First-graders can learn first aid

CHILDREN as young as four trained in basic first aid could save lives, Norwegian research shows. 

A study found children in kindergarten taught first aid using the ‘five-finger-rule’ system – look at the person, talk to them, touch them to try to wake them up, call emergency services, and then stay and give comfort – could perform first aid two months later. 

They recalled the emergency services phone number and accurately described their location. 

When one of the teachers pretended to lose consciousness, the children acted as a group and were able to put the person into the recovery position. 

“First aid training should begin in the kindergarten, via play, and be reinforced throughout school,” the authors said. 

Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 2011; In press. 

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