How safe is your child in school?


This week, parents up and down the country will find out where their child will be going to Primary School and commencing their educational adventure as admission information is released.

And whilst we’re sure you’ve all done your homework and ensured that your child will be attending the school of yours and their choice, we would like to remind you to find out if the school has a lifesaving defibrillator on site in the event of a cardiac emergency.

Find out more with our short survey here: How well do you know the school your child will attend?

Sudden cardiac arrest can affect anyone and at any time, unfortunately including children.

Here are the facts:

  • 270 children die in the UK per year after suffering a cardiac arrest in schools
  • 12 people under the age of 35 die every week due to a cardiac across in the UK
  • The performing of CPR and use of a defibrillator inside of 3-5 minutes of collapse propels survival chances from 6% to 74%]
  • Current average ambulance response times for a cardiac emergency are between 8-11 minutes
  • Children are vulnerable to a condition called Commotio Cordis which leads to a cardiac arrest.

Things to find out when your child joins their new school:

Are all the teachers first aid trained?

You may be shocked to find out teachers are not required to undertake first aid training by law or be taught how to use a defibrillator. And whilst we think this should be the case, it might be worth finding out which teachers are trained and what kind of training and facilities they have to assist with injuries in school.

Does every classroom have a first aid kit?

Day to day injuries is part and parcel with children going to school. They will graze their knees in their playground, they will snip their fingers with the scissors, they will bang their toe in sports. It is essential that classroom’s are fitted with the right first aid equipment to assist in the correct management of minor injuries.

Does your school have at least one defibrillator on site?

We believe it is essential for the safety and protection of everyone on a school campus, from pupils, teachers, staff and visitors – that a potentially lifesaving defibrillator should be available at all times. And depending on the size of the school and the number of pupils, multiple defibrillators should be present in an effort to create a heart safe environment at all times.

Modern defibrillators are simple to use and designed to ensure anyone can use them in an emergency with clear and concise verbal and visual instructions to help the user through the rescue process calmly and effectively.

If you find out that your school doesn’t tick all of the boxes, why not express your views with the parent and teacher association? Suggesting that all staff should be trained in first aid and have access to the appropriate equipment to deal with an emergency will help to improve the safety of your child whilst they are not in your care.

To share your views on this matter, we’d like to invite you to fill out our very own survey surrounding the need for first aid trained staff and defibrillators in schools. We hope by raising awareness of the benefits of having these devices close by; we can encourage schools to see them as a necessary piece of equipment and as an investment in their pupils and staff.

**Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA**

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