Doncaster cadet helps saves sister’s life

editorial image

Children should be taught life saving skills at school, according to new research by first aid charity, St John Ambulance.

The survey reveals that 96 per cent of Yorkshire teachers would like to equip their students with first aid skills, but only a fifth of schools do so.

Around a third of teachers cite lack of time and staff training as barriers to the lessons, while a fifth blame cost. Nearly two-thirds believe it would take first aid training to be a national curriculum requirement in order for more schools to take it seriously.

Proving the importance of basic first aid was Doncaster teenager Charlotte Coates who may have saved her baby sister’s life by knowing what to do when she was choking.

When the St John Ambulance cadet heard a commotion in the bathroom in the middle of the night she rushed to help.

Her mum was struggling with seven-month-old Ella, who had been poorly and was choking on her vomit. Ella immediately put her knowledge of first aid for babies into practice.

She said: “Mum knew to hit her on the back, but not in the right position. Ella was sitting upright, so it wasn’t going to do much. I took my sister and tilted her over my arm as you should.

“It didn’t take long for it to come up and she was fine. The next day I showed Mum how to put Ella over my arm in case it happened again.”

Mum Lisa described her relief at her 16-year-old’s actions: “It was only afterwards that I realised how scary it was. I called Charlotte down because I was struggling, felt quite panicked and didn’t know what to do. I knew she would know more than me.

“She was fantastic, she just got on with it, put Ella in the right position and stopped her choking. If she hadn’t been there, I don’t like thinking about what might have happened.”

Charlotte, a member of Edlington Cadets who joined as a Badger, added: “Apart from at St John Ambulance, I don’t really know any friends that know first aid. I think it’s important people learn because it can be vital.”