riGht place, riGht time
First aid education in primary schools
imple rst aid skills, and the condence to use them,can save lives. Yet only seven per cent o British adultscan correctly recall rst aid advice, and eel condentand willing to give rst aid (British Red Cross survey, 2009).When is the best time to start developing people’s rst aid skillsand attitudes to their own role in helping others? This studyexplores the easibility and eectiveness o starting this processas early as possible – during children’s rst years at school.The project investigated the ollowing questions:
Can children as young as ve learn rst aid skills?
What rst aid knowledge and skills can pupils aged ve/six,seven/eight and nine/ten learn and in what way?
Can children retain this knowledge/skill?
Can any indication be gained as to how condent, able andwilling to act in an emergency situation children would be,ater being taught rst aid?It is clear rom European studies that children as young assix can learn and retain rst aid skills. However a numbero variables might aect this, and are worthy o urtherinvestigation – namely, the type o skill retained and theeasibility o teachers delivering lessons in school.Nineteen per cent o European countries have compulsoryrst aid education in their schools. The UK is not one o them.Norway is and reports that 95 per cent o its population is rstaid trained (First aid or a saer uture IFRC report 2009). Asstated above the UK compares dismally with this in terms o reported ability, condence and willingness to give rst aid.A British Red Cross survey o primary schools in the UK(August 2010) ound that only 18 per cent currently taught rstaid but 83 per cent o teachers supported rst aid teaching ortheir pupils.First aid has many advantages as a topic to learn in primaryschools. Most children have personally experienced minorbumps or burns, or even more major ones. The subject is hugelymotivating and can be used as a vehicle to develop other skillslike literacy.