Home Adaptation Emergency Education for Children: Teaching ‘Stop the Bleed’

Emergency Education for Children: Teaching ‘Stop the Bleed’


By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

To help bleeding victims receive treatment more quickly, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security created the "Stop the Bleed" program. This program educates adults about how to control a victim’s bleeding when they are involved in an active shooting incident.

In a recent webinar, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services discussed the notion of expanding the program to children to educate them on controlling massive bleeding. However, some parents are concerned about their children learning about school shootings and massive bleeding. But in an era where school shootings are relatively commonplace, it is important for children to understand how to protect themselves, their classmates and school employees at an early age.

Children Should Be Taught Some Basic Lifesaving Techniques

While many parents worry about how learning about school shootings will affect their children, it is important that children know what to do if they are faced with an emergency. In some emergencies, a supervising adult may not be nearby or may be incapacitated.

Ultimately, the “Stop the Bleed” program is similar to teaching children about “stop, drop and roll" for fire safety or teaching children or adults about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). We never want anyone to have to use these lifesaving techniques, but it is important that children know what to do if they’re ever faced with an active shooter situation.

2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami Proved Children Are Capable of Saving Lives

There are numerous instances of children reacting to emergencies and saving the lives of their families or people nearby. When the 2004 tsunami hit in the Indian Ocean, a 10-year-old British girl, Tilly Smith, recognized the signs of a tsunami because she had learned about it in her geography class just two weeks earlier. Smith saved the lives of 100 people on the beach that day.

Children are aware of their surroundings. If we give them the right tools and knowledge, they will act accordingly when they face a serious emergency.

Children are capable of so many wonderful things, especially if we give them the right education. While it’s concerning to have to teach children how to treat the bleeding of an active shooter victim, this type of education gives children the confidence to provide help in an emergency and the training for handling massive bleeding. As is true with all emergency training, hopefully those children will never have to use their knowledge to treat accident or shooting victims.

Allison G. S. Knox Passionate about the issues affecting ambulances and disaster management, Allison focuses on Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services policy. Allison has taught at the undergraduate level since 2010. Prior to teaching, she worked in a level-one trauma center emergency department and for a member of Congress in Washington, D.C. She holds four master’s degrees in Emergency Management, National Security Studies, International Relations, and History; a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Allison is an Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard, and Lifeguard Instructor, and is trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society as Chancellor of the Southeast Region, Vice Chair of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She is also a member of several committees including the Editorial Committee with APCO, the Rescue Task Force Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and the Advocacy Committee with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She also serves as Chair of the Leadership Development Program for the 2020 Pi Gamma Mu Triennial Convention. Allison has published several book reviews and continues to write about issues affecting ambulances, emergency management, and homeland security.