accessibility & help

First aid campaign launched for young people

13 September 2010

Young people dancing at a rave© InfoAs a new survey reveals that hundreds of thousands of young Britons have faced emergency situations in the past year, the British Red Cross is launching a campaign to improve young people’s life-saving skills.

The Life. Live it. campaign is specifically aimed at encouraging 11-16 year olds to learn life-saving skills so that they are better able to cope in an emergency.

The survey, commissioned by the British Red Cross, highlighted several worrying statistics. For example, it showed that one in seven young teens (aged 11-16) has been in an emergency situation as a result of a friend drinking too much alcohol. In the past 12 months alone, more than 532,000 young teenagers have been left to cope with a drunken friend who was sick, injured or unconscious. 

Medical emergencies

However, it’s not only alcohol-related injuries that young people have to cope with. The survey showed that a massive 89 per cent of 11-16 year olds had found themselves confronted with some kind of medical emergency. A quarter of young people have had to deal with asthma attacks, a third of them with head injuries and one in five with someone choking.

But the crucial point is this: when faced with such emergency situations, 44 per cent panicked and 46 per cent simply didn’t know what to do.

First aid opportunities

Over the next 15 months, the Red Cross will produce a national programme of activities designed to teach first aid to young people and inspire them to act in a crisis. They will focus on four key areas relevant to young people’s lives – music, sport, dance and fashion.

Joe Mulligan, first aid expert at the British Red Cross, said: “Four out of five young people say that they would feel safer if they had some first aid knowledge. Our aim is to ensure that all young people and children in the UK have the opportunity to learn first aid skills and gain the confidence to save lives.”

The new campaign builds upon the success of the Red Cross’ Life.Live it. teaching resource, which enables educators with no previous first aid experience to teach life-saving skills to young people.

In the survey’s most compelling statistic, a huge majority –  97 per cent – of young people said they believed first aid education would improve their confidence, skills and willingness to act in a crisis. 

Find out more about our Life. Live it. campaign

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