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Tuesday, 14 September, 1999, 17:08 GMT 18:08 UK
First aid for schools
Pupils a the Emmanuel School learn first aid
Children are to be taught first aid in the classroom as part of a national campaign to improve lifesaving skills in the UK.

The St John Ambulance's Lifesaver in Every Family campaign seeks to achieve its goal by training classrooms full of children from the age of nine.

The organisation will train a primary teacher in each school in the basics, which they can then pass on to their pupils.

It says simple measures are the most important in an emergency, but too often nobody knows what to do in such a situation.

Children love it

Dawn Caplin, a teacher at the Emmanuel School in north west London, has been trained in first aid skills and is passing them on to her class.

"The children are absorbing all of this, they really enjoy doing it and they have no problems at all," she said.

She dismissed fears that teaching children first aid skills could interfere with core subjects.

"It's part of the national curriculum because it comes under health education."

She said she would recommend the training to other teachers.

"In our school we did a one-day first aid course for all our teachers. It's important that a teacher should know what to do in a class anyway."

Amazing stories

Nic Suggit, of the St John Ambulance, helps oversee training and stressed the importance of easy actions such as putting someone in the recovery position.

Nic Suggit: Amzed at the results
"It's a fantastic example of the simple sort of procedure that can make a difference and that a child of this age can do," he said.

"At this age children are becoming very socially aware and they're reaching the stage where they're capable of taking on the skills that can save a life.

"It is a lot of responsibility to put on young shoulders but it's amazing the stories we hear of seven-year-olds saving their parents lives by something simple such as moving them into the recovery position.

"They do save lives - simple procedures in the early stages such as managing the incident, getting help, moving into the recovery position and making sure the airways are clear."

The BBC's Emma Howard watches Emmanuel pupils demonstrate their skills
See also:

11 Mar 99 | Health
St John Ambulance future in doubt
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