Monday, October 12, 2009

Heimlich Training for Staff
Can Be a Life-Saver

The family of a boy who choked to death in an Indiana elementary school’s cafeteria was recently awarded $5 million in a lawsuit against the district [read the news]. The news of that award has spurred many schools in the area to focus attention on training staff in CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.

The benefits of such training are clear…

Late last month, a teacher’s aide in Pittsburgh made headlines when she saved a 5-year-old special education student who is assigned to her care. Jan Tomnay had learned the Heimlich maneuver at a CPR training session provided by the district. While the state of Pennsylvania does not require such training, her district, the Baldwin-Whitehall district, requires that all paraprofessionals be trained by the district’s nursing staff.

Read more about this story in the local newspaper and on the school district Web site.

Earlier in the month, the lives of two students might have been saved when the Heimlich maneuver was administered in separate incidents at a Plainfield, Illinois, elementary school.
  • A cafeteria supervisor performed the life-saving maneuver on a fourth-grade girl who was choking on a piece of chicken. That event happened just two days after a nurse had given lunchroom staff a refresher course on lifesaving techniques.

  • A couple days later a first-grade teacher was reading a story while her students were eating their snacks. Her reading was interrupted by a strange noise. She acted quickly to administer the Heimlich to a student who was choking on a grape [read more].

  • The value of training in the Heimlich maneuver and other life-saving measures cannot be underestimated. Each month, a handful of news stories validate the value of such training and refresher courses.

    While we are talking about training staff in life-saving techniques, can it hurt to teach students about some of them too? Last week, we posted a News for Kids article on Education World [see Kid Heroes Use Heimlich Maneuver]. The story tells of three children who recently saved others -- including a teacher -- who were choking. Encourage your teachers to share this “news for kids” with their students.


    Click > to play the video:


  • The Heimlich Maneuver (for younger kids)

  • The Heimlich Maneuver (for teens)

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