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When Can Children Learn CPR?

What is the right age for children to learn CPR? When are they able to perform effective CPR? Should schools have a program in place?

An article put out by ABCNews in 2009, reported that by the age of 9, children can retain the skills and knowledge of how to perform CPR. Most younger children were not able to perform chest compressions to the correct depth for an extended period, simply because of lack of strength. They had the cognitive skills, retention, and performance down as well as, or better in some cases, then many adults though.

In Greece, Mr. Anastasis Stefanakis founded “Kids Save Lives” as part of their National Emergency Aid Centre in Athens, to teach children how to perform CPR starting when they are 10 years old. This is a volunteer-run program offering 4 hour courses where children learn “how to assess a collapsed victim and check for responsiveness, how to call the emergency services, how to perform chest compressions and rescue breaths, the recovery position, how to prevent and treat prehospital trauma, and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).”

As part of this program since 2016, over 42,000 people at 470 schools learned CPR. A 14-year-old in Greece recently saved her 10-year-old sister who was drowning in a pool and had stopped breathing. And 18 cardiac arrest victims have been resuscitated by course participants. Since they started this program and saw its successes, they have also lowered the minimum age for certified CPR Instructors from 18-years old down to 16-years-old.

Austria ran a similar study where 147 children, ages 9-18 in 11 different schools, received 6 hours of CPR training. 9 out of 10 participants could perform chest compressions correctly. However only 69% tilted the mannequin’s head back enough to give sufficient breaths during mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. There was enough data though to support implementing CPR Training in schools. Some believe that even though children may not be effective at saving an adult’s life, they can at least learn how to assess whether someone needs help, call 911, and begin the steps in the chain of survival.

My children are 12 and 13 and have already spent some time at home familiarizing themselves with our ZOLL AED, Cardiac Science AED, and Brayden CPR Manikin. Now that it is time for me to renew my 2-year CPR/AED Certification, I plan on signing them up for a class as well.

If you would like more information about our myAED CPR, AED and First Aid Training classes, please call us at 1-800-695-1209 or contact us at support@coromed.us.


Written by Leigh Written by Leigh
Customer Service Associate