First Aid: An Important Set of Life Skills for Children

November 24, 2013, Parenting Success Network

I saw a news story a while ago where a six-year-old girl saved her best friend’s life by giving her the Heimlich Maneuver. As I watched the story I was captivated by the children’s matter-of-fact attitude about the incident. Neither child was stunned or amazed, rather,  they both confidently understood that the set of circumstances required swift and particular action and they knew exactly what to do. And it worked!!! I thought about my children and wondered if they would know what to do if someone was choking. Could they save someone’s life? What first aid skills do they have and would they be confident enough to act if necessary? I doubt it, because I have not taught them much about first aid. Instead, I find myself focusing on preventative teaching such as, “Chew your food well so you don’t choke.” Maybe it’s time to have some important conversations about “what to do if….”

We have very little time in our schedule to enroll in a first aid class so I found a resource online that will help get us started. This parenting Qwik Sheet, brought to you by, will help parents understand how children can learn first aid and how it is most effectively taught.

 This Qwik Sheet will help parents

• Introduce this important life skill in a way that is fun and worthwhile

• Use humor to relieve fear

• Reinforce lessons for greater retention of information and skills

Parenting Press has also included teaching tips that accommodate both the different ways in which children learn at different developmental levels, and your own personal style.

Remember that, just like any other life skill, parents can support their children’s development in this area with gentle reminders and practice over time. This will build familiarity and comfort with the new set of skills so our children are more likely to  identify times when these skills are necessary and use them with confidence.