• June 9, 2023

    Anyone can learn CPR, even elementary students! Physical education teachers Beth Bolger and Matt Slinkosky taught their students that they are never too young to save a life. 

    During the Kids Heart Challenge Jump Rope Unit, students in Universal Pre-K through Fifth Grade at Lincoln Avenue learned hands-only CPR. 

    Hands-only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths 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 elementary students what to do should they find themselves in such a situation. Students were 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. 

    Students are taught to give chest compressions to the beat of the Bee Gees’ disco song “Stayin Alive.” The song is one-hundred beats per minute, which is the minimum rate one should push on the chest during hand-only CPR. 

    According to the American Heart Association, seventy percent of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen at home. This raises the likelihood that people called upon to respond are trying to save the life of someone they love. 

    Coach Bolger believes that physical education should be more than learning to be active. “We need to teach our students the skills they need to lead a lifetime of health and fitness, but it is equally important to teach them how to save the lives of others,” she said. “Teaching our elementary student's hand-only CPR will equip the students with the tools and confidence to act in an emergency and transform themselves from the role of bystander to lifesaver.”