Teenagers are incredible risk-takers and experimenters, and consequently are often involved in medical emergencies. It is, therefore, absolutely vital that they are equipped with the skills and confidence to keep themselves safe and help their friends when something goes wrong.
 
The British Red Cross commissioned a survey revealing frightening statistics:
  • One in seven young people (aged 11-16) have found themselves faced with a serious medical emergency due to a friend drinking too much alcohol.
  • More than 532,000 young teenagers have been left to cope with a drunken friend who was sick, injured or unconscious in the last year. 
  • A quarter of young people have had to deal with asthma attacks.
  • A third of teenagers have had to cope with someone with a head injury.
  • One in five teenagers have had to help someone who is choking.
Crucially: when faced with these emergency situations, 44% panicked and 46% simply didn’t know what to do. In the survey’s most compelling statistic, 97% of young people believed First Aid education would improve their confidence, skills and willingness to act in a crisis.
 
First Aid is an essential life skill and helps young people remain safer by better appreciating risk and being confident and skilled to help each other if involved in a medical emergency. My own teenagers have both had to use their First Aid skills and knowledge on numerous occasions; at parties, on the sports pitch, and on their Duke of Edinburgh Expeditions. Following the drowning of a friend of theirs, they have both elected to qualify and work as Lifeguards.
 

A First Aid qualification is invaluable to young people striving to achieve their Duke of Edinburgh and Sports Leadership Awards and is highly sought after by UCAS – particularly if applying for a medically related subject. Parents feel more confident leaving their children with a babysitting teenager equipped with the skills to help if there is an accident, and Sports and Kids Clubs view First Aid skills as a necessity.
 
Therefore, not only are the skills hugely valuable, likely to be used and potentially life- saving; but the qualification gained is also likely to increase a young person’s chances in this highly competitive world.
 
First Aid for Life runs courses with numerous schools and clubs and provides scheduled courses suitable for young people to attend. We also love running bespoke courses for groups of friends and are happy to tailor them for specific requirements such as post-exam trips away, GAP years and sports qualifications. Please contact emma@firstaidforlife.org.uk, www.firstaidforlife.org.uk or call 0208 675 4036.
 
In addition, http://onlinefirstaid.com has a specific First Aid for Teenagers course which will allow them to access these vital skills on their computers and mobiles.
 
There are numerous free resources available on our website at http://www.firstaidforlife.org.uk/blog/.
First Aid Instructor
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