Every Child a Lifesaver is a campaign to make First Aid a compulsory element of children’s learning in every school in the country. The campaign is being led by St. John’s Ambulance, the British Heart Foundation, the Red Cross and Labour MP Teresa Pearce. Backed by 95% of UK parents – who agree that First Aid should be taught in British schools to all British children – the campaign will continue despite a setback in November 2016 when the bill failed to pass through parliament.
The Conservative government is keen to get more first aid taught in schools but they have shown a reluctance to support the idea that first aid should be mandatory for all pupils of school age. The obvious sticking point must be money and funding because it seems commonsensical that this would be a ‘good thing.’ However due to the rarity of opportunity for application of these skills there is inevitably a dearth of data supporting the case for such a program of education. But this lack of evidence based support does not reflect the confidence and lifelong potential for utilisation of such skills.
It is important to remember that learning first aid provides a knowledge of the body and a potentially greater awareness of how to respond to a medical emergency. Learning about the body and how to protect it from harm may also help to impart a sense of value in the body and the importance of health. As well as being a response to an incident indirectly first aid training can also be seen as a form of health promotion because in order to want to do those things you first of all have to know the value of health and hold it in self esteem. It would also be good for children to know that they have the power to save lives.
Recent years have seen a spate of terrorist attacks in the UK and the government has tried to raise awareness about first aid applications that can by the general population to minimise harm in these situations. Wouldnt’t the best way to prepare our children for worst case scenarios be to train them in the art of staying safe and effective first response to medical emergencies. The stories highlighted in another article on this website Mini Medics show that children are very willing and able to respond to medical emergencies in a calm and effective manner. First Aid training for children is in the future safety, knowledge and confidence of children.
We at Family First Aid Training support the Every Child a Lifesaver campaign and hope shortly after the General election of 2017 the bill will become law.