Importance of paediatric first aid training in early years

The critical importance of first aid training in early years

First aid training is an essential component of early years education. It empowers teachers, carers, and parents with the skills to respond effectively to accidents and emergencies involving young children. In this blog, Rose will explore the vital role that first aid training plays, supported by key facts, relevant legislation, and best practices. We will also offer practical recommendations to enhance safety in early years settings.

The significance of first aid training

First aid training in the early years is crucial for compliance with health and safety regulations and for the peace of mind, it brings to staff and parents. Knowing that educators and carers can competently handle medical emergencies can significantly impact the care and safety of children.

Key facts and statistics

According to data from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), over 15,000 injuries were reported in educational settings in the UK last year alone. Many of these involved young children and could have been mitigated with prompt first aid response.

Key definitions

  • First aid - The immediate assistance given to any person suffering from either a minor or serious illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, or promote recovery.
  • Early years setting - Any environment that provides education and care to children from birth to five years old, including nurseries, preschools, and childminders.

Relevant legislation and regulations

The importance of first aid in early years is underscored by various legislative frameworks and guidelines:

  • The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 - These regulations require employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities, and personnel to ensure employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.
  • Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework - This framework mandates that at least one person with a current paediatric first aid certificate must be on the premises when children are present.

Best practices in first aid training

Best practices in first aid training involve regular updates and refresher courses to ensure that first aid skills remain sharp and up-to-date. This includes:

  • Hands-on training - Practical sessions that simulate real-life scenarios.
  • Regular refresher courses - To ensure first aid skills and knowledge are current, refresher courses should be undertaken at least every three years.

Importance of tailored first aid training

First aid training for early years should address the specific needs of young children. These include:

  • Choking - Young children are particularly at risk of choking. Effective first aid can save lives in such emergencies.
  • Allergies - With the rise in childhood allergies, promptly recognising and treating allergic reactions is a critical skill.
  • Injury prevention - Training should also cover preventive measures to reduce injuries in early years settings.

Integrating first aid training into daily practice

Integrating first aid training into daily routines is vital for reinforcing safety culture. This can be achieved by:

  • Regular drills - Conducting regular emergency response drills to ensure everyone knows their role in an emergency.
  • Safety audits - Regular checks to identify potential hazards and implement preventive measures.


To enhance the effectiveness of first aid training in early years, it is recommended that:

  • All staff are trained - Beyond the minimum requirement, all staff members should be trained in paediatric first aid.
  • Parent workshops - Offer first aid workshops for parents to extend these critical skills into the home.


First aid training is not just a regulatory requirement; it is a critical skill that enhances the safety and wellbeing of children. By ensuring that all personnel are adequately trained, early years settings can provide a safer, more secure environment for children to learn and grow.

Enrol in our comprehensive first aid training courses today to ensure the safety of your children. Click here to learn more about how our courses can help you stay prepared for any situation.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

The critical importance of first aid training in early years - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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