TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Should CPR be taught in public schools?

At the age of six I was living near Clark AFB in the Philippines in an off base American subdivision with tennis courts and swimming pools. We would have these amazing block parties with the most fresh exotic fruit and freshly prepared meals. We even used to make homemade mango ice cream from the trees in our backyard, delicious. It was a fairly tightly knit little community or was it? Before I continue I would like to point out that the laws at that time were purposely designed to take advantage of the American presence and there was a lot to be fearful of for these young servicemen (It isn't my intent to pass judgment on any parties in the following story). It was just another beautiful day of being a fish and pigging out on the local cuisine. BBQ time... Then out of nowhere the most blood curdling scream followed by the most heart wrenching site. A little Filipina girl had wondered from the kiddie pool and was floating face down in the deep end of what was up to that point my chlorinated ocean paradise. I was the first one in the water but quickly out swam by a young man fresh out of basic training. We lifted her limp body out of the then turbulent waters and placed her gently on her back. The paramedics were called. Then... nothing... other than the mothers screams and pleas for her help. Everyone just looked around at everyone else standing around watching this poor mother weep as her baby girl turned different shades of blue and grey. As time slowed, an eternity had passed. Finally, the ambulance arrived and quickly whisked her away. She held on for three hours before her tiny fragile body succumb to her injuries. The doctors concluded that CPR would have given this girl a chance to grow up and eventually become a woman and maybe even a mother who would hopefully have always been grateful for those men that saved her life so many years ago and so would spread goodwill. This woman is of course nothing but a figment but illustrates a need for CPR education.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Sep 5 2011: You don't just need to be taught CPR. All first aid should be taught in schools, from how to deal with people who are choking to bleeding wounds to how to treat heart attacks. It is all knowledge that you may need one day. I say this as a 16 year old advanced first aider who has been learning since the age of 12.
    • Sep 5 2011: You go girl. I agree as a first responder for the DOC I was trained in many first aid skills and CPR is just a small piece to a very large puzzle (education reform) but a start. I think our educational system is failing it's students and communities by focusing so much attention on standardized tests and students scores. We need dynamic environments where students can express and refine there individual talents and desires while still being given a comprehensive foundation from which to work and achieve real world benefits. People often need tangible examples in order to understand that a pursuit is worth while. This type of education is engaging and can help students see the useful nature and practical applications of lessons learned. I dropped out as soon as I turned 18 and was legally allowed to do so without parental consent, because I was so bored and frustrated at school. Kids are smarter than society often gives them credit for and they are the ones to shape our future so lets do the best job we can to empower and encourage them. Thank you for your insight.
      • Sep 6 2011: It isn't just America though. I live in England. Students in England are treated as though they are dumb until they reach at least the last year of primary, if not longer. There isn't adequate provision for gifted students either and student councils are only a tick-box exercise. I was regularly told that I was wrong as a primary student, even to the point where I was told that prime numbers were NOT numbers that could only be divided by themselves and one. I have hated school my whole life. Thankfully I only have two years left of it.

        I apologise for the rant but it had to be said.
        • Sep 6 2011: No apologies necessary. I appreciate your willingness to share and would only encourage this behavior. I grew up abroad where the schools were ran by the DOD and actually enjoyed going to school. I was in talented and gifted programs which were designed to be just as fun as they were educational. Amazing what funding can do. When I moved back to the the US in the middle of my 9th grade year my new school informed me that I would be retaking classes I had already taken two years previously because they were a requirement on my high school transcripts in order to graduate even though they had my Jr High transcripts. Needless to say after the first 1/2 year I was ready to leave that place, but my parents wouldn't authorize it even though I had plans to go on to college and instead I struggled to stay out of trouble which I often was. Adults tend to look down on those younger than themselves even more so than children at least from an intellectual stand point and hate students who point out their mistakes or disagree with them aka think for themselves. I feel your pain. Best of luck in your journey.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.