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School staff should equip pupils with first aid lessons, says expert

25/03/2009 Joanna
School staff should be teaching their pupils first aid as part of PSHE lessons, a professional has suggested.

According to Dr Jenny McWhirter, education adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), this would be a "useful add-on to the extended schools agenda".

Equipping students with these skills could help save lives in the future, she said, noting that RoSPA believes that "everyone can be part of the solution to accidents".

Her comments followed the publication of a survey on this subject conducted by St John Ambulance.

This found that 69 per cent of schoolchildren said they would not know how to use first aid in an emergency situation.

Dr McWhirter argued that it is important to give young people the skills "to assess risks and make informed decisions about safety throughout their lives".

She noted that while some teachers are equipped with the knowledge to pass these lessons onto their pupils, it may be necessary for external agencies to be brought in to supply this guidance.
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