A Leicester primary school has trained all of its Year 6 pupils in vital life-saving skills with the help of a local charity.
Woodstock Primary Academy, in Stocking Farm, has also been highlighting ways in which younger children can raise the alarm to help in the event of a cardiac emergency.
Trainer and retired cardiac nurse Alan Harrison-White recently trained 58 Woodstock pupils in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use a defibrillator.
Alan works for the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust (JHMT), which raises awareness of conditions like sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS), a heart problem which can affect anyone at any time, particularly seemingly fit and healthy young people.
It was set up following the tragic death of Joe Humphries, aged just 14, from SADS while out on a jog near his Rothley home.
Alan said: “It’s great to be able to share these vital skills with primary school children. They really enthusiastic learners and by training them, we’re training the next generation. CPR and operating a defibrillator are really simple skills to learn, everyone should do it.”
Claire Beach, assistant head teacher at Woodstock, said: “It’s really important to us that our pupils are trained so they can understand how they can save someone’s life. Across the school we have highlighted the ways in which all children can raise the alarm to save someone’s life if ever they need to. We’re very grateful to the Joe Humphries Memorial Trust for providing the training.”
Joe’s sister Lauren is a teacher at Woodstock, and helped to launch the JHMT’s annual SADS Awareness Week at the school last year. She said:
“By launching SADS Week at a primary school, we were challenging other primary schools to get involved in life-saving. Sudden heart death isn’t inevitable, it’s preventable. If you get a defibrillator to someone and start CPR quickly after cardiac arrest, their chances of survival increase from 10% to as high as 80%.
“It’s important not to rule anyone out of life-saving. Younger children can help to raise the alarm. It’s fantastic to now teach children at this young age skills that will serve them for all of their life.”
The JHMT also took a film called Time to Save A Life to a meeting of Leicester primary school head teachers recently, to help raise awareness of SADS and the importance of learning CPR.
The film, made by teenager Jess O’Brien, challenged primary schools to think about how they could help children to learn life-saving skills.
Rothley Primary Academy has also recently had training for Year 6 pupils from the JHMT.
To find out more, visit http://jhmt.org.uk/cpr