Background One research activity established a community-based first response system including CPR. Participants were aged 10 years and over and each age group demonstrated that they could successfully learn CPR and retain the skills over time. Another research activity involved teaching children 4 years old and over basic swimming skills and safe rescue. Follow-up research on the children showed that many conducted rescues. The average age of rescuer and rescuee was 9 years and 3 years respectively. Some rescues were not successful as the victim lacked a pulse and respiration. This demonstrated a need for children younger than 10 years old to be able to resuscitate young children. The objective of the study was to develop a group of young community first responders between the ages of 7 and 9 years to provide first aid and CPR in order to demonstrate whether first responders in that age group were able to provide emergency response when required
Methods Ten community swimming instructors (CSIs) were trained to teach first aid and CPR to children 7–9 years. The CSIs participated in a two-day intensive training-of-trainers activity. A standard first aid course including CPR was taught to the children using child manikins following swim training in the SwimSafe program.
Results A total of 811 children participated in the training programme. The male:female proportion was 51.2 percent and 48.8 percent. A total of 82.5 percent of participants passed the first aid and CPR certification process. Passing rates were similar for both sexes and the highest passing rates were noted in 7 year old boys (85.0 percent) and girls (87.0 percent).
Conclusion Children aged 7–9 years old can learn the skills of first aid and CPR. Further research is needed to demonstrate that skills are retained over time and that once trained, these young children can provide successful first response activities in emergencies that include CPR.
- rural Bangladesh
- children 7-9 years
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