Why it’s Crucial to Empower Teens with the Skills and Confidence to Help in an Emergency

Teenage students use a mannequin to practice life saving techniques.

First Aid For Life
By Emma Hammett, Award Winning First Aid Trainer

When thinking about First Aid, the emphasis has historically been on training new parents and child carers, as babies and children are accident-prone and it is vital that those caring for them are able to help if something happens, and on First Aid for the workplace, where there is a duty of care.

But a major group of risk takers are our teenagers. A survey, commissioned by the British Red Cross revealed startling statistics:

  • One in seven young people (aged 11-16) have been in an emergency situation as a result of a friend drinking too much alcohol.
  • More than 532,000 young teenagers have been left to cope with a drunken friend who was sick, injured or unconscious in the last year.
  • 89 per cent of 11-16 year olds had found themselves confronted with some kind of medical emergency.
  • A quarter of young people have had to deal with asthma attacks.
  • A third of teenagers have had to cope with someone with a head injury.
  • One in five teenagers has been faced with someone who is choking.

Crucially: When faced with these emergency situations, 44 per cent panicked and 46 per cent simply didn’t know what to do.

In the survey’s most compelling statistic, a huge majority – 97 per cent of young people, believed first aid education would improve their confidence, skills and willingness to act in a crisis.

First Aid is a life skill and gaining a First Aid qualification is invaluable to young people striving to achieve their Duke of Edinburgh and Sports Leadership Awards and is highly sought after by UCAS – particularly if applying for a medically-related subject. Parents would feel far more confident leaving their little ones with a teenager who has been equipped with the skills to help if there is an accident, and sports and kids clubs see First Aid skills as a necessity. Not only are the skills hugely valuable, they could save a life.

First Aid for Life runs fabulous courses suitable for young people, including bespoke courses for groups of friends taking GAP years and getting sports qualifications. Please contact emma@firstaidforlife.org.uk, www.FirstAidForLife.org.uk or call 0208 675 4036.

Sign up for my Newsletter

Keep up with exclusive advice from leading experts

Leave a Comment