Knowing CPR can help save lives

The Canadian Red Cross has been helping Canadians lead safer, healthier lives for close to 100 years. In fact, many of their programs and services are considered to be among the best in the world.
The Canadian Red Cross has been working together with partners like Fire Prevention Canada to create healthier communities. They also have invited fire services from across the country to join them as “Partners in Injury Prevention.”
Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of one and 44–and 90 percent of these injuries are preventable.
Childhood injuries account for about 50 percent of all deaths in children (769 children died from unintentional injuries in 1990). From age one to nine, burns are the third-highest cause of death behind motor vehicle collisions and drowning.
For the 10-14 age group, burns become the second-leading cause of death.
Again, 90 percent of all injuries for all age groups are predictable and preventable. The Canadian Red Cross estimates injuries cost our health care system more than $13.2 billion each year.
Prevention is the key to eliminating a number of these injuries!
But when an injury does strike, quick action and knowing what to do is the vital first link in a chain of survival that can save someone who is choking, has stopped breathing, or whose heart has stopped.
Take CPR for example. CPR techniques have been around for more than 25 years yet it is estimated only about 10 percent of Canadians know how to do CPR!
Some secondary schools in Canada have introduced CPR instruction as part of the curriculum, with programs underway in high schools in Montreal and Toronto. Schools boards in other parts of Canada also are considering setting up programs.
About 75,000 Canadians a year have heart attacks–22,000 of them fatal. Statistics show that about seven out of 10 cardiac arrests happen at home, and many victims die simply because so few Canadians know how to provide CPR in the crucial first few minutes after the attack!
The advantage of teaching CPR to teenagers is that it provides a natural opportunity for education about “heart health”–how low-fat eating habits and plenty of exercise can benefit Canadians’ cardiovascular systems.
With CPR instruction taking root in the school system, more Canadians should be able to provide vital assistance to family members, co-workers, or total strangers when heart failure strikes!
“If you never need what you learn bout personal safety, you have lost nothing. If you never learn what you need, you may lose everything–your family and your life!”
Tyler Moffitt is a fire and life safely educator, part-time firefighter, and first aid instructor.

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