Teaching kids to save lives

2019-05-14 06:00
Children attending the first aid workshop.

Children attending the first aid workshop.

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Helping Hands Academy, a first aid training provider, will be hosting a free children’s first aid workshop at the Pinelands Library on Saturday.

The workshop will start at 10:00 and is for children from the age of seven and up. Adults who would like to attend are welcome because the academy always needs to practice on adults. They will also learn something during the process, says founder of the academy Samantha Adams.

She has been running the academy in various areas, with workshops usually held at a library and are open to anyone.

Adams decided to have free workshops for children because they are often left alone without an adult or older children are left alone to look after their younger siblings. “If something goes wrong, these kids should at least be able to call an ambulance and keep the injured person calm. I have a nine-year-old son that I started teaching first aid skills to when he was six-years-old. If anything should happen to me when we are alone at home, I feel confident that he will know exactly what to do and know how to control the situation with confidence.

“I would like all kids to feel this way and all adults to feel confident that their kids will know what to do when the time comes. This is how we build our kids, we give them skills that they can use for life,” she says.

In this workshop children will be taught how to call an ambulance and what to say; the importance of wearing gloves and other safety measures; how to control bleeding and to correctly apply a bandage. They will also be taught how to keep an injured casualty calm; and how to place an adult into the recovery position when this will be required. These workshops are said to be interactive and those who attend have lots of role plays and demos.

Adams founded the academy in 2014 and she is a qualified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and first aid instructor. The academy is based in Athlone and they offer accredited courses as well as free public adult workshops. She also offers free children’s first aid workshops for children as young as five-years-old.

They offer accredited first aid courses (level 1-3); cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) courses; pediatric courses and they also offer free workshops to non-profit organisations as well as free children’s first aid workshops. 

“One of the first aid courses for kids include certificates for ages 10 to 13. This is the first time something like this is introduced in Cape Town. At the moment the free workshops are only done in Cape Town,” she says.

Adams encourages parents to send their children to this workshop as it is not only life saving but a skill that one should possess in life. She adds her workshops are not to be missed.

“My workshops and courses are very different from the norm because of all the role play and practicals. Children, as well as adults, have gained confidence from these workshops. Parents have come to me and told me that these workshops are teaching their kids skills, which are not normally taught and if they didn’t attend this workshop they might only learn these skills when they are much older. These workshops are always fun,” she says.

Though the workshop is free, the organisation is appealing to those that are attending to donate a toiletry item if they can, which will go towards the Always Be Clean project, held annually. The toiletries are handed out at the end of October to a shelter, or a home or to people on the streets.

  • For more information or for Helping Hands Academy to come to your area, call Samantha Adams on 060 418 7482.
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