Teaching Basic Life Support Skills To Kids

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

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It’s important for children to have some knowledge of the key teachings from a basic life support (BLS) course, so they can help others who are injured or even save lives in emergency situations. Children are an eager audience and are receptive to learning the skills they need to provide first aid help to others. The age of the kids you are teaching will give you a sense of how in-depth the lessons should be, with general basics discussed for younger ages and more advanced BLS training taught to older kids and adolescents. There are several online resources that adults can access to supplement basic first aid training for children, including course materials, worksheets, interactive websites, and videos.


Basic First Aid Skills:

When it comes to teaching BLS and first aid to kids, the primary material should cover these essential lessons:

How to treat wounds and proper bandaging techniques

How to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to victims, whether they are infants, children, or adults

How to treat choking victims of all ages

How to administer mouth to mouth resuscitation

How to handle blood and other bodily fluids

How to apply pressure to stop bleeding

How to administer an EPI Pen to someone who is having an anaphylactic allergic reaction

How to call for help

Why it’s important to have BLS skills


Accident and Injury Prevention:

Prevention measures are another important lesson to teach, so that children are aware of the proactive safety precautions they can take to prevent serious injury and reduce the need for using BLS techniques. Some of the key topics should include:

How to safely exit a dangerous or hazardous environment

How to safely approach a situation where first aid is needed

Completing activities that require safety measures, like biking or riding motorcycles with helmets, and the importance of seatbelts.

Fire prevention techniques and skills on navigating fires, such as how to test a door to see if there is a fire on the other side

Water safety skills, including boating safety and rescuing techniques


Ideas for Educating Kids:

When it comes to BLS training for children, there are a variety of tools that are useful in getting the message across in a way that’s easy for young minds to comprehend. Some ideas for educating kids on first aid include:

Watching demonstration videos so that children can see first aid techniques in action and gain a visual understanding of what they need to do in an emergency

A field trip or virtual tour of a hospital so they can see some of the emergency measures used, understand triage techniques, and see the importance of adhering to safety precautions first hand

A classroom visit from a nurse, firefighter, or Emergency Medical Technician to speak to kids on the importance of first aid, CPR, and other critical life-saving measures. These professionals will give kids an insight into some of the serious situations that may arise and teach children how to handle them.


Activities & Learning Materials:

As a complement to the first aid lessons that kids will learn, there are several supplementary materials to provide and some hands-on activities that they can complete to summarize their new knowledge and to educate other children around them. Some of the activities and learning materials associated with learning first aid are:

Providing kids with a basic first aid manual

Giving a list of items to include in a first aid kit

Having children create educational posters on BLS techniques, safety precautions, and how to handle dangerous situations

Creating classroom displays on safety tips and how to prevent accidents

Doing presentations on circumstances where BLS is needed

Practicing mock first aid techniques with partners

Writing essays or reports on how to respond to specific emergency situations and sharing with the class

Children can easily learn the BLS skills and lessons outlined here, which will help them to understand the importance of safety and give them the confidence to react calmly in emergencies. First aid lessons from the classroom will encourage kids to complete full BLS certification and will help turn children into responsible citizens.

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HealthForce Training Center provides high quality training and the latest American Heart Association programs customized for health and non-health care providers. Our mission is to provide a fun and stress free learning experience that can equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to be confident with their medical care and emergency situations.

AHA Disclaimer: The American Heart Association strongly promotes knowledge and proficiency in BLS, ACLS, and PALS and has developed instructional materials for this purpose. Use of these materials in an educational course does not represent course sponsorship by the American Heart Association. Any fees charged for such a course, except for a portion of fees needed for AHA materials, do not represent income to the Association.

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