Teaching CPR to Schoolchildren -

Teaching CPR to Schoolchildren

According to CPR stats, a large number of medical emergencies such as sudden cardiac arrest happen outside the hospital. Teaching schoolchildren CPR and general life saving skills can increase the bystander CPR rates and help save more lives.

How Young is too Young to Learn Life-saving Skills?

I get many questions in regards to classes I teach on how young is too young for people to take a lifesaving class and my answer is simply this:  We offer a variety of classes for all ages from 0-99. Some of the questions after making this statement include, why so young and why only 99.

Toddler / Preschool Programs

There is a great toddler/preschool program that I offer and it is curriculum through the American Red Cross which is Scrubby Bear.  Scrubby Bear offers great stories on what germs are and how to wash hands and reduce the risk of becoming sick. The kids really love the songs you teach them in regards to washing hands and it can be extremely interactive and animated to make it fun and a learning experience for the youngest of children.

5 to 10 year olds

The seconds step up from toddler program is the five – 10 year olds.  There is another great youth program that is also a curriculum the American Red Cross puts out and that is BAT “Basic Aid Training”.  We cover great activities regarding bicycle safety, playing outdoors and going into the basic first aid for minor cuts and scrapes as well as when to call for assistance from an adult or even calling 9-1-1.  This class for this age group is great for earning a first aid patch in Cub Scouts and Brownies. We end the course with the foundation of how to build a first aid kit in the event they are injured.


Stepping up to the Teen/Tweens we have a great program which is babysitter training.  Babysitter training gets a little more in-depth when it comes to caring for younger children.  We teach the participants diaper changing skills, bottle feeding, being leaders as well as basic first aid which includes choking victims.  There is an advanced version of the class that is the Babysitter Bootcamp which is typically taught over two days which also certifies this age group in pediatric CPR and first aid.  

When teaching lifesaving skills, this is a great place to start because the tweens, typically have difficulty in accomplishing compressions on adults.  Another great class for teenagers is Wilderness and Remote First Aid. This class requires that participants be at least 14 years of age by the end of the course.  We teach extensive first aid and lifesaving skills in the event we cannot immediately pick up a phone and call 9-1-1. The latter course was created by Boy Scouts of America and satisfies requirements for badges/patches that can be earned.

 About Teaching Kids CPR
  • First and foremost, children don’t have the same attention span as adults. It is important to keep the sessions precise and short and never forget to take breaks frequently. Try working on a specific topic for at least 10 minutes but not more than that.
  • Children are known to become enthusiastic and are always ready to please. As an instructor, encourage their achievement and skill development by being positive or even celebrating.
  • Children don’t have any kind of preconceived notion or idea of the outcome of a specific technique or whether they will hurt a victim or not. They are more than willing to provide their help and solve the problem.
  • Don’t go overboard with your instructions and training. Explain and let them know only those pointers that they need to know. Don’t go into details to the core, you will only lose their interest.

Further Reading

Student Samaritan Initiative

Leave a reply