Should CPR Be Taught to Children in School?

November 28, 2018

England will lead the way when it comes to offering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training for school-age children. According to draft guidelines drawn up by the government, primary school children would learn about basic first aid and those in secondary schools would be taught how to perform CPR.

Statistics show that the earlier CPR is initiated, the greater the chances of survival. In fact, the American Heart Association estimates that 100,000 to 200,000 lives of adults and children could be saved each year if CPR were performed early enough. The British Heart Foundation said adding CPR to the curriculum would "mark a defining moment in improving the UK's shockingly low survival rates from cardiac arrests."

The proposals are included in new guidance on relationships, health, and sex education published by the UK Department for Education. The measures would become compulsory in all schools in England beginning in September 2020.

Studies support the idea that kids can successfully learn life-saving techniques. As one report presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) 2017 Scientific Sessions found, most 12 year olds in grade 6 can learn and successfully perform hands-only CPR after just one training session that used an AHA CPR in Schools training kit.

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