How young could a kid learn CPR?

rforsythe

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I'm curious what you all think about how young a child could be to learn CPR. My current line of thinking is pretty young; even if they're just too small physically to do compressions, they could at least assist with breathing, or even the counting/timing and knowing what it's for if they're really small (then again I've seen some BIG young kids that could probably put more force into someone's ribcage than some adults I've seen). How about the physical assessments? I remember learning how to find a pulse when I was in elementary school so that's probably not too out of reach.

Similarly, how young could a kid learn about AED's and what to do with them?

I'm hopefully going somewhere pretty cool with this question, but would like to do some research among the EMS-educated types first.

Thanks!
 

lightsandsirens5

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Well,

Having just become a CPR instructor, let's hope this is correct coming from me. My agency will not allow anyone under age 11 into the class and I'm assuming we are using AHA guidlines.
 

usafmedic45

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My daughter was trained last year and although technically not certified she does know how to do compression and use an AED. She turns five this August. My only concern was originally if she could do compressions, but then again my mother is 100 lbs wet and is 5'9" so it's not like there's much to compress. The reason we taught her so young is that my mother (her "oma") whom she spends a lot of time with has a history of heart trouble.

In fact, she apparently picked up the "BAM!" move as she calls it (precordial thump) from my brother (the failed EMT student). Lydia claimed she thought Oma wasn't waking up one morning and she was doing as she was taught. Needless to say, my mom was not amused.

Similarly, how young could a kid learn about AED's and what to do with them?

There was a study a few years back comparing the speed at which trained fourth (or was it sixth?) graders could deliver a shock in a simulation versus trained EMS personnel. The kids performed better than the professionals.
 
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katgrl2003

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I helped teach a class a few years ago with a family of four in it. The youngest child was four, and wasn't enrolled in the class. However, when it came time for the test, he was sitting on his mother's lap, answering every question right. We asked him if he could show us what to do on the dummies and with the AED, and again, everything correct. He didn't have enough weight to do proper compressions, but he knew everything needed to be certified. His family came back for another class when he was six, and he still remembered everything. So I'd say they can be pretty darn young and still learn CPR.
 

jjesusfreak01

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There was a study a few years back comparing the speed at which trained fourth (or was it sixth?) graders could deliver a shock in a simulation versus trained EMS personnel. The kids performed better than the professionals.

Thats because those stupid trainers only work right when you use them exactly how they want, as opposed to the way you want. Since they can't actually detect a rhythm, if you plug the pads in before they are on the patient, they "analyze" before the pads are on. Makes no difference in real life, but screws up when you are using the trainers.
 

MMiz

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As a teacher and former AHA instructor I'd say 12 is an idea age, though the AHA didn't have a minimum age requirement when I taught a few years ago. A quick google search turns up that most people suggest a student be 8+ years old.
 

Trayos

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I know that is a regular part of our county's high school health course (along with very basic first aid), so kids aged 13-16 are routinely exposed to it. Its one thing to learn it for a class though, and another to learn it for prospective use.
 
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rforsythe

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Thanks for all the input so far everyone. I agree learning in a class vs expecting them to fully utilize it right off are two different things, however I think there is also value in them learning it young - it helps plant the seed for why you need to know it, a couple years down the line they might actually need it (when they're bigger and can do it better), and I think it's even possible for a trained child to talk an untrained adult through the basic steps in a real emergency if they had to.

My personal gut is 7-8 y/o is about the earliest time to start, they have enough basic comprehension of the world to grasp the concept and know why it's important; maybe not the physical presence to do it well on someone bigger, but potentially someone same-or-less sized? Sure. At this age there is a big maturity factor involved as well (some could handle it, some just not at all), but it seems like it would be a productive use of time, and most of the responses I've seen seem to fall in the ballpark with that.

If anyone else has thoughts on this please post it up!

EDIT: Another question would be how many of you know kids that are actually learning it pre-high school? I took it in HS (a paid extra part for the certification as part of the athletic trainer course I took), but I've never heard of a school introducing it pre-HS. I suppose kids could seek out an 8+ (or whatever min age) class and do it on their own or as a family, but how often does that actually happen? I see it being heavily biased towards teenagers or adults.
 
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usafmedic45

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Thats because those stupid trainers only work right when you use them exactly how they want, as opposed to the way you want. Since they can't actually detect a rhythm, if you plug the pads in before they are on the patient, they "analyze" before the pads are on. Makes no difference in real life, but screws up when you are using the trainers.

LOL I sense a little bit of bias due to professional pride. I have never had a problem with any of the AED trainers despite having taught dozens of classes.

Actually if you want to look at the study it is available free here: http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/100/16/1703). Also for the sake of clarification, it showed that the performances were similar (67 seconds on average for the EMS personnel and 90 seconds for the kids on their first attempt). My apologies...it's been a while since I read that study.
 

usafmedic45

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As a teacher and former AHA instructor I'd say 12 is an idea age, though the AHA didn't have a minimum age requirement when I taught a few years ago. A quick google search turns up that most people suggest a student be 8+ years old.

From the literature:

Prehosp Emerg Care. 2002 Jul-Sep;6(3):295-8.

Automated external defibrillation by very young, untrained children.
Lawson L, March J.

Pitt County Memorial Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, East Carolina University, School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Abstract
For patients with sudden cardiac death (SCD), the time interval to defibrillation is the main determinant of survival. As such, the American Heart Association has attempted to promote public-access defibrillation (PAD). Previous studies have shown that automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can be used successfully by untrained adults. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether very young, untrained children could use AEDs. METHODS: Third-grade students from an elementary school participated in this study representing a convenience sample of volunteers. They were given no formal training, but were shown how to peel off the backing from the electrode pads, like a sticker. Students were then given a mock code situation using a training manikin. The time to delivery of first shock was recorded. Students were then trained during a 2-minute review of the process, one on one with an instructor, and the study was then repeated. Data were analyzed using a paired Student's t-test comparing pre- and post-training. RESULTS: Thirty-one children participated in the study, with a median age of 9 years. For untrained children, the mean time for delivery of the first shock was 59.3 +/- 13.6 seconds, 95% CI = 54.3 to 64.3. Following training, the mean time for delivery of the first shock was 35.2 +/- 6.0 seconds, 95% CI = 33.0 to 37.4, p = 0.001. CONCLUSION: Although this study suggests that even very young, untrained children can successfully perform automated external defibrillation, training does significantly decrease the time to delivery of first shock.

However, I do agree that from a physical strength and mental ability standpoint, it might be wise to base it more on the size and mental maturity of the child than setting a hard and fast number.
 

onecrazykid108

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there are rules are such for taking classes in CPR, but face it CPR is better than no CPR. No matter how poorly done (unless they were compressing the pt nose lol).

if a 85 YO male was having a heart attack in cardiac arrest and his little 6 year old grandson saw him and called 911 and then tried to do cpr, even if he pushed the chest 1/8 of an inch that is better than nothing.

There are more effective ways to do CPR, but in my opinion any age is capable of CPR once they can talk and walk.
 

usafmedic45

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if a 85 YO male was having a heart attack in cardiac arrest and his little 6 year old grandson saw him and called 911 and then tried to do cpr, even if he pushed the chest 1/8 of an inch that is better than nothing.

Other than the fact it's not going to do anything. I agree with the sentiment of your statement but not with the extreme you took it to. Effectively that is doing nothing.

Now that said, I've watched an 7 year old do very effective CPR on an adult (his grandmother) while a church full of adults stood by and watched.
 

EMS49393

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My son became CPR certified last year when he was nine. He is roughly 100 lbs and very strong from playing sports and weight training. In many cases I'd rather have him on an ambulance with just a CPR card then many of my current partners.

Kids may not always be physically strong, but they're often a lot smarter then the credit they are given by adults. My child is very interested in being a paramedic and he can already name more bones then most paramedics I know. He can also explain how the heart pumps blood. Pretty impressive for a ten year old.

Perhaps he'll grow some common sense and become a doctor or an accountant instead.
 

Kaufman

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Because of this video I had social services visit my house!
like I am teaching concepts that are to advanced for their sensative minds.

Like I siad Time to leave Israel -

Israel - Land of the sugar coated cannibals
 
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