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Teachers and school staff encouraged to learn first aid during ‘inset’ day to respond to allergies and injuries

Teachers and school staff encouraged to learn first aid during ‘inset’ day to respond to allergies and injuries

St John Ambulance is encouraging teachers and school staff to learn life saving first aid during their ‘inset’ training day as the summer allergy season approaches.

According to Allergy UK, 50% of children and young people have one or more allergy. Each year the number of allergy sufferers increases by 5% and half of those affected are children.

The UK is one of the top three countries in the world with the highest incident of allergy. Every school is likely to have at least one pupil who is severely food allergic and many schools will have more. Peanut allergies are particularly common with one in 70 children nationwide thought to be affected.

At least one pupil in every school has severe food allergies

The St John Ambulance First aid inset training course allows schools to customise first aid training from a list of first aid modules, including:

  • severe allergic reaction
  • asthma
  • common injuries
  • or medical conditions.

Alternatively the standard inset day training course includes key subjects such as:

  • the role of a first aider
  • bleeding
  • resuscitation
  • asthma
  • choking
  • and dealing with an unconscious casualty.

During 2012 more than 4,650 people from across the country have undertaken St John Ambulance First aid inset training, ensuring teachers and staff can confidently provide effective first aid.

Richard Evens, Commercial Marketing Director, said: ‘Our research has shown that the top five subjects most popular with schools are severe allergic reaction, asthma, bleeding, choking and fractures. We also understand that, when it comes to first aid, every classroom is different and most pupils and staff will have different needs. That’s why our training can be tailor-made to suit the school and delivered at their premises. Schools have to set aside five days each year during term-time for staff training, so this is the perfect opportunity to learn life saving first aid.’

‘With so many children now suffering from allergies, including asthma, hayfever and food allergies, we understand that the ability to understand allergic conditions and deal with sudden or severe symptoms is fast becoming an essential part of child care. Schools, like any other employer, have a legal responsibility to provide first aid training to their staff. But even more importantly we’re talking about giving teachers vital skills which could mean they’re the difference between a life lost and a life saved when faced with an emergency on school premises.’ he added.

Teachers to be given vital skills to deal with emergencies on school premises

Lindsey McManus, Deputy CEO, Allergy UK says: ‘Allergy UK welcomes this initiative by St John Ambulance. With more children in schools having severe reactions to foods, it is becoming ever more important that teachers have training on how to cope both with the everyday needs of an allergic child and also how to cope in an emergency situation.’

St John Ambulance works with 27,782 schools in the UK. The charity also provides first aid training to hundreds of thousands of young people every year.