Schools are where children spend most of their time learning, playing, and making friends. Hence, schools are also a place where children, especially the younger ones, are vulnerable to injuries and illness.
This makes first aid care a requirement for teachers and school staff. Teachers and other school personnel can provide prompt first aid care in the absence of health professionals.
The Importance of First Aid in Schools
The time they spend in school is a critical part of a children’s life, and it can have a direct impact on their physical and mental health. Health and safety are one the most neglected part of both school policy and practice.
Schools play a significant role in health and safety for two major reasons. First, the schools offer learning opportunities, and second, a student spends a significant amount of their growing years in schools. During their stay, they will become involved in various activities, including sports and outdoor exercises. Not prioritising health and safety directly affects the management of common illnesses such as first-aid care.
As we all know, children are vulnerable to many types of injuries and accidents. It may vary from minor injuries to major accidents, resulting in bleeding and broken bones. The majority of injuries among students are related to physical exercises and other outdoor activities, of which 20% occur during school hours.
First aid is the medical treatment given to a person with an injury or sudden illness prior to the arrival of professional medical help. The primary goal of first aid is to lessen suffering, faster healing process, and minimise damage. The first action you will take after an emergency is very crucial. It decides the future course of the injury and its complication rate. Proper application of first aid can bridge the gap between long-term disability, rapid recovery, and permanent injury.
Most schools have their trained health care professionals such as doctors or nurses on the school premises. In case that a school does not have its own, teachers and other school personnel are the main caregivers. They are the first-line protector of children at school. Therefore, teachers and school staff need to undergo training in first aid management.
Equipping everyone with basic first aid skills by giving them first aid and CPR training is essential due to the following reasons:
Promote a sense of safety
Teachers and students with basic first aid knowledge are likely to be more alert and aware of surrounding risks. First aid training promotes a sense of safety and makes sure that you will not become vulnerable to accidents and injuries. It makes you capable of managing incidents and does assessments of the casualties. The more you are aware of the accidents, illnesses, and treatments, the safer you will feel in emergencies.
Reducing mortality rate (through school accidents and injuries)
According to an article by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately two-thirds of fatalities among children and adolescents (ages 5 to 19) result from injury-related causes.
A Red Cross survey shows that about 59% of these deaths would have been prevented if first aid had been performed in the first few minutes of the incident.
Quick response and reduces recovery time
First aid applications can have a huge impact on the victim’s chances of recovery. The response time can also mean the difference between a short-term or long-term disability. It can also reduce the length of time the person needs to stay in the hospital.
Even simple methods such as ice pack application or wound care can have a huge impact on the recovery time. As the first responder, you can help the person feel better and relieve pain.
It prevents the condition from becoming worse.
First aid is temporary medical care that plays a critical role in prevention emergencies from getting worse. By applying the right methods and techniques, you can keep the situation under control. You must put all possible efforts to help the victim cope with injuries or pain until emergency services arrive.
Without first aid and CPR intervention, the victim could suffer severe blood loss and serious illnesses.
Increased feeling of security
Getting trained in first aid gives you an increased feeling of security. You are able to recognise signs of various emergencies and can easily provide treatment in case one arises.
Moreover, it will make your friends, family, and coworkers stay relaxed and calm in the event of an emergency.
Reduces your susceptibility to accidents
First Aid training helps you become alert to potential hazards and medical issues. It allows you to take better care of yourself and those who are around you. It creates resilient and emergency-ready communities.
People equipped with necessary first aid skills handle emergencies in a much more efficient manner. The use of the right methods and quick, effective responses can save lives. A trained first aider is more composed confident in critical situations. They know the best possible ways to help the victims regain their consciousness.
First Aid for Pupils
A 2011 survey indicates that 73% of school children express their interest in learning CPR and first aid.
When you empower the school staff with the confidence to respond in an emergency, you can extend it to the students. First aid training will teach them to care for themselves and others. It will equip them with the skills to make a difference between life and loss inside the school gates and beyond.
Research by St John Ambulance (SJA) shows that 94 percent of teachers want first aid lessons to add to the curriculums. They believed that these lessons would help teach young people to be more responsible.
First Aid for School Staff and Parents
School personnel, including parents, should not fall behind their lifesaving skills. Everyone should have first aid and CPR skills since most emergencies do not come with a warning. They occur at the most unexpected time and date, leaving you unprepared.
First aid training in schools is a great way to introduce first aid skills necessary for emergencies. Consider enrolling your children and teenagers if they have first aid programs available. It is never too early or too late to learn these lifesaving skills.