A school is the quintessential public place- teeming with students, staff, faculty, parents, grandparents and visitors arriving for plays, games and graduations. And anywhere large numbers regularly congregate, there is a chance someone will collapse from sudden cardiac arrest, as upwards of a quarter of million Americans do each year. That person will likely die unless someone intervenes and provides lifesaving CPR.
The same is true at home where more than 80% of sudden cardiac arrests occur, often in the presence of the victim’s child. Training students, staff and faculty will help make both school and the home safer places.
Incorporating Project Heart Start into a health curriculum in the classroom, a PE class, a CPR rally for the whole school or a health night for the families is easy. The program last only 30 minutes and should not cost much. Manikins can be borrowed (see locations ) and the video can be downloaded. Some printing of student pre/post tests and wallet cards and you are good to go.
School nurses are a great lead for the training. They can train other facilitators such as health education teacher, security guards or police, janitors or coaches.
Although children of all ages should grow up learning the steps of saving someone’s life, children over the age of 12 are physically strong enough to perform CPR on a manikin or person. We have suggested working with middle and high school students but have also seen many younger children participate alongside with their parents at community health nights or large public events.
- In elementary schools often the physical education teachers are involved in organizing school wide events with a health focus. Project Heart Start can be incorporated in those events and teach families. Small children will eagerly participate and will remember the simple steps of calling 911 and performing chest compressions.
- Middle school age children are typically strong enough in the 7th grade and have shown great interest. The middle school health class is the ideal setting.
- High school students should be learning hands only CPR. The 9th grade health class or PE provide easy settings. Gyms are ideal spaces for hosting the training and many are equipped with screens and projectors which makes showing the video easy.
View the Step by Step Planning Instructions