most people, including teachers and students, think of health and
physical education, first aid training isn’t usually the first thing
that comes to mind. Most would be mildly surprised that it was part of a
curriculum at all. There was a time that first aid training
opportunities were widely available to the nation’s youth through
Scouting, YMCA and YWCA, and other organizations. But those who were
born or came of age over the last few decades tend to have had very
little exposure to the fundamentals of first aid, yet it’s a set of
skills that are just as important today as they ever were. Accidents can
and do happen anywhere, in the home, the workplace, in school, and on
the sports field. Energetic, adventurous, and athletic young people are,
as always, at greater risk of injury in their daily lives, so it’s
important that they know not only how to prevent injuries, but how to
give initial treatment when they inevitably happen, skills that will
serve them well throughout their lives. Here are four good reasons why
first aid training should be a part of every health and PE curriculum.
4 Reasons Why First Aid Training In Health And PE Is Important
- It saves lives. Obviously, when an accident or health emergency occurs, having someone on the spot who knows how to effectively provide initial emergency treatment to others or to themselves can save a life or reduce the extent of an injury or incident. A comprehensive first aid program ideally should include CPR training as well as instruction on the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). This can prevent a heart attack from becoming fatal or resuscitate a drowning or accident victim before the lack of oxygen becomes more critical. Knowing how to administer the Heimlich Maneuver can prevent a choking death.
- It prevents accidents and emergencies. First aid should be more than just knowing how to treat and bandage wounds and burns. Accident prevention is also an important element. It can include fire and water safety, workplace safety, proper handling of firearms and sharp tools, awareness of the hazards posed by wildlife and poisonous plants, and how to prevent common injuries in athletics and physical training.
- It lessens the impact of emergencies. Basic instruction in how to react to an emergency situation should also be included in first aid training. Students will learn the best techniques for responding calmly, directing others to safety, and how to help and interact with first responders. Having a person present who can direct others and initiate treatment of injuries can go a long way towards calming a panicked crowd and preventing a bad situation from becoming worse.
- It makes for a more confident person. Learning a life skill as useful as first aid reinforces a sense of self-assurance in the student, as well as self-respect. Knowing that they are trained in how to handle themselves in a situation and provide care to themselves and others builds confidence. It might also inspire them to learn more and start them on a path to a career in the medical profession or in health and physical education.
A holistic approach to teaching students how to maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health should include basic first aid training. Educators will find plenty of training materials online to use in their classes, such as the one found here, as well as many materials available for free or at low cost from the American Red Cross and other sources. It will provide students with resources that will serve them well for a lifetime.