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education curriculum by the Government in 2018, First Aid will be added to this area of the curriculum from September 2020. Initially, the amount of First Aid will only be 1 hour per year, but this in itself is a good starting block to empowering children with the life-saving skills.
As we write this, prior to the September start of the new PSHE requirements, there are other ways that children can learn these skills which include through the Scout and Girl Guiding movements as well as the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Each of these have their merits, but not every child is taking advantage of these. By introducing this skill into schools, ALL children will have the opportunity to learn these skills.
First aid has many benefits for children. It is not just about how to save a life, although that is obviously the overriding main aim of the sessions. Here we take a look at a few of the most important skills that first aid training provides.
First aid training for children and adults involves working together to achieve a common goal. In order to achieve the skills it is important to communicate with others. In respect to the recovery position you have to be in close contact with another, this can be daunting for some. However, in the way that we facilitate the session, small groups working together to achieve, there is no big pressure, just the small social group encouraging and supporting each other.
By achieving a skill that they felt they would never be able to achieve, helps to build confidence. Throughout our sessions not only do they get to achieve the skills once, they get the opportunity to achieve over and over again; this helps them feel assured they have the skill and then are ready to use that skill should the need ever arise.
Throughout first aid, there are several opportunities to use numeracy. For younger children this can really help to recognise numbers, learn to count, as well as to use a rhythm, all while carrying it out in a completely unrelated subject.
For older children, first aid on an UCAS application form for university is highly sought after, particularly if the course being applied for is medically related. This could mean that it is easier for the young person to get on the course of their choice.
How does first aid knowledge help young people to earn money I hear you cry. The answer is relatively simple. Should young people want to earn a little bit of additional money as a babysitter, having first aid skills may help. This is because parents are more likely to feel confident leaving their most precious little ones with a babysitter who is equipped with the skills to help should an emergency situation arise while they are not there.
Should young people want to work with sport clubs, they are more likely to be accepted as volunteers if they have first aid knowledge on their curriculum vitae.
Let’s return to where we began. Back focusing on younger children picking up vital life-saving skills. Studies over recent years have shown that young children absorb information at a quicker rate than they do as they get older. Not only that but memory recall in younger children is quicker for children, as well as being in the mind somewhere when it is called upon at a later date. Therefore, by educating children from an early age in vital life-saving skills, we are preparing children for situations later in life should they need it. We are aware that best practice and first aid guidelines change regularly, usually ever 5 years, but a little knowledge is better than no knowledge.
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