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What would you do if the person in front of you right now began to choke? It’s a simple question, but one that gets right to the heart of why knowing basic first aid is not just recommended but a necessity. In an emergency, every single second counts and often there is not enough time to ring for an ambulance or even sometimes call out for help. If someone in your presence falls ill, their life could well be in your hands. The problems are that too many people do not know what to do when it is there.

Here are the top 5 reasons why first aid is a skill everybody should take the small amount of time to learn.

1.  Saving lives

Obviously the point of first aid is to save lives, but many people don’t understand exactly how many lives could be saved if everybody knew first aid. Recently a controversial advert aired in the UK where a man beat cancer only to die by choking on meat because nobody in his family knew first aid. The storyline was created to underscore this simple but terrifying fact: 140,000 people die in the UK each year in situations were first aid could save their life – which is more than the estimated amount of people who die from cancer.

People take steps every day to try preventing them and their loved ones from getting cancer and even donating money to that effect, but people aren’t running out to learn first aid. If more people knew just how important first aid was, perhaps more people would take it up.

2.  Good parenting

Children are much more likely to get into situations such as choking or drowning were first aid is essential. Parents should take it upon themselves to do the best they can caring for their children by learning everything they need to know to keep their children safe – and that includes first aid.

3. Job skills and inspiration

Many people learn first aid and are later inspired to go on and work in the medical field, simply because they realise just how much power a little bit of knowledge can have. Many people often dismiss the nursing profession because they ‘know less’ than doctors, yet the skills than nurses have make them one of the most in demand professionals across many countries with the ability to travel nursing and dictate job flexibility. A little bit of knowledge can be power. In addition, first aid skills are sometimes essential for jobs such as working with children.

4.  Incorrect application of first aid

Many people think they know how to save someone from choking or drowning simply because they have seen it on TV. In desperation, many people try to give mouth-to-mouth in emergency situations and sometimes hurt or kill the people they are trying to save. People can’t learn skills like lifesaving just from seeing an actor do it in passing on TV: it takes actual learning to save a life.


5.  Extra time

Often first aid isn’t about completely curing someone but prolonging their life enough for emergency services to reach them. All you need to know to save numerous lives is to keep people going long enough. It’s a simple fact, but one often overlooked.

Overall, there are almost no reasons why you shouldn’t learn first aid. The courses are quick and often freely given by many charitable organizations. If you want to save a life, then take a few hours out of your weekend to learn something new. One day, it could help you save a stranger, or your child or even your own life.

This is a guest post by Victoria Abrams. Victoria currently represents Travel Nurse across America, a traveling nurse agency offering the highest level of service in the traveling healthcare industry.

Recommended: Use a voucher code MAS5385 to save an extra 5% when shopping for supplements on iHerb.

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