5 Lifesaving Techniques to Teach Kids

Young Attractive Girl Stands Near Car With Open Back Door And Emergency Lights Is On, Tries To Find Something In First Aid Kit

I recently read about a Muskogee tween who saved not one but two lives in a single day thanks to his own quick thinking and the influence of his family. It’s yet another reminder that kids are capable of a lot more than adults give them credit for. And one of the reasons this boy was able to save his classmate was that a relative took just a few minutes to show him a video on lifesaving techniques.

It really got me thinking. With all of the incredibly helpful videos available online, it only takes a few short moments to learn something new. And unlike the educational films we had to watch when I was in school, a lot of the content you can find online is designed to capture the attention of a younger generation. What if taking a few minutes to show your kids a short video could save a life or two?

So in the spirit of Davyon Johnson and the hope for a healthier year in 2022, I’ve pulled together a few helpful videos you can share with your family. 

1. First Aid for Choking

I’ll never forget the day I was working at the Olive Garden and one of my customers choked. The thing that sticks with me is how quickly it happened. I went to the kitchen to get drinks for my tables, and when I came back, the man had choked and been saved thanks to the quick thinking of someone nearby. The entire incident took no more than a minute and a half. Here’s a video of a couple of teens at a real school demonstrating just how fast it can happen.

Every year in the US, there are about 5,000 choking-related deaths. But that number would be a whole lot higher if not for the many lives saved from the Heimlich maneuver. If your child is grade 7 or under, this video from Heimlich Heroes offers a simple breakdown of the procedure along with educational prompts. For older teens and adults, check out this simple guide from the Mayo Clinic and this video on saving an infant. Once you’ve watched the videos, you can practice running through the techniques as a family. Finally, check out this awesome video about how to survive when choking alone. 

2. CPR

If you took your CPR training back in the ‘90s like me, just a heads up that the technique is taught a little differently today. But also, and importantly, if you took CPR in the ‘90s, you’re probably approaching middle age and an increased chance of cardiac incidents. Just sayin’.

But it’s also important to realize that it’s not just older folks who have heart attacks, and there are a lot of reasons they can occur. Here’s a video of a teenager who saved a fellow teen’s life when she suffered a sudden heart attack from an undiagnosed condition. Start by sharing this video about the signs of a heart attack and what to do if you suspect you’re having one. Next, share this paramedic’s video on how to save a life with CPR. While you can’t safely practice compressions on your family, you can practice the hand position and mimic the motions to make it more natural if it’s ever needed. Finally, since most public places have an AED (defibrillator) device, be familiar with the AED locations at school or work and share this video with your family. 

3. First Aid for Strokes

A few years ago, one of my favorite actors, Tim Omundsen from “Psych,” was only two years older than me when he had a stroke. While he recovered, the process was long and difficult. Check out this video talking about what a stroke is and why it occurs. And here’s a follow-up that covers how to help someone who may be having one. 

4. First Aid for Anaphylaxis (Severe Allergic Reaction)

If anyone in your family has a severe allergy, keeping an EpiPen on hand is a must. And even if you don’t, it’s important to remember that you could encounter someone suffering from anaphylaxis, and there’s a good chance they’ve got an EpiPen nearby. Here’s a video that talks about helping them use it. 

5. First Aid for Burns

Did you know that not all burns are alike and most people don’t understand the correct treatment for burns? This paramedic video breaks down the different types and degrees of burns and how to treat them. And be sure to check out my guide to making a family fire plan and make sure your family has one in place!

Have you ever had to render a lifesaving technique? Let me know in the comments, and have a safe week in your little nebula!

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