Make first aid part of school curriculum

The Ministry of Education should consider including basic first-aid lessons in its secondary school curriculum.

According to the Health Promotion Board, heart attacks are a leading cause of death here.

Everyone should be equipped with first-aid skills to resuscitate anyone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest, as such attacks can happen at any time, anywhere and to anyone.

It is commendable that there has been an increase in the number of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) placed around Singapore in recent years. However, they will go to waste if there aren't enough people trained and qualified to use such equipment.

It is crucial that everyone is trained in first aid, instead of relying on a few trained first aiders, as the chances of survival in cardiac arrest cases decrease every minute without defibrillation.

Other than being taught how to operate AEDs, students should also learn how to resuscitate casualties via cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and be taught to treat physical injuries such as sprains, burns and bleeding wounds.

They should attend refresher lessons as well, to keep their first-aid skills updated.

By equipping our younger generations with first-aid knowledge, we can all live in a safer environment, and everyone can help in times of emergency.

Quan Jian Rong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2015, with the headline 'Make first aid part of school curriculum'. Print Edition | Subscribe