All children should know the basics of first aid, and how to get help if they or someone else is in some sort of trouble. It’s never really too early to start teaching them about safety and calling for help. In fact, different studies have been done investigating how old children should be before you start teaching them certain first aid skills; the results are surprising. Four year olds can be instructed on how to treat scrapes and cuts. Eight year olds are intelligent enough to both help someone who is choking and even use automated external defibrillators. Nine year olds can use CPR effectively, and fifteen year olds can become certified lifeguards. Even if you don’t think your child is old enough to understand the principles of more advanced first aid, he or she can be instructed on how to call 911. Teach your kids first aid and raise a generation that knows how to protect both themselves and others.
Consider Different Personalities
Whether your child will find it easy to jump to help in a crisis or whether he or she is more likely to freeze up is something you will have to find out for yourself. However, you can help your kids realize the importance of immediately taking action. If your child tends to take charge, then take advantage of those natural leadership qualities. Since they’re less likely to freeze up, you can go over more in-depth first aid skills. Children who tend to hang back need to be given instruction more equipped for their personality. Drill them with the basics so that they won’t forget important information during a disaster. Help them to understand and get over any fears they may have, and let them know that it’s normal to be nervous and to feel unsure in pressured circumstances. Over time, as the child becomes more confident, you can teach them more advanced first aid skills.
Use a First Aid Kit for Instruction
First aid kits are easy and simple to use. They’re also very easy to teach with. Buy a first aid kit for your child to help both them during their first aid lessons. Start simple, with instructions on how to apply band-aids and bandages for example. Eventually you can move up to more advanced skills such as applying a tourniquet. Use stuffed animals or, if your child is older, a first aid dummy to demonstrate different skills. Make sure the first aid kit is well equipped with different creams and ointments to treat burns, cuts, and even allergic reactions.
Talk About 911
The most important skill that you can teach younger children is using a phone to call 911. It doesn’t take much time to teach any kid this basic information. Practice with a fake phone (make sure you’re completely certain that the phone can’t actually call anyone!) and drill them through the next few weeks on their 911 skills. It’s also important that your child knows your address, your first and last name, and any other essential information that he or she would be called to provide for a 911 operator.
Be Serious and Understanding
It’s important to convey to children that what you’re teaching them about first aid is serious - but you also need to understand the personalities of your kids and that at first they might not really get why you’re telling them how to use first aid. Most likely, your kids have never experienced any disasters and hopefully they never will. However, it is important that they know what to do in the case you’re not around and something bad happens. Protect your children. Teach them the basics of first aid and safety.