Choosing the Right First Aid and CPR Courses: A Guide for Parents

Most parents are aware of the potentially life-saving benefits of first aid and CPR certification.

But, trying to choose the right course from the overwhelming number of available options can be frustrating, to say the least. Some training providers only offer basic training courses that don’t cover all of the material that parents and caregivers need to know. Moreover, not all first aid and CPR courses meet government legislative standards. Here we’ll take a look at the different training programs that are offered and how to pick the first aid course that’s right for you.

First Aid and CPR Courses

First Aid and CPR training programs are generally administered together, but standalone CPR courses are also available for those who only require CPR certification. While you can also take a standalone first aid course, combining first aid with CPR certification can significantly increase the chance of survival of a cardiac arrest victim. Below is a list of the combined first aid and CPR training courses that are available.

  • Emergency First Aid and CPRThe Emergency First Aid training course is a two-day training program that teaches skills for recognizing life-threatening emergencies and assisting victims of choking, severe blood loss, shock, and major medical conditions such as heart attacks. This course also includes CPR Level “A” and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) training and certification. CPR Level “A” training is the most basic CPR course offered and certifies students to rescue both adult and child victims.
  • Standard First Aid and CPR– This is a two-day course that covers Emergency First Aid skills as well as first aid for specific injuries such as head injuries, spinal injuries, and fractures. The course also includes AED and CPR Level “C” training and certification, which provides skills for rescuing adult, child, and infant victims.
  • Child Safety Seat Technician TrainingThis course covers topics related to child passenger safety and the proper installation of child safety seats in vehicles — such as vehicle restraint regulations, the different types of restraint systems, and injury prevention. The training course is two days long and provides certification for 3 years.
  • First Aid in Child Care – While intended mainly for child care workers, this course teaches valuable first aid skills to babysitters and parents as well. Topics covered include interventions for life-threatening conditions and emergency life-saving interventions for adults, children, and infants. This two-day course also includes CPR Level “C” and AED training and certification.

Which First Aid Courses Do I Need?

St. John Ambulance, one of Canada’s most reputable first aid and CPR training providers, recommends that new parents and caregivers of infants receive First Aid Child Care and Child Safety Seat Technician training and certification. It is generally recommended that parents and caregivers of an older child, or children, take the Emergency First Aid course followed by the Standard First Aid course.

The Bottom Line

When choosing your first aid course, it’s important to keep in mind that not all training programs are created equal. You should be wary of online and home-study courses, which likely do not meet provincial and territorial legislative standards for early childhood education worker safety and insurance boards. Taking a course from a well-known provider such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, St. John Ambulance, or St. Mark James Training is the best way to ensure that you are trained according to the most up-to-date first aid and CPR guidelines.

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