Most east London parents lack skills to save child’s life, according to research

New research shows that three quarters of parents in East London don’t have the skills needed to save their child’s life.

Leading first aid charity St John Ambulance has launched an emotive new film to encourage more people to find out how to save a life.

In the film, a boy and his father play in a garden as the mother seemingly looks on through the kitchen window. The boy climbs a tree but a branch breaks and he falls to the earth with a sickening thud.

The shocked mother runs out of the kitchen as we hear that she is a St John Ambulance volunteer, with the first aid knowledge to save lives. But as she reaches the garden we realise she has no connection to the father and boy after all and has rushed out to take her washing in from the rain…meanwhile in the empty park the boy is unconscious with the dad screaming for help, as viewers are implored to find out how to save the boy.

Viewers are urged to visit www.sja.org.uk/savetheboy to learn the first aid needed to ensure he stays alive. These are the basic first steps required in any first aid emergency.


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The research commissioned by St John Ambulance found that faced with the same situation as the one in the advert, the majority of parents, 69 per cent in east London, would not know the correct way to help the boy. Despite 32 per cent of parents in east London claiming to know basic first aid, more than half of those surveyed, 57 per cent, said they would leave the boy until an ambulance arrived, which would not be the correct procedure.

Len Bamber, Regional Director of London St John Ambulance, said: “It’s devastating to find that three quarters of parents in East London wouldn’t have the first aid confidence to save their own child’s life. And it’s not just parents. Nearly two-fifths, 39 per cent of Londoners admit that it would take something as severe as the death of a loved one to make them learn first aid.”

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