At least once in their lifetime, everyone will encounter situations ranging from slight injuries to possibly life-threatening emergencies. After a semester-long course of Safety First Aid at Singapore American School, I felt like there was more I could do to expand and share my knowledge on how to act in emergencies. It is a fact that high school students are not knowledgeable in these areas, so I reached out to Tomo Tanabe, our school’s best athletic trainer. Tomo is the one person that my softball team relies on all season; she has worked with our injuries and makes sure we are taking care of ourselves. I emailed her for guidance of the injuries at school, and how we could further educate students to understand the importance of safety first aid.
▶ Interview of Tomo Tanabe:
How can schools further educate students on taking care of first aid emergencies? Especially those who are not planning to take health courses relevant to these skills?
“I think it’s best if schools offered mandatory CPR/ AED (cardiopulmonary resuscitation / Automated External Defibrillator) course on campus to be able to deal with emergency situations, just like how SAS offers lifeguard training. Students should know the steps to follow for emergencies such as calling the ambulance and letting security know their location for them to guide the ambulance.”
Do you think there are enough first aid equipments at SAS? Do you think students need more access to AEDs and first aid kits?
“There are 8 AEDs on campus covering many different areas. Considering the large size of the school, I think it is a good number. The important part is that the students actually know where the AED and first aid kits are located as everyone needs access to them during emergencies.”
|[Our school has 8 AEDs, Emergency Action Plans,
safety first aid kits, and carriers/ Photo by Yoon Seo Kim]
|[It is also advised that the first aid kits come along with juice boxes
in case of low blood sugar/ Photo by Yoon Seo Kim]
Do you agree with me that students here mostly rely on you for injuries or life threatening emergencies? What can students do to help each other in cases that you are not available?
Yes, students rely mostly on me for injuries and life-threatening emergencies. But I think students should be able to take care of each other by following the emergency action plan. I genuinely feel that students should take a safety first course or educate themselves.
Lastly, how important do you think education on safety first aid and life skills is for students?
It is extremely important. Adults are not always around when students are on campus. You never know when such a life-threatening incident can take place. Therefore, knowing what to do in an emergency situation may save one's life. ◀
|[Life Support Action Plan with an AED/ Photo by Yoon Seo Kim]
Tomo emphasized that students should know how to use a safety first aid kit for injuries.
Here is a guide on how to prepare the kit first:
- First aid instruction booklet
- Oral thermometer
Common injuries (bleeding, sprain, broken bone, etc)
- 1 Adhesive cloth tape
- 5 Antibiotic ointment packets
- 5 Antiseptic wipe packets
- 1 Instant cold compress
- 2 Pairs of non-latex gloves
- 2 Hydrocortisone ointment packets
- 1 Roller bandage
- 5 Sterile gauze pads
- 2 Triangular bandages
- 1 Blanket
Life-threatening emergencies (Depending on the emergency, prioritize activating EMS(Emergency Medical Support) before acting)
- 1 CPR breathing barrier
- 2 Packets of chewable aspirin (early care for heart attack)
Students can read the American Red Cross textbook and get certified after taking a test.
Always remember that your life can end up in someone’s hands, or you could end up having complete control over someone else’s life. It is necessary to educate yourself in safety first aid.
Yoon Seo Kim
Singapore American School
Yoon Seo Kim firstname.lastname@example.org
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