Joining a basic first aid course comes with its own set of responsibilities. Being a first aider means that a person must be able to act and make judgement calls in high-pressure situations where the health or even survival of another person may be at stake. At what age can someone be ready to take on these responsibilities? For parents who want their children to learn first aid, when is the best time to start introducing them to basic concepts or to enroll them in a basic course?
To answer the question briefly, anyone at any age can start learning first aid. While a standard course may cover lessons that the very young may not be able to grasp fully, it’s still possible to introduce life-saving skills to children and adults alike through age-appropriate first aid classes. In fact, the Australian Skills Quality Authority does not prescribe a minimum age for learning first aid. Here are some of the reasons why it’s important to teach people first aid at any age.
Introducing Basic Concepts to Children
Some parents may not think that it’s a good idea to enroll young children in a first aid course because it may have graphic topics or cover techniques that children may not be able to perform sufficiently. However, this is not the case with age-appropriate first aid classes for children. These courses focus on teaching children how to recognize situations that require the attention of an adult and how to ask for help. What’s more, learning basic first aid concepts at this stage teaches kids to take action, to remain level-headed during emergency situations, and the value of communication, all without placing a lot of burden on them.
Teaching Life Skills to Teenagers
According to the European Resuscitation Council, 12 years old is the optimal age to learn first aid. From this age up, children and teenagers can take courses that focus on imparting first aid techniques and skills that they can apply during emergency situations, like CPR. First aid training organizations typically accept students ages 14 and above to certified first aid classes, and successful students can use their first aid certifications to improve their job prospects. Also, exposure to first aid at this age can encourage teenagers to pursue noble career paths related to serving people and saving lives.
Improving or Changing One’s Career
First aid skills and certifications can also be used to advance one’s career or profession. Companies, especially those that operate in high-risk environments, value people who can provide first aid in the workplace. The same is true in the childcare industry, where first-aid know-how can be used to address various emergencies, including anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions. At the same time, having an up-to-date first-aid certification shows prospective employers that an applicant is self-motivated and can keep a level head in high-pressure situations.
Acquiring New Responsibilities
Many people in their 60s also enroll in first aid classes in preparation for taking care of the younger members of their family. Others refresh their first aid knowledge to prepare for volunteer work after retirement. This only shows that it’s never too late to start learning first aid.
Learning first aid is one of the best ways to prepare for emergency situations, but this benefit is far from the only one that can be brought about by having this specific set of skills and knowledge. Enrolling in a first aid course at any age also imparts values and skills, such as compassion and communication skills, that first aiders will find useful in all aspects of their daily life.