is an 8 year old to young to learn healthcare provider CPR?

my son is very smart for his age, and i think he is plenty strong enough. he hits the gym with me and is an impressive 102lbs. at 6 years old we let him take the yearly dept. refresher on fire ext. and he put out a class b burn with a 5lb ext. so do you think he is to young? i gave him the option to take the full class, and he wants to, only thing i'll have to have someone do for him is read the test and key. is it a bad idea, or should i let him at it?

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Comment by Rebecca on November 25, 2008 at 12:40pm
I think you should do it, personally. I was 12 when I first got certified, and didn't weigh anything near 102 yet! My son was eight when they taught some sort of basic CPR thingie at one of his weekend camps at Boy Scouts. He didn't get a CPR card but he got a patch saying he completed a CPR/First Aid course.
Even if he doesn't actually have to do CPR for years down the road it still is a good thing for him to be exposed and know what to do. I didn't do CPR for 10 years after my first certification but having gone through that many courses helped me at least have a mental image of what to expect.
As far as age affecting certification you'll just have to ask whomever is giving the course. At 12 I did get a card from The American Heart Association, but I don't know about 8. If nothing else let him sit through a class. I sat through a lifeguard course when I was 11 even though I couldn't get certified until 15. Having information can't be a bad thing.
Good luck!
Comment by Jenny Holderby on November 25, 2008 at 12:18am
Ron, I could almost agree with you but I do think teaching children how to use fire extinguishers is important too. It is actually part of what they teach children in fire prevention classes. God forbid they every have to actually USE the things but they should know how if they have to. Unfortunately children are often exposed to things they shouldn't have deal with but it is beyond our power to keep them safe ALL the time. It does not hurt a child to teach them basic first aid, to recognize blood loss & unconsiousness. It could actually save someone's life. What I mean is to teach a child to ask someone if they are all right, to try to wake them, to listen for breath sounds and a heart beat & then how to call 911 and give the phone number and address. It isn't something we WANT them to use but things happen that are our of our control. When a child can do these things or has learned about them and is confident that they can do it, it gives them a sense of self worth & confidence as well. We have a 9-1-1 simulator that we take into the schools to teach children to dial the number and talk to the dispatcher during an emergency.

For some reason we don't prepare our children for emergencies thinking we are protecting them. One of our firefighters "found" a small child one night wandering around his neighborhood. She was nearly 3 yrs old but could not tell anyone her name, where she lived, who her parents are or give us any information to help us find out where she belonged. We ended up calling child services because even going door to door no one recognized the child. I have always thought it was important to teach children those things and that night only reinforced my belief.

Mothers & caregivers are often alone with children in their homes. If something happens, and it does, the child should know what to do when Mommy won't wake up or Grandma falls. These things are simple facts of life.

When my sister died in 2002, my 8yr old nephew had the sense to call the neighbor & tell them that mommy fell & wouldn't answer him. He had been taught to call 9-1-1 but the neighbor was closer. She immediately called then she & her 14yr old son started CPR. Unfortunately, my nephew & his 3 yr old sister had to watch them try to revive their mother & take her away in the ambulance. But he had been taught what to do if something happened. He called the neighbor, then called his daddy & stayed with his little sister.
Comment by Oldman on November 24, 2008 at 6:51pm
Is he too young to learn CPR? No. Healthcare provider? Not in my classes. AHA has tailored courses for specific age groups, and a Friends and Family would be more ideally suited for him. Maybe a Heartsaver class. While I have no doubt that physically he is probably capable, however, emotionally, he's 8 years old. His being able to recognize that a problem exists, and getting help quickly will greatly impact a chance of survival.
Comment by Ron Ayotte on November 24, 2008 at 5:53pm


an 8 year old is far too young to be doing CPR... and letting an 8 year old fight live fire is downright negligent.
Comment by Melanie11782 on November 24, 2008 at 11:12am
I don't see why he shouldn't learn we taugh a 6 year old in my emt class cpr.. he did fine.. he just didn't take the test..
Comment by Beverly on November 24, 2008 at 11:08am
Let him learn anything he is interested in....you never know when a skill that you learned (even thought you would never need) can come in handy. When I was pregnant with our second child I taught our son who was 2 1/2 how to do CPR using a teddy bear. Did I scare him about "dead people", NO, I just gave him facts: this is what you do when someone is not breathing and their heart isn't beating. Then again I'm a firm believer in teaching children facts, our son refers to his penis as a penis, not a "wee-wee" or any other term.
Even if he doesn't get a card, he has the knowledge...and knowledge is more important than a piece of paper. Good luck to both of you!
Comment by Kimberly A Bownas on November 24, 2008 at 8:12am
I don't see a problem with it. I help my Rescue Squad Assistant Chief teach CPR and First Aid to the Boy Scouts. I do also agree with Jenny though about talking to the organization that does the cards. We also teach the kids at a summer camp how to do CPR and First Aid. They don't take a written test but they watch the DVD and we even split them up into two groups and ran a quick scenario with them. they did good... Good luck and stay safe....
Comment by Jenny Holderby on November 24, 2008 at 12:12am
Talk to which ever organization issues the cards. I don't think American Heart Association, Red Cross or the National Safety Council will issue cards to anyone under 15 yrs old. (I may be wrong - I haven't taught CPR in a while) If he can't read & understand the questions he is too young to take the test. Both my kids participated in the classes before they were old enough to hold a card. You might let him participate but I really don't think he can be certified in CPR for a few years yet.
Comment by Rob on November 23, 2008 at 9:27pm
we are doing the class thru the fire and ems, we have a cash of new rookies that need it, so its an AHA class, i've been on the website, and can not find an age limit. i don't care if he gets his card, just the exp. and learning what to do is good enough for me. he aleady knows to activate ems and all that, i am just thinking about letting him soar with it, he is more than interested, and i don't want to turn him away from it. but at the same time, i don't want to over expose him, after all, he is 8
Comment by Joe Stoltz on November 23, 2008 at 9:17pm
The Red Cross babysitting classes have an age limit which appears to be 11. I don't know if that is universal across the US but would be a benchmark. I think the babysitting class teaches CPR.

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