Primary school children are able to perform basic life-saving first aid measures

Resuscitation. 2009 Jun;80(6):689-92. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2009.03.012. Epub 2009 Apr 21.


Introduction: First aid measures can be life-saving. Starting first aid education early may strengthen interest, motivation and ability to provide first aid.

Objective: To determine if a first aid teaching program including 5 lessons (45 min each) of theoretical and practical training for 6-7-year-old children can influence their performance in a first aid scenario.

Methods: 228 primary school children at the age of 6-7 years were included in the study, 102 girls and 126 boys. One child was 5 years old. 117 children were taught basic first aid measures and 111 without training served as control group. In the test scenario the children had to provide first aid to an unconscious victim after a cycle accident. The course participants were retested after 6 months.

Results: Statistically significant differences between course participants compared to those without training could be shown for all tested subjects, including correct assessment of consciousness (p<0.001), correct assessment of breathing (p<0.001), knowledge of the correct emergency telephone number (p<0.001), giving correct emergency call information (p<0.001), knowledge of correct recovery position (p<0.001), correct airway management (p<0.001). Retesting after 6 months showed statistically significant differences for 5 of 6 tested items.

Conclusion: 6-7-Year-old children can give basic first aid to an unconscious patient. A course with 5 lessons leads to a significant increase in first aid knowledge and skills. Knowledge retention is good after 6 months. All primary school children should receive first aid training starting in first grade.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • First Aid*
  • Humans
  • Male