Last night my 12 year old daughter was sprayed in the face with a broken glo-stick. Luckily my 14 year old daughter came to the rescue by immediately helping her to flush her eyes with water. This is because she has listened as I’ve taught her little bits of first aid over the years (the 12 year old obviously hasn’t been quite as good at listening….)
Over 14 years of playdates, I’ve seen a lot of kids who have been cut not know how to manage bleeding. They will invariably place the wound under water and allow it bleed freely, or do things like suck the blood (ew), or squeeze the wound causing it to bleed more. Basic first aid knowledge would guide them to apply pressure to the wound, elevate and seek help.
As kids become teens they often have no immediate adult supervision and will be left to handle first aid situations on their own with their peers.
Sometimes they may even delay getting adult help if they are injured in the course of being a bit naughty – eg playing with a knife in the shed, or playing with matches when they aren’t meant to, or perhaps getting burned as they experiment with cooking alone…
Kids and teens definitely do need to know what to do to manage basic first aid, and to know how to recognise its an emergency and time to call 000 (Australia)
At Port Lincoln Training we love to teach kids and teens basic first aid – including changing their idea that the Australia Emergency phone number is not 911!!! (Its 000:)