Saving Lives of Youngsters: CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver
Fairfax County Council of PTA’s Position:
Virginia should (1) require two or more full time staff members trained in Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the Heimlich Maneuver to be present in all public schools and (2) fully fund the local training needed to qualify public school personnel in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver.
Twenty-five percent of victims of choking are children and ninety percent of choking victims appear to be eating when choking occurs. Food items account for seventy percent of foreign bodies removed by bronchoscopy from children’s airways.
Unless the brain gets oxygen within minutes, brain damage or death will occur. Children require oxygen within 2-4 minutes, infants within 1-3 minutes. In contrast, adults may survive up to 4-6 minutes without oxygen. In no case is there enough time to wait for public emergency services or rescue squads. This is one instance in which the public health need exceeds the ability of the locality to respond with traditional services.
The Fairfax County Council of PTA’s, the Virginia PTA, and community groups seek to protect all children. Schools need to be ready to handle life threatening chocking incidents. The cafeteria is one place where such emergency response may be needed; public schools should ensure that this site has trained personnel available at all times.
However, schools currently have neither the funding nor a legal mandate to have CPR trained personnel on site.
The General Assembly should:
(1) Require that enough public school personnel qualify in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver to assure that there are two trained personnel on duty in or near cafeterias at all serving times.
(2) Fund the training needed to provide this life saving qualification in all public schools.