Call for first aid education in schools to be made compulsory

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Aid Training is calling for first aid education in schools to be made compulsory. Currently, 140,000 people in the UK die each year in situations where first aid could have saved them.

In a survey where more than 1,500 school children took part, 7/10 said they would not know how to help in an emergency and 8/10 said that they would feel safer if they had some first aid knowledge. Where 400,000 young people are injured each year at school, compulsory first aid training can save lives and ensure minor injuries don’t become major ones.

First aid is a mandatory subject for Welsh and Northern Ireland pupils, but in England and Scotland it is only an option within the curriculum. 83% of primary school teachers would like first aid lessons, but less than one in five schools currently provide them. The government stated that they aimed to bring first aid education into England by 2011; however this has yet to be completed

Paul Hosking, Managing Director at Aid Training said: “There aren’t enough first aiders in the UK, only 7% of the UK population can recall first aid advice. If children are taught first aid from an early age and throughout education they could one day be able to save a life.”

Around 2,500 people die each year from a blocked airway, but if someone had known the recovery position, lives could be saved. The British Red Cross estimates that of the 5.5 million people who visit A&E each year due to an accident, about 3 million have injuries that would have benefitted from some form of first aid treatment. This shows the extent to which injuries from accidents can often be prevented by sufficient first aid.

Paul Hosking said: “97% of young people said they believed first aid education would improve their skills to act in a crisis. Training in schools would give people the confidence to respond to emergency situations; it is a fundamental life skill."

School Leadership Today
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