Westover primary pupils learn emergency first aid

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PRIMARY school children have been learning how to administer life-saving first aid.

Year 6 pupils at Westover Primary School in Portsmouth were taught about how to give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and to assess a casualty’s response and put them in the recovery position.

Callum Bailey, 11, is put into the recovery position by Sam New, 11, while Archie Duff, 10, and Thomas Brooks, 11, right, practise resuscitation Picture: Chris Moorhouse           (120619-13)

Callum Bailey, 11, is put into the recovery position by Sam New, 11, while Archie Duff, 10, and Thomas Brooks, 11, right, practise resuscitation Picture: Chris Moorhouse (120619-13)

Maddie Mason, 11, said: ‘It’s important to know what to do if someone has an accident. An ambulance can take some time to arrive and so it’s vital to know what to do to keep someone alive.’

Classmate Dale Cook, 10, added: ‘If I found someone who had collapsed I would now feel much more confident about having to deal with the situation. Learning how to do CPR was really fun as we could practise on dummies.’

The initiative was the idea of headteacher, Anthony Martin, with all 39 Year 6 pupils receiving training.

Mr Martin said: ‘Knowing first aid and CPR and how to use it is an invaluable life skill – I found out 16 years ago when I had to give CPR after someone collapsed in the street. The pupils are at an age where they are becoming more independent and so I wanted to ensure they were equipped with the necessary skills before moving to secondary school. All students have been interested and engaged and were able to demonstrate CPR and the important ratio of two breaths to 30 compressions.’

Headteacher Anthony Martin guides Leah Slevin, 11, and Sophie Smith, 10, right, as they practise resuscitation Picture: Chris Moorhouse           (120619-11)

Headteacher Anthony Martin guides Leah Slevin, 11, and Sophie Smith, 10, right, as they practise resuscitation Picture: Chris Moorhouse (120619-11)

The course was delivered by First Aid Southampton with children learning the mantra ‘DR. ABC’ - danger, response, airway, breathing and circulation. Part of the Hamwic Education Trust, the programme has so far been run in 50 schools.

Former emergency service worker and company owner, Kris Hunt, said: ‘In my role in the emergency services I regularly came across incidents where CPR had to be used. This basic training provides children with the confidence to know what to do in an emergency.’

First aid training is not part of the national curriculum, but the government plans to make it a compulsory part of school health education programmes by 2020.

Year 6 pupil, Izzie Peachey, 11, added: ‘This is something all children should learn so people don’t panic if they are in an emergency.’

Leah Slevin, 11, and Sophie Smith, 10, right, practise resuscitation with course tutor Kris Hunt Picture: Chris Moorhouse (120619-10)

Leah Slevin, 11, and Sophie Smith, 10, right, practise resuscitation with course tutor Kris Hunt Picture: Chris Moorhouse (120619-10)