Tuesday, July 5, 2011

First Aid Training And Kits For Kids

By Owen Jones

Children often copy what they see. They are good learners and they are programmed to be just that. Once they can walk and talk they have roughly ten years to learn as much as they can before being given a lot of freedom to walk the world alone. This varies from country to country and from century to century, but the principle is the same.

Although most children are fairly heavily supervised during these ten years, a great deal of children do spend a bit of time alone or just in the company of just other children. This means that it is a great concept to teach children some emergency steps. In the early days, First Aid training for kids could be as easy as teaching them to phone the emergency number if they see or get into difficulty.

Thirty years ago when I was living in the Netherlands, I witnessed an attempted suicide by overdose. My friend was giving CPR and he asked me to go to the phone booth to call the ambulance. I went but when I got there, 999 (the UK emergency number did not work). I looked about in the phone booth but could not see an emergency number although my Dutch was very good. I had to go outside and stop a passer-by to ask. I wasted minutes and he passed away.

Before a child goes off to school at five or six, children should know the basics like: the emergency number, not to talk to strangers, not to get into anyone's car, that blood is dangerous and needs to be treated and that bones break, so to take care when running about. Anything else would be a bonus.

You could also make a First Aid kit with your child. You could sit down, talk about the contents of a useful, personal First Aid kit and then take your child to a pharmacy to buy the bits and pieces. When back home, you could talk about how to use the constituents, pack them into a box and place that in the child's school bag.

Get into the routine of going through the contents of the kit with your child to replenish used and out-of-date items. This is also helpful for reinforcing what the things are used for.

A First Aid kit for a school beginner might include soap, disposable gloves, plasters, iodine, calamine lotion, sunblock, a few small coins for the telephone and a card with your address and phone number on it..

Afterwards, as the years go by, you could add aspirin, bandages, scissors, tweezers, matches and anything else you think is necessary.

You could extend the list of telephone numbers to include a trusted neighbour or grandparent in case you are engaged and maybe the head teacher at school too. You could hold a short quiz from time to time in the guise of a game to make certain that your child understands what everything is for and who to phone.

Once your child gets to eight or nine, enroll him or her into the scouts, guides or a paramedical organization like the St. John's Ambulance Brigade to continue the First Aid training for kids.

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