In April 2016, ABC News broke the story of how a 13-year-old boy based in Arizona, named Nathan Boyer, saved the life of his baseball coach Isaac Wenrlch with quick thinking and action.
Wenrlch suddenly collapsed on the playing field in an apparent heart attack. Despite being in such a frightening and delicate situation, Nathan was in the right frame of mind to dial 911 on his coach’s cellular phone, roll him over, and perform CPR.
Nathan’s administration of first aid at that moment brought Coach Wenrlch from a critical zone to a zone of immediate intervention and recovery. Though the youngster didn’t have the tools or the acumen of the paramedics who later arrived on the scene, he kept a cool head and applied basic first aid techniques—and thus answered the call to save his coach’s life.
Stories like these may seem one in a million, but they highlight prompt an important question: Why shouldn’t children play a role in saving the lives of others? First aid training develops a mindset that is valuable throughout life, which can later be easily supplemented with further technical training.
As a parent, you might be interested in letting your child learn first aid. You could be looking for a course in your home community, or a first aid course at the Sunshine Coast when you’re on a break with your family. Given that situation, what are the things you should know to maximise your child’s first aid learning—and thus, have your child reap the fruits of early first aid knowledge?
Here’s our guide on age-appropriate first aid learning and the key benefits your child stands to acquire from first aid training.
It’s important to base your decision on your child’s age group, the level of education they’ve attained, and the level of difficulty they can keep up with. In the modules run by nationally recognised first aid training organisations, it’s common to segregate students younger than 14 years old into non-credit first aid classes, while minors aged 14-18 years old may attend credited first aid training courses with parental consent.
These distinctions come with valid reason. On the one hand, very young children under 10 years old are unlikely to have the physical strength to successfully implement CPR. The European Resuscitation Council states that “the optimal age to start teaching cardiac compressions is around 12 years.” On the other hand, a certain degree of maturity is needed to handle the very technical concepts and the sometimes graphic imagery encountered in credited first aid modules.
Ultimately, the good judgement of a parent is a necessary condition for a child to learn first aid.
Whichever course of action you decide on, you’ll find that having your child learn first aid will be rewarding and fulfilling for all parties involved. Here are just some ways that a child under 18 years old could benefit from learning first aid.
“Start them young” definitely applies to first aid learning. Parents can find a way to teach their children the principles of first aid—to preserve life, to prevent further injury, and to promote recovery—as early as today.