Learning Hands-Only CPR at Lincoln Avenue
HANDS-ONLY CPR Training at Lincoln Elementary School
For a second year, Physical Education teacher Beth Bolger at Lincoln Avenue elementary school has been training her K-5 students in Hands-Only CPR and preparing them to be proactive during an emergency. “I teach my students that they are never too young to save a life.”
After last year’s successful, two-week unit, when Coach Bolger introduced her students to Hands-Only CPR during their Water Safety Unit, this year she selected February—American Heart Month—for this important lesson.
“Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths,” Bolger explained, “And has been shown to be as effective as CPR with breaths in the first few minutes of out-of-hospital, sudden, cardiac arrest.” Seeing a person suddenly collapse in any setting can be frightening to adults and children alike. However, Hands-Only CPR is teaching these elementary students what to do should they find themselves in such a situation. They have been drilled to remember the two, easy steps: “First, call 911 or send someone to call. Second, push hard and fast in the center of the chest.”
Within the training sessions, students have been taught to look for signs and symptoms of someone in distress, as well as what to do until help comes. “We teach the students,” Bolger continued, “to give chest compressions to the beat of the Bee Gees’ disco song Stayin’ Alive. The song is 100 beats per minute which is the minimum rate you should push on the chest during Hands-Only CPR. The tune is very catchy and helps the students remember the rate of compressions.”
Seventy percent of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home and raises the likelihood that people called upon to respond are trying to save the life of someone they love. Knowing Hands-Only CPR can give the gift of life.
For this Lincoln Avenue Teacher, physical education should be more than learning to be active. “We teach our students the skills they need to lead a lifetime of health and fitness,” Coach Bolger stated, adding that, “It is equally as important to teach them how to save the lives of others.”
Lessons these eager Lincoln Avenue students have taken to heart.