The observance takes place annually on the second Saturday of September. World First Aid Day was established in 2000 by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). For over 100 years, however, providing first aid services has been one of the main tasks of this organisation. They were inspired by a book A Memory of Solferino written by Henry Dunant, who had witnessed horrifying agony and suffering after the battle of Solferino in 1859. He mobilized the civilians then to care for the injured and gave them necessary supplies in order to create temporary hospitals. This has proved how important humanitarian actions were and still are.
Today most of us do not participate in battles, and we don’t see much of them around us. However, this does not mean that we don’t need to know first aid essentials. There are still a lot of situations that might lead to the necessity of saving somebody’s life. For instance, road crashes claim more than 1.34 million lives each year, mainly because of anoxia (a lack of oxygen supply). How many percent of this number could have been saved if all of us knew what to do and had the courage to provide first aid properly? This is why World First Aid Day is so necessary – it aims at raising public awareness of how all of us can save life in everyday, as well as crisis, situations. First few minutes after the accident are the most essential, and an average response time for an ambulance is 10 minutes. This means that an injured person’s life might often depend on us and on what we can do.
How to celebrate World First Aid Day? We should start learning first aid essentials as early as possible, starting with school children. Teaching them the basic medical skills can one day become a life-saving activity. It is also very important to discuss the importance of first aid, emergency numbers, and the equipment of the First Aid kit with your children. The IFRC also believes that first aid should be accessible to all, even the most vulnerable people. We should all be willing to learn first aid and spread the information about its importance whenever we can. You never know who may save your life.
Did you know?
Learning first aid doesn’t really take much time – it is usually a 3 to 6 hours course. Not a very big investment when it comes to saving lives, don’t you think? What is more, during the course you will not only learn how to help, but also gain the confidence to take action in a stressful situation.
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