accessibility & help

Only 9 per cent of UK parents are confident to perform first aid, says British Red Cross survey

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Henry Makiwa

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As Britain marks Parent’s Week (19 – 25th October 09) a new survey by the British Red Cross shows only 9 per cent of UK parents are confident and willing to perform first aid.

The poll of parents across the UK, asked what action they would take in several scenarios and, more importantly, recorded respondents’ confidence and willingness to act when faced with an emergency situation.

While 46 per cent worried about getting something wrong, a mere 9 per cent of parents expressed strong confidence and got three first aid scenarios right. Worrying statistics from recent surveys show that more than a million children each year in the UK are involved in an accident at home . 

Joe Mulligan, head of first aid education services at the British Red Cross, said: “Nothing is more important to a parent than the health, happiness and well being of their child. The lack of confidence or fear of getting something wrong is a concern amongst parents. However accidents do happen and typically the carer or parent will be first on the scene.  In response to this we are making first aid more accessible, flexible and free.

“With our online advice and learning resources it is easy it is to pick up first aid skills and instil confidence to respond when required. It also enables busy parents who may not always find time to attend a first aid course, to learn essential life-saving skills in their own homes, at their own pace.”

Accessible by logging on to the Children First Aid website (, the new tool covers a number of different topics and offers a range of different materials including videos, quizzes, animations, audio and downloadable resources.

30-year-old mother of one, Katherine Jones has found the British Red Cross children’s first aid site, an apt refresher to the First Aid course she took a year ago. Katherine, a solicitor, juggles demanding professional duties and parenthood, working three days a week and looking after 18-months-old daughter Eve.

She says: “I couldn’t find time to do another first aid course at the moment as my hands are full with work and the bundle of energy that is Eve. In that regard, the Red Cross Children First Aid site is a priceless resource to me, and a precious discovery indeed. It’s easy to use and free; and I recommend other parents to use it.”

To learn basic first aid skills that could save your child or baby’s life please visit


Notes to editors

The survey polled 325 parents across the UK and all the people participating in the survey had a child under 5 years old.

The British Red Cross also offers training courses for members of the public. For more information call 0844 871 8000 or visit

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

In the event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters either overseas or here in the UK. For more information, visit