New first aid publications for children and young people


The education system is a key partner for Belgian Red Cross-Flanders in equipping children and young people with first aid skills. We have therefore developed a set of high-quality teaching packs which teachers can use to impart a knowledge of first aid. 

In 2012, Red Cross Youth launched 13 new first aid publications for children and young people. We developed workbooks for use in basic first aid training (short classes of two to three hours), workbooks for extended first aid courses (16 hours) and manuals to support teachers, youth workers and initiators who provide training. We also updated the ‘Introduction to first aid for youth workers’ and ‘First aid for teachers’ handbooks.

Up-to-date content

Content-wise, the first aid publications for children and young people are in line with the new first aid guidelines we launched in 2011.

Evidence-based research into children’s first aid skills

A review of our existing publications found that the target age group for some publications was slightly too broad. In collaboration with the Centre for Evidence-Based Practice (CEBaP), we therefore tried to find answers to such questions as: ‘From what age can a child resuscitate, place someone in the recovery position or dial the emergency number 112?’. To answer these questions, CEBaP gathered the best available evidence by means of a literature search and presented it to experts and practical specialists. This resulted in a number of guidelines setting out the stages at which a first aid competency is acquired over time. These guidelines formed the starting point for our first aid publications aimed at children and young people.

Target group-oriented and pedagogically sound

The new publications are geared more specifically to their target group: we now have an introduction to first aid for children and young people for each grade of primary and secondary education. This means that first aid course content can be aligned with final attainment levels. Red Cross Youth, the Education Service and the Didactic-Pedagogical Cell worked closely on the new introduction to first aid for the third grade of secondary school (age 16+), which was not previously catered for in our first aid offering. Each publication features working methods and exercises tailored to the target group, taking account of different learning styles.

Buoyant sales

Alongside internal communication within Belgian Red Cross-Flanders, we also promoted our new first aid publications externally. Our offer in databases and on external websites was updated. An article appeared in the teachers’ magazine Klasse voor leerkrachten and in the (e-)newsletter Veilig naar school of the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge, the newsletter of parents’ organization Go! Ouders and that of the secondary-school students’ association Vlaamse Scholierenkoepel. In addition, we showcased the publications at a youth information products fair organized by VIP Jeugd (now De Ambrassade) and an education fair.

Our promotional campaign paid off: the new publications were launched in July and by the end of 2012 some 16,235 copies had been sold. Together with the existing publications, we sold a total of 27,009 copies in 2012 – a 47% increase compared with 2011!

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