Why students should learn CPR, even if their school doesn’t require it
Whether you’ve been out of school for decades or still have some years left before you graduate, almost certainly at one time or another you’ve had this thought during a class: “When are we ever going to use this?”
While school teaches us many important lessons and lots of good information, not everything is relevant to our daily lives. When, for example, was the last time you had to solve an equation outside of algebra class?
This is why when a valuable skill is taught – like CPR – it should be welcomed by everyone. Unfortunately, CPR training is not mandatory in all schools across the country. Right now, it is a graduation requirement in high schools in 38 states and the District of Columbia.
Florida, however, is not included on that list. Two attempts by the legislature in recent years to change this have both failed. But this shouldn’t stop high school (or college) students in Florida from seeking training on their own.
How teens can benefit from CPR training
CPR training is beneficial for everyone, and perhaps teenagers especially because it gives them:
According to statistics from the American Heart Association, an average of 475,000 people in the U.S. die from cardiac arrest every year. And about 350,000 of cardiac arrests happen outside of a hospital. This means that the vast majority of people experiencing this trauma rely on bystanders for assistance. The survival rate for victims who get help is around 45 percent. Knowing CPR is the best way to save a life, whether it’s that of a friend, classmate, older family member, or younger sibling.
Even if it is never used, knowing CPR can instill confidence in someone. Understanding what needs to be done in the event of an emergency can help a teen keep a cool head in a crisis.
A skill employers look for
For students looking for an after-school job or summer work, being able to put CPR training on their resume can give them an edge. For lifeguards or anything that involves children, this is a must. Someone seeking a gig babysitting could put a parent’s mind at ease knowing he or she has CPR knowledge. Even for volunteer work – at a nursing home, for example – this is a skill that can come in handy.
It’s easy to say why it is important for people to learn CPR, but the message really hits home when you see the results. Here are just a few recent examples:
High school senior saves stranger’s life on New York City street
Just a couple weeks after learning CPR at his high school – which is mandatory in New York –
Anthony Rosa Conpres saved the life of a man who collapsed on a street in the Bronx.
Lacrosse player uses CPR to save the life of his teammate
When Colby Clay collapsed after being hit in the chest with a lacrosse ball during practice at his high school in Beaverton, Oregon, teammate Ben Wu’s CPR skills saved his life.
Senior saves senior: High school student uses CPR on an elderly man
High school senior Alex Cowie was working at the Action Fitness Gym in Hillsboro, Missouri, when she saw an older man suddenly collapse. Using the CPR skills she learned in school, she helped save the man’s life. Since CPR training became a requirement in Missouri high schools, this was the third time a student has used CPR to save a life in Hillsboro.
Don’t wait until Florida makes it mandatory in schools
If you’re a student, a parent of a student, or an educator, you should know that regardless of the state laws, CPR training is useful for everyone. At One Beat CPR + AED, our classes are taught by first responders with years of experience. Plus, we can bring the training to you. For more information, please get in touch.