Should Your Child Learn CPR?
Updated: Jan 8
The short answer is yes! Why not? According to the American Heart Association, children as young as nine can learn and retain cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Personally, since I am an instructor, I have taught the concept to my nieces, the oldest being 5 years old and the youngest being 2 years old. I didn’t really think they would retain the information, but a few months after teaching them, my sister told me that she was playing “dead” with her kids and the youngest one starting pounding on her chest! She then explained that this is what “Titi Ketu” taught her to do. Then the oldest told her we forgot, we have to call 9-1-1. So even my nieces who are 5 and 2 years of age, although they do not possess the strength to complete CPR compression at the correct depth, the education seems to have been imprinted in their young minds as to what to do in an emergency situation (Lukas, et al., 2016).
Other entities such as the World Health Organization, has endorsed the “Kids Saves Lives” statement in order to increase awareness in the implementation of training and education of children learning vital CPR skills at schools worldwide (Mpotos & Iserbyt, 2017). Here in the United States, Heart disease is still the leading cause of death. Most episodes of cardiac arrest do not happen in hospital facilities but occur elsewhere. That is why it is so important for ALL bystanders, including children to be trained in CPR skills. Children oftentimes have a positive view and attitude in learning the necessary skills and can help facilitate friends and family to also get involved and learn (Mpotos & Iserbyt, 2017). Now with the use of feedback manikins, children can see and feel on their own if they are giving compressions at the correct depth.
Click below to see my session in teaching my nieces!
Lukas, R.-P., Van Aken, H., Molhoff, T., Weber, T. R., Wild, E., & Bohn, A. (2016). Kids saves lives: a six-year longitudinal study of schoolchildren learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation : Who should do the teaching and will the effects last? Resuscitation, 35-40.
Mpotos, N., & Iserbyt, P. (2017). Children saving lives: Training towards CPR excellence levels in chest compression based on age and physical characteristics. Resuscitation, 135-140.