Why should parents learn First Aid?
Updated: Nov 16, 2020
As parents, grandparents or carers, gaining first aid skills gives you the confidence you need to act in an emergency. Having the knowledge about injuries and medical conditions that commonly lead to an emergency situation, is beneficial for the whole family. In addition, knowing how to deal with these, reduces your anxiety and gives you a peace of mind.
As a parent it’s important not to wait until you experience an emergency, in order to make the decision to learn first aid. Hopefully you’ll never face an emergency situation ever, but should this happen, knowing how to act can save your baby or child's life.
You may be a new parent and new to the realm of children’s accidents and injuries. You may not be a new parent, however need a refresher first aid course. The key is that you gain the first aid knowledge and skills that make you feel confident in acting in an emergency should you require to do so.
Being a new parent can be exciting, but also nerve-wracking. There are so many things you need to be aware of and not knowing everything can make you anxious. At my first aid classes, I often encounter new parents who want to know everything, especially on medical conditions and health issues. I always explain that First Aid is about keeping yourself, your baby and child safe, not about diagnosing conditions or having answers to everything. The most important aspect is knowing how to prevent emergencies from happening. It is primarily about preventing serious injuries or illnesses from happening or deteriorating and obviously also to know what to do, should these emergency situations occur anyway.
Learning first aid is not a mandatory requirement for parents, as it is for childcare providers and health care providers. But it is such an essential as well as a lifelong skill to have.
Here are some of the reasons why parents & carers should gain first aid skills:
Preventing accidents in the home
Preventing accidents in the home
Preventing unnecessary trips to A&E
Recognising signs & symptoms of serious conditions
Knowing what to do in an emergency
Improving survival rates & Saving lives
Gaining confidence & a peace of mind
Research indicates that it’s still a shocking proportion of parents that do not have first aid skills. More than half of them, would not know how to perform baby and child CPR. Choking is one of emergencies that parents mostly worry about, yet studies indicate that 80 percent of parents report not knowing what to do if their baby or child would be choking.
An online survey of 2,004 adults in the UK, commissioned by the British Red Cross was completed in April 2017. It was found that more than nine in ten adults (95%) would not be able to save lives in first aid emergencies.
Some of the findings from the research showed:
Only 1 in 20 (5%) people would feel knowledgeable, confident and willing to act in emergency – 95% of people would not.
Seven in ten adults (71%) lack the knowledge and confidence to act if someone collapsed and was unresponsive and breathing.
Nearly seven in ten (69%) people polled lack the knowledge and confidence to act if someone was bleeding heavily.
In addition to these scenarios, eight in ten adults (81%) also said they lack the knowledge and confidence to act if a baby was choking.
The British Red Cross, St John Ambulance and the British Heart Foundation - who together form the Every Child A Lifesaver Coalition, stressed the importance of teaching first aid in schools as part of children’s PSHE education. By making it compulsory (from 2020) for every child to receive just one hour of first aid education a year as part of PSHE, hundreds of thousands of young people could be empowered with the skills to save a life.
Written by Fi Ramos, Public Health Nurse & First Aid Instructor at Act2care.
Information on this site is evidence based and provided to create awareness and advice only. If you are worried about a condition, seek medical advice.
Theoretical first aid tips are beneficial, however practical demonstrations and exercises are necessary for gaining high standard of first aid knowledge and skills.
If you are interested in gaining first aid skills, contact Fi to find our more about our paediatric first aid classes at firstname.lastname@example.org