Why do you need a list of reasons is the more salient question to be asking? First, let me define what First Aid is. First Aid is the assistance a bystander gives to someone who is experiencing a medical crisis or a life-threatening emergency. Now that you know what First Aid is, the next question needs to be addressed: Why wouldn’t you want to have basic First Aid training and skills?
No one living on planet Earth exists not having experienced one or more medical or health-related causes for concern or injuries that require First Aid treatment. First Aid does not replace the need for medical professionals, but it can equip you with the knowledge to know what situations are minor and can be treated at home or in the office, and what situations require a visit to a GP. In extreme cases, you may need to dial emergency services 000 for immediate assistance and give life-saving CPR to a family member, a co-worker, or a random stranger.
Mother Nature can be cruel
Mother Nature has a funny way of making us all aware of our mortal, temporary existence, and when we least expect it, accidents occur. We play sports, work out, and eat food that is new to us. We overindulge in the vices, and sometimes, we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. We become collateral damage. No matter what caused the situation, if you were faced with any of the following scenarios right here and now, do you have the skills and knowledge required to save a life or treat a wound? Let’s see if you can correctly render First Aid to any of the following:
- A toddler is choking on a button battery.
- Someone drowned and needs CPR.
- A pregnant woman collapses for no reason on the street.
- A teenager has been stabbed and is bleeding heavily with the knife still in their chest.
- A child breaks their leg, and the bone is poking through the skin.
- An elderly person starts staggering and then has a stroke before your eyes.
- Someone in the restaurant has an allergic reaction and goes into anaphylactic shock.
- You need to check if an unconscious person is asleep or unconscious. Are they breathing, and do they have a pulse if there is no response?
- A child swallows poison or medication and falls unconscious.
- You drive past an accident with multiple injured people and are the first person on the scene. Who do you help first?
- How do you use an AED?
- What is hands-only CPR?
The list is endless, and there are countless reasons why you need to take a First Aid course this year. It doesn’t matter if you have never taken one, or if you qualify every three years and keep up to date on the current practices and protocols. Once learned, First Aid is a skill with you for life. It is also useful in a variety of situations that are not all critical or emergencies in nature.
Applying a Band-Aid to a finger or dressing a graze the length of a leg, knowing the correct sterile protocols to treat the injury site and prevent infection or sepsis is vital. If you don’t clean the wound and sterilise it before adding a covering, you run the risk of creating infections that can lead to blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome.
Social aspects of taking a First Aid course
Everyone needs friends, and most people like to make new friends and acquaintances. Taking a First Aid course can be a fantastic way for people new to a city or town to meet like-minded people and make new friends. If you are part of a large social club or sporting organisation with lots of single people, you could combine First Aid training with a singles mixer and (pardon the pun) kill two birds with one stone! A year later, you might be holding Childcare First Aid Courses for first-time parents.
Speaking of parents, anyone who has ever raised offspring knows only too well the propensity for children to get into mischief that results in cuts, bruises, sprains, strains, and broken bones. Backyard trampolines and swing sets, trees and even superman jumping off the roof to see if he could fly are fairly regular occurrences in active children that require First Aid treatment.
Let’s not forget the little tykes becoming generally unwell due to contracting whatever virus or pathogens are being transmitted around their schools or daycare centres. Knowing how to tell the difference between a viral infection like the common cold that rarely needs anything more than rest, chocolate, love and chicken soup, and a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics to prevent an infection from turning into a case of pneumonia or an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection requiring hospitalisation has to be considered a mandatory skill requirement of parenting 101.
I have a First Aid kit but never use it.
Lucky you. Mine gets used at least once a month. I am forever replacing the content. That brings me to the next point. When was the last time you checked the used by dates on your First Aid items? Nothing lasts forever, and First Aid kits contain perishable equipment and medications. Incorrectly storing a First Aid kit can lead to the content being damaged, or rubber seals and masks cracking, rendering them useless. Having the right first aid kit for the size of your family and the correct content to deal with the stages of development your family is going through are also key reasons to take a First Aid course pronto. Ensuring you have the right supplies to treat injuries your teenage, football-mad daughter, or MMA training son receives will go a long way to being prepared for any emergency event. As any pragmatist will tell you, “It is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it on hand.”
First Aid is something we all do even if we are not aware we are doing it at the time. Everything we do in life is a learned behaviour. Someone taught us to do it, and First Aid is no exception. Having the right skills and knowledge to render First Aid assistance is far more than putting a sticky plaster on a boo-boo and giving the kid a kiss and a lollipop. While the latter option might work in some cases, it won’t be the correct response in others. Don’t let guilt and inaction through ignorance be the reason you cannot save someone’s life. Stop procrastinating! Book yourself into a First Aid course today, tomorrow, this year, but make it happen. No one has ever learned First Aid and then said it was a useless skill to have acquired!