Teenagers are risk-takers! Teaching them first aid helps young people evaluate risk and empowers them with life skills to help themselves or their friends if faced with a medical emergency.

There is no doubt that teenagers often find themselves in circumstances in which first aid skills could make a critical difference. The British Red Cross revealed that:

More than 532,000 young teenagers have been left to cope with a drunken friend who was sick, injured or unconscious in the last year.
1/4 of young people have had to deal with asthma attacks.
1/3 of teenagers have had to cope with someone with a head injury.
1/5 teenagers have had to help someone who is choking.
Around 60,000 young people are admitted to hospital each year according to ROSPA. These admissions are most commonly due to falls (which will be due to in part to excessive alcohol consumption and extreme sporting activities).

Crucially: when faced with these emergency situations, 44% panicked and 46% simply didn’t know what to do.

In the survey’s most compelling statistic, 97% of young people, believed first aid education would improve their confidence, skills and willingness to act in a crisis.

A First Aid qualification is an essential life skill and helps young people remain safer by appreciating risk and being able to help each other if they are involved in a medical emergency. My friends own teenagers have both had to use their first aid skills and knowledge on numerous occasions; at parties, on the sports pitch, babysitting, and driving the car.

Parents feel far more confident leaving their little ones with someone equipped with the skills to help if there is an accident, and Sports and kids clubs view First Aid skills as a necessity.

Therefore, not only are the skills hugely valuable, likely to be used and could save a life; the qualification gained is likely to increase a young person’s chances in this highly competitive professional world.

Lifesaving First Aid classes are to become a compulsory part of the curriculum in many schools in the UK from this year. However, this will only equate to 1 hour of first aid training per year. Many schools are only able to offer this as a demonstration in large groups, rather than ideally in small group hands-on courses that are age-appropriate and tailored to the needs of those attending. There is a wealth of evidence to prove that this new bill will save thousands of lives. Research has shown that the UK has shockingly low survival rates from cardiac arrests, which are very similar to here in Australia. Children and teenagers possessing first aid skills can therefore drastically and positively impact the health of the nation.

The Australian Government recognises the importance of first aid and CPR but need to make this a priority in all schools specifically year 10. However, learning first aid is not a tick box exercise but a specialist skill that deserves care and attention.

A common misconception is that first aid can be taught to large numbers at once – for example in a school assembly. However, this runs the risk of children misunderstanding or misapplying first aid techniques, which could be potentially dangerous as children who have only half-listened attempt to practise poorly grasped skills on each other or younger siblings.

It is important that primary school children are introduced to age-appropriate basic first aid, such as learning how to call for an ambulance and helping with common occurrences such as burns, choking or putting someone who is unconscious and breathing into the recovery position.

Older children in year 10 and up should be taught life-saving first aid such as CPR, using defibrillators and more complex first aid. Here at Hot Response First Aid, we teach practical courses in small groups and at an age-appropriate level, with the ability to tailor information to specific industry needs and requests. Our expert paramedic trainers can ensure everyone is actively involved and has fully understood everything they are learning, to build competence and confidence to respond to any medical emergency.

Our firstaid4kids courses are incredibly popular and as parents ourselves we ensure we cover all the common first aid emergencies and empower everyone with confidence to keep themselves that bit safer and be able to help each other when it really matters. We run regular scheduled courses aimed specifically at teenagers (but if you can’t make any of these dates, teenagers are also welcome on our Provide First Aid courses). We also love running bespoke courses for groups of friends and are happy to tailor them for specific requirements.

For more information on accident prevention please visit the ROSPA website

Hot Response First Aid Training provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. Hot Response First Aid Training is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that you attend a First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.