Learn First Aid To Avoid 'Cotton Wool Kids', Parents Told

14/08/2014 17:03 | Updated 20 May 2015

Father looking at son's grazed knee

St John Ambulance has launched a campaign to encourage parents to learn first aid ahead of the summer holidays.

The new campaign aims to stem the tide of 'cotton wool' kids, whose parents are afraid to let them play outside in case they get hurt.

Alongside the campaign, St John Ambulance has released a light-hearted video clip warning parents against being overprotective.

The tongue-in-cheek video shows a young boy being given an inflatable protective suit, including gloves and cricketing shinpads.

We then watch as he then struggles to navigate climbing frames in the playground while encased in the bulky padding.

Behind the humorous facade lies a serious message: both parents and children will enjoy the summer more if mums and dads feel confident enough in their first aid skills to let their kids run wild - even if it does lead to some bumped heads or scraped knees.

Research conducted by the charity, which has taught basic first aid to millions, has found that nearly half (43 per cent) of mothers surveyed would be reluctant to let their child go on a cycle ride, while over a quarter (28 per cent) would even worry about letting them climb a tree.

These fears, St John Ambulance suggest, might be alleviated if parents were confident that they had the first aid skills to take care of their children in the event of an accident.

And it seems parents agree, with a whopping 98 per cent describing first aid as an important skill, but only 51 per cent taking any form of life-saving training in the last three years.

With over a third of parents (37 per cent) admitting that their child had suffered an accident while on holiday that required first aid, there is no better time for mums and dads to learn the basics.

Sue Killen, the charity's CEO, said in a statement:

"Parents who learn first aid gain the peace of mind to let their children enjoy everything childhood has to offer, as well as the knowledge to look after them, whatever happens."

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