First Aid was traditionally seen as a tool used exclusively by adults to save the lives of and to protect children and other adults. The skills learnt were used to help those who had experienced an accident, were suffering a reaction to chemicals food or bites, or were experiencing complications of chronic disease such as hyperglycaemia in diabetics. People were also taught how to undertake cardio-pulmonary resuscitation in the event of them being first responders to a cardiac arrest.
First Aiders have traditionally also been present at public events such as football matches, and concerts to deal with minor injuries and accidents. First Aiders should also be nominated and known at work; a go to person to deal with any medical incident or emergency that arises in schools, offices, factories and any other place of work.
Although traditionally first aiders have been adults, stories have always arisen of the child life-saver for saving a parent or friend from imminent medical harm by phoning an ambulance or giving glucose just in the nick of time. In the modern age in which children have more phone and internet access and are more savvy about how to access information a spate of stories have emerged in which children as young as three and four have not only saved lives but also given accurate medical information to professionals and helped them do their job. Reflecting the new awareness that children can also learn first aid a host of courses have been developed with titles such as: First Aid for Kids; Basic First Aid For Kids; and the Rookie Lifeguarding program – a course that teaches children lifesaving skills around water.
All these courses will complement a child’s natural confidence and calm in stressful situations with the skills necessary to help people who are suffering a medical emergency which will give the potential to save lives. Furthermore currently a campaign called Every Child a Lifesaver is being run by the St. John’s Ambulance, the Red Cross, British Heart Foundation and MP Teresa Pearce to introduce the teaching of First Aid in state schools across the nation. The Bill which they are trying to make law will make it compulsory for every child to learn how to give CPR, deal with bites stings and minor bleeding, and resucitate.