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Knowledge to the Rescue: 3 Skills That Can Help You Save Someone’s Life

Let’s be honest – a lot of the things we’ve learned in school were used only to pass a test. Rarely anyone needs calculus in their day to day life.

That’s okay – the people who do use calculus usually do use it for the greater good. The fact that some more important knowledge is not included in the curriculum, however, is a tragedy.

Survival skills. Healthy habits in your day to day routine. First aid. This is just some of the information that would be extremely useful but that just doesn’t get mentioned at school.

So here are a few tasty nuggets of useful knowledge that can actually improve or help save someone’s life. These are the things that definitely need to be taught in schools.

First aid, CPR and AED

First aid is one of the most important life saving skills, and everyone needs to be acquainted with it, at least in basic principles. First aid is the assistance provided to a person immediately after injury.

First aid is a broad term encompassing everything from a simple bandaid on a surface cut to using a defibrillator on an unconscious person.

Here’s a list of common but severe and dangerous injuries that require first aid:

  • Anaphylaxis, or toxic shock
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Burns and scalds
  • Choking, mild and severe
  • Stroke
  • Drowning
  • Bone fractures
  • Heart attack
  • Poisoning
  • Shock

In broad strokes, first aid consists of the following steps:

  1. Making sure that the injured person is not in danger or in harm’s way.
  2. Checking whether the person is conscious
  3. Calling medical professionals to the scene of the injury, if necessary
  4. Making sure the person is breathing and removing any obstructions from the airway
  5. Administering CPR
  6. Using a defibrillator (AED) if the person is unconscious and not breathing

CPR is one of the most important first aid skills one can learn. The acronym stands for Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the procedure is meant to restart a person’s heart during cardiac arrest.

It consists of rhythmic compression of a person’s chest, around two times a second, or 120 per minute.

In the most real sense, knowing CPR can mean the difference between life and death. This technique can be easily learned in a first aid course and should definitely be a part of our schools’ curriculum.

Another useful skill to have is how to operate an automated external defibrillator or AED. An AED is a portable device used to help people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

By sending electroshocks through the person’s body, it can jolt the heart out arrhythmias or ventricular fibrillation and reestablish a proper rhythm. It’s a very sophisticated tool while also being very easy to use.

An AED should be an essential part of every serious and complete first aid kit.

Emergency Preparedness

Unfortunately, it’s not a question of whether a disaster like a fire or an earthquake will hit. It’s a question of when. Power outages, floods, hurricanes, and all other sorts of natural and manmade disasters cause panic in the population. The panic serves as a feedback loop, creating more panic and a more severe disaster.

That’s why emergency preparedness education should be an essential part of our schools’ curriculum.

Despite there being many kinds of different emergencies, some general principles apply to everything.

  • Evacuation plan

All office buildings, residential houses, and public spaces need to have a clear evacuation plan.

Everyone should learn the escape routes of a space (school, office, apartment building) they spend extended amounts of time in.

If you are responsible for a certain evacuation route, always make sure that it is clear and passable at all times.

  • Keep an emergency kit

An emergency kit is a collection of items that can help you survive during a disaster.

The thing is, you can’t rely on anything in the event of a catastrophe. Digital devices may become useless due to a lack of electricity. The roads may become undriveable, and you may be stuck in your home for an extended amount of time.

When trying to decide what goes in an emergency kit, think about preparing for a camping trip. Here’s a short list of things you can include:

  • Non-perishable food, two or three day’s worth
  • Water jugs
  • A light source (lamp, lantern)
  • First-aid kit
  • Sleeping bags
  • A physical map of your surroundings
  • A good swiss army knife
  • Batteries
  • A radio

Build your kit and store it in a safe location that you can easily reach. Make sure everyone in your household knows where it is and what it’s for.

  • Stay informed

Be on the lookout for AMBER alerts, NOAA reports, and other sources of potentially valuable information about incoming disasters. Cell phone providers also provide emergency notifications.

Do some research on likely disasters in your place of residence. If you live in Texas or Florida, for example, knowing what to do in case of a hurricane is crucial.

Healthy living

Out of all the things that are supposed to be taught in schools, the omission of healthy living education is the most egregious.

A healthy diet and exercise regime will not only prolong your life, but it will also significantly increase its quality.

A well balanced diet consists of a diverse selection of food types. Cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products should all be included.

Sugar intake should be limited as it reduces the risk of diabetes. A high salt intake increases the risk of clogged blood vessels. Overeating and obesity cause all sorts of medical issues.

But maybe the worst disease of all is physical inactivity. The move into the digital age has left both people from all age spectrums chronically stagnant.

Without proper stimulation and movement, the quality of life decreases tremendously over time.

Conclusion

There are many ways to educate yourself and your children on important topics. That is the benefit of the digital age – information has become readily available.

Don’t let the gaps in your country’s educational system shape the future of your children. Make sure they are well aware of the most important things in life – how to help other people, how to be prepared for an emergency, and how to live a healthy and balanced life.

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