Aim To identify what 10–11-year-old children do and do not learn during a 10 min session teaching the recovery position, with a view to suggesting possible improvements in training.
Methods Participants were 148 boys and 144 girls. Before intervention, safety knowledge was assessed in a pencil and paper test. 198 children were taught the recovery position at a safety education centre. Three months later, their attempts to leave a casualty in a safe position were observed, and compared with the attempts of 94 children who had not received training.
Results 19% of the control group and 31% of trained children successfully placed a casualty in the recovery position. Only two of the seven standard routine moves were used by more than 50% of trained children, namely raise the casualty's leg to a flexed position, roll the casualty on to his/her side. Even when performed, these and other individual moves were often not integrated into an effective routine.
Conclusions The implication is that in a short session it is over-ambitious to attempt to teach a complex routine. It is more realistic to focus on a few moves which are easily learnt. The present results suggest that these should be flexing the leg and rolling the casualty on to his/her side. In this study, simply improving the participants' performance of these two moves could increase the number of learners who are successful from less than a third to nearly 50%.
- Recovery position
- first aid
- basic life support
- lay persons
- accident prevention
- prehospital care
- first responders
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