We all know just how well children retain information. In fact, they are often referred to as being like sponges because of the way they soak up and remember important information.

With this in mind, should all children be taught first aid in school? It seems as though failing to teach children first aid in school would be a missed opportunity. After all, surely the more people that can administer first aid, the better it is for everyone!

Why Children should be taught first aid

While children are still developing and growing, they can still make a huge difference from such an early age. If they are given the skills required to deliver first aid, they could potentially save the life of someone who perhaps would not survive. In fact, they could even help a friend or a family in need and so, it is clear to see just why they should be taught these lifelong skills.

According to statistics, 90% of children between the age of 11 and 16 have been confronted with a medical emergency. This is an alarming statistic and one where many children have no idea how they should react or what they should do. If they are given the correct skills and are taught first aid, those who require assistance have a greater chance of getting the treatment they need.

There are many situations where a child might be confronted with a medical situation. It could be in the home or it could be outside the school gates but giving them the skills can make a real difference to everyone involved.

It is proven to make a difference

Many places around the world have introduced first aid as part of the curriculum. Places such as Norway and Seattle have both introduced this and the statistics show that people are now more likely to survive a heart attack outside of a hospital.

By teaching children these vital skills in school, it would add an additional one million qualified first aiders. This is a significant number that would have a positive impact on society in so many ways. More importantly, it would enable people to receive the treatment they require as soon as possible.

So much time is spent in school focusing on learning many other skills when first aid is often overlooked. It should form part of the curriculum and childhood learning in the same way as learning to count. 

It’s not just about adults

In life, adults are given the main responsibility for a number of roles and often, first aid falls into this. There is a belief that children are either too young or not mature enough to administer first aid. This is extremely far away from the truth or reality because a child can often act faster than an adult and in some cases, they are more likely to remember what treatment they need to deliver in the heat of the moment. Therefore, giving children the skills and responsibility to be able to provide basic first aid will make the difference to lives all around the world and not just in the UK.

Add your comments below, and we will send them in as part of the current Department for Education consultation on teaching children first aid skills!


Richard Craddock

Richard is the Managing Director at SkillBase First Aid

69 Comments

Jonny Wright · August 31, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Spot on Richard!

I couldn’t agree more.

Connor Kenney · August 31, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Count me in Richard! Great article and very informative.

Shane Clarke · August 31, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Great Post! Need to share this!

    Richard Craddock · August 31, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Great – as much support as we can get will help with the consultation! 🙂

David Taylor · August 31, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Great idea, it can only be a positive.

Kian · August 31, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I agree with this I have helped people from somebody who attempted suicide from a casual drunk person a fully agree that this is more important then the other core subjects and first aid should be a requirement to do just like PE Science English and Maths First aid is essential think on how many people it will help it help paramedics also focus on bigger injuries

John Wright · August 31, 2018 at 3:48 pm

That’s a fantastic idea! i don’t think FULL first aid should be taught because that will just confuse their little brains but definitely basic first aid that could be a real life saver.

Codey Clay · August 31, 2018 at 3:49 pm

A must in schools!

Brett · August 31, 2018 at 3:49 pm

I think teaching children first aid is a great idea. You never know when your going to need someone with first aid skills. What a great idea.

Joanne · August 31, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Definitely agree that it should be taught in school. I have shared on my fb x

Alison · August 31, 2018 at 3:52 pm

I think this is a fabulous idea.
Having to face into a medical emergency is a terrifying prospect for most people, but many will step up and help using the skills they have learnt. Affording children the same opportunity to learn these skills at an early age will help them be better prepared should they be faced with such a situation – which surely can only be a good thing?

Nkem · August 31, 2018 at 3:56 pm

I think this is a great idea. Nice read

RENU KENWORTHY · August 31, 2018 at 3:57 pm

I personally feel that our children’s are our future so why not teach them life skills as well as education. It’s a very good idea to teach school kids first aid skills and then refresher every few years.

Donna · August 31, 2018 at 4:02 pm

A fantastic idea!
Nobody knows when a situation may occur that requires simple first-aid. Children should be taught age appropriate first-aid throughout their school education.

julie · August 31, 2018 at 4:13 pm

Fantastic idea, my son and his friend knew the basics and saved their friends life when he had an asthma attack and stopped breathing at the far end of the school field. Schools are often looking for ways to cover PPA time, this would be a fantastic one.

Karen · August 31, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Having a partner who works in the ambulance service, he says it’s an excellent idea to train children young.

Noorin · August 31, 2018 at 4:15 pm

First Aid training for all school children should be made a compulsory part of the National curriculum.

Jennie Davies · August 31, 2018 at 4:19 pm

I think this is a fantastic idea children are not given enough credit for their intelligence and abilities to learn important life skill at a young age # get the kids trained!!

Jon Charley · August 31, 2018 at 4:21 pm

First Aid for Kids. Great idea! It would be good to teach them what we used to understand as “Common Sense” and isn’t so common anymore!

Rebecca Sharpe · August 31, 2018 at 4:32 pm

I think that this a fantastic idea, especially children aged around 9 or 10 as they would be able to comprehend what is being taught, For younger children even just knowing who to call when something is wrong could save a life. #getthekidsinvoloved

Gillian Brown · August 31, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Great plan…with you all the way…..not sure why it isn’t already part of everyday education, for adults and children

Nicky Mutti · August 31, 2018 at 4:59 pm

Absolutely, teaching children first aid is extremely important.

Gail · August 31, 2018 at 5:09 pm

I agree that the need is there. Over the years I have heard so many stories of children helping people in need by calling 9-1-1 and doing some type of first aid, whether they knew any or not. I wish you success reaching your goals.

Sharon · August 31, 2018 at 5:10 pm

Yes, I agree would be a valuable skill for children to learn in secondary school. Basic first aid is definitely worth learning.

Carly Britton · August 31, 2018 at 5:34 pm

This is a fantastic idea!
I could see this approach having many benefits not only to a child administering first aid but it will also benefit their leaning in areas such imaginative play.

Victoria Walsh · August 31, 2018 at 5:34 pm

This is a great idea. Everyone should have an understanding of basic first aid and school is the perfect time to start this education.

Teresa James · August 31, 2018 at 5:48 pm

Surely no one would disagree that children and young people as well as adults should not only be offered the opportunity to learn First Aid Skills and be encouraged to take up the opportunity. Yes, I agree it should be compulsory – education is as much about caring for each other, and ourselves, as acquiring academic knowledge and skills plus nurturing creative skills.

Zara Ashworth · August 31, 2018 at 6:08 pm

I was just thinking about this the other day that it would be good for children to learn first aid, then I read this. I think it would be a great skill for a child to have.

Sammy · August 31, 2018 at 6:10 pm

I have 3 children in high school aged 14, 12, and 11 and 2 children in junior school aged 7 and 8 and all 5 have said first aid in schools is a must.
I agree it should be part of the carriculam, my daughters have said it’s more important than a language lesson xx

Michelle · August 31, 2018 at 6:37 pm

I think this is a fantastic idea. The arrival is spot on and very informative. Well done. Great idea. X

Jamie · August 31, 2018 at 6:41 pm

This is an awesome idea! There are far too many false myths about first aid and I believe this is taught to scouts and guides, so extending this further would be much more advantageous to the wider community particularly in this day of cuts to our ambulances services.

Lainey · August 31, 2018 at 7:42 pm

What a brilliant idea. Basic life saving skills should be something that everyone knows. From a young age I taught my children basic first aid and it has always been a part of their lives, like learning to read. Not everyone is as lucky as them, having a parent that can teach them, so teaching it to children in schools is vital.

Paula · August 31, 2018 at 8:06 pm

I think this is a great idea and agree with it 100%, it is a very important life skill and everyone sure at least the base skills.

Nikki · August 31, 2018 at 8:28 pm

As an ex ambulance tech I think this is a great idea as everyone regardless of age should be taught first aid as it really can make a difference

Naveed Ahmad · August 31, 2018 at 8:33 pm

Definately should be added to the school curriculum. Let’s all get behind this.

Cathryn Chamberlain · August 31, 2018 at 9:03 pm

A definate thumbs up from me ?

Esther mills · August 31, 2018 at 11:03 pm

Great idea to educate child! They can save lives too!

Sue McMahon · September 1, 2018 at 8:23 am

I think it’s a great idea .
It can only help and have a positive effect.
In particular if children understood Asthma and how to deal with it I think this would be really helpful and very relevant.

Darren Gilmour · September 2, 2018 at 12:08 pm

How many young people have bumps, scraps and often worse things happen when they are out and about? Teaching first aid to our young people should be standard protocol and on all education curriculum!

Jeff · September 3, 2018 at 7:21 am

A great idea if you have the time and resources go for it

Anita Patel · September 3, 2018 at 8:02 am

I agree with this. Children are bright and can absorb so much information. As the statistics state, 90% of children between the age of 11 and 16 have been confronted with a medical emergency – having First Aid added to the curriculum would help many of these children deal with these situations and that too with a calmer approach.

Maxine Mills · September 3, 2018 at 8:10 am

Common sense at last. A life saving skill taught at school which can be transferred into their everyday lives and benefits not just themselves but everybody they’ll ever come into contact with because I know for sure I haven’t used trigonometry since I was 14!!

Beverley · September 3, 2018 at 9:14 am

I think it would be a great idea to teach First Aid to children. You can’t shelter them totally from incidents and accidents in the playground, at home, or when they’re out, so why not equip them with the skills to feel that they can help someone. I certainly find it harder to learn new things as I get older, so I’m sure children would never forget First Aid lessons taught at an early age. I hope you succeed with this plan!

Ross Skinner · September 3, 2018 at 9:20 am

This is a no brainer, everyone needs these skills.

Linda Binns · September 3, 2018 at 1:12 pm

I think teaching the basics of first aid to children is a fantastic idea. Even from age 5 they can learn emergency phone numbers. Progression throughout school to include more skills will provide society with more useful and caring communities.

STEVE GOODCHILD · September 3, 2018 at 1:22 pm

Great Idea, hope it works !

Kirsty Telford · September 4, 2018 at 8:55 am

I fully agree with this!!! Especially with more children being looked after by Grandparents.

Karen downes · September 4, 2018 at 9:05 am

A must in schools 100%

Clare Bonham · September 4, 2018 at 9:37 am

A definite must in schools!

Jill · September 4, 2018 at 10:26 am

There are lots of cases where even very young children have been able to help in emergency situations simply because they have been given basic information about what to do. These people are the adults of the future, I can only see benefits in giving them basic training to help others.

abigail liston · September 4, 2018 at 6:54 pm

What a brilliant idea. Children are exposed to so many risks and it’s important they are best equipt to aid situations where they can.

Jamie · September 5, 2018 at 11:08 am

I was watching the saving lives at sea program last week and a twelve year old boy saved his own fathers life after they got into trouble. It was a very moving story of a very brave boy. The more individuals we can give these skills to the better. It might only be a one in a hundred chance, but surely everyone needs that chance to help someone.

Mariah · September 5, 2018 at 3:02 pm

Definitely a good idea, especially if it focuses on first aid that can be carried out without the use of a first aid kit (these don’t tend to be to hand on the school playing field or when out and about). 112 should probably be taught in addition to 999, to cover school trips/family holidays to the rest of Europe.

Elaine · September 5, 2018 at 8:14 pm

I think this is a great idea. Last year my son was 14 and out with his friends., and cut his finger quite badly. They rang me and had no idea what to do. Luckily I have done first aid and talked them through what to do but if they had known for themselves they would be able to deal with situations that arise as someone is not always at the end of the phone.

Sarah · September 6, 2018 at 5:19 pm

Completely agree with this. I know for a fact my 7 year old would be on board with this too!

Sally · September 7, 2018 at 1:54 pm

A brilliant idea to improve knowledge and to reduce worry in a scary situation. Obviously with age appropriate lessons.

Alison · September 9, 2018 at 6:12 am

Fantastic idea all children should know basic first aid. I work in a school and I agree it should be on the curriculum.

Laura Walker · September 13, 2018 at 10:16 am

I have three children and absolutely think this should be on their curriculum. I have actually paid for “family first aid” courses.

Rach Henton · September 13, 2018 at 8:08 pm

This is a brilliant idea. My son attended a Severe learning disabilities special school & they even taught basic first aid lessons?? Which the kids enjoyed learning new skills whatever level of abilities they are at

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