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Essay by: ISP036   

Saving the life of a loved one or a friend, or saving the life of a complete stranger is something that should be taught to everyone beginning at a very early age. When faced with a situation in which a victim needs help, the feeling of powerlessness can so easily be prevented if only the bystander knew how to perform proper chest compressions. It is extremely important that children as young as age 12 be introduced to CPR so that we might live in a society that values life enough to make sure all of its citizens know how to save one.

As a registered nurse I would recommend that CPR be taught in schools. Learning chest compressions should accompany introductory safety training that is given on the first day of sports practice, or in PE classes. If they are not learning it in middle school, they should be learning it in high school, especially children that are participating in sports that pose an increased risk for serious injury.

Also, if a student has an allergic reaction, a head injury, or accidentally swallows a drug in the school setting, a classmate may want to know how to save his or her life. Middle schools and high schools should stress to young Americans the value of knowing exactly how to react in a critical situation. Dialing 911 is just not enough. Of course very young children should be taught how to call for help. But once a child reaches a more mature age he or she should know how to properly administer CPR.

As a registered nurse I would encourage my community to teach the importance of preparedness for an emergency to its children. We need to start educating citizens at a very young age about stepping in to do all we can for someone in distress before medical staff are able to respond. Chest compressions are easy to learn, and students can learn that they can work as a team taking turns performing them on a victim until paramedics arrive. What better way to teach children about this sense of compassion and community than to give them the tools to save a life in a school setting?

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