Why Parents Should Get Basic Life Support Training

Parents are responsible for many things when it comes to their children’s care. At the top of the list is safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death for children of all ages is an unintentional injury caused by accidents. Incidents of choking, nearly drowning, falls, poisoning, sports injuries, and other traumatic accidents frequently occur with children. All of these can lead to cardiac arrest (loss of heart functioning, breathing, and consciousness), which requires immediate intervention to save the child’s life.

Unfortunately, many parents don’t know what to do in the event of an emergency or how to help their child while they wait for emergency medical services (EMS) to arrive on the scene. But when a child is in cardiac arrest, every minute counts. Parents who are certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) know how to intervene immediately to increase their child’s chances of survival and a full recovery.

BLS training can give parents the knowledge and skills necessary to help their children in the event of an emergency. If you have a child, getting your BLS certification may save a child’s life someday, maybe even your own child’s life.

What Is BLS Training?

BLS is a type of emergency care that is typically administered by first responders (e.g., EMTs) and healthcare providers to a person who is experiencing an obstructed airway, trouble breathing, or cardiac arrest. The primary purpose of BLS is to open the airways and keep blood circulating throughout the body to ensure that oxygen reaches the body’s vital organs.

The skills you learn in BLS training as a parent will help you to:

Recognize the signs of cardiac arrest

Respond confidently and quickly to an emergency

Open an obstructed airway

Perform CPR when needed

If you are facing an emergency with a child, having basic life support certification will ensure that you know exactly how to respond in the event of an emergency until healthcare professionals arrive on the scene.

Reasons Why Parents Should Get Basic Life Support Training

While BLS is often associated with healthcare providers, anyone can learn the lifesaving skills taught in a BLS course. Parents, in particular, can benefit from this knowledge to ensure their child’s survival in the event of an emergency.

Reduce Parental Anxiety

Feeling confident in your parenting skills and knowing what to do in an emergency can do wonders for your mental health and assurance that you can help your child in any type of scenario. Parents who are trained in BLS know how to recognize the signs of a medical emergency and have the skills required to take action. In a recent study, parents whose children had experienced an apparent life-threatening event (ALTE) were given BLS training after their child was discharged from the hospital. Every parent described their experience as “helpful” and reported a reduction in anxiety following their BLS certification.

Most Accidents Occur in the Home

Children are generally curious, adventurous, and brave. They’re not always aware of the potential dangers of exploring their world. Statistics show that most children’s accidents occur in the home and are a leading cause of serious injury, long-term disability, and preventable deaths.

While some accidents are preventable, many aren’t. Knowing what to do when an accident occurs can mean the difference between life and death for a child. As a parent, you’ll do anything you can to ensure your child’s safety and wellness. Having your BLS certification is one way you can help keep your child safe and healthy for many years to come, even in the event of an accident or emergency.

Teach Lifesaving Skills to Your Children

Children are eager to learn and receptive to learning new skills, particularly when they know they can use this newfound knowledge to potentially save a person’s life. When your child is old enough (between 5 and 8 years old), you can transfer the knowledge you have about basic life support to your child to help boost their confidence and teach them what to do if they are faced with a medical emergency at school or home, when playing outside with friends, and other settings. By sharing this important knowledge, you can feel assured that your child will know how to recognize and exit a potentially dangerous situation, how to treat wounds, how to call for help, and how to safely approach emergencies. Your child will also learn important fire prevention techniques and water safety skills.

What Is Taught in BLS Training?

Basic life-saving skills are taught in BLS training, including:

  • How to open the airways
  • How to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
  • How to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • How to use medical equipment in the event of an emergency (e.g., defibrillator)
  • How to administer CPR solo (alone) and as a team
  • How to administer chest compressions to infants, children, and adults

Once you’ve completed your BLS training program, you will know how to assess and act in emergencies both on your own and as part of a team.

The American Academy of CPR and First Aid provides comprehensive, online training to give you the knowledge and skills you need to handle any emergency event your family may face now and in the future. Our online courses are created by board-certified instructors with years of experience in the healthcare field. Take BLS training online and access the course material at your own pace, at your convenience, day or night.