LITTLE lifesavers are learning vital resuscitation skills in a bid to prepare them to become the next generation of first aiders.

Hundreds of North-East youngsters took part in Restart a Heart Day with specialist cardiac arrest nurses teaching primary school children on how to deal with critical medical situations.

Teams from the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) visited schools in the region as part of the national campaign backed by the Resuscitation Council, British Red Cross and the British Heart Foundation.

Enthusiastic pupils in Mowden Junior School, Darlington, joined in with the interactive life support lessons with eight Darlington Memorial Hospital nurses delivering the training using life-size manikins.

Aly Robinson, sister for CDDFT’s cardiac arrest team, said: “We’re trying to reach as many children as possible with Restart a Heart Day to teach them that they can help during an emergency situation.

“They are learning CPR and how to deal with an unresponsive person. They may not have the strength to perform CPR, but they can instruct an adult on what to do.

“Some of the children have been a bit daunted by the manikins, but they’ve been incredibly enthusiastic and raring to have a go.

“Our team teach all the CDDFT staff – from health care assistants to consultants – and the technique these children have are just as impressive. I’m very proud of what they’ve achieved.”

During yesterday’s Restart a Heart Day, the seven to 11-year-old pupils were told during an assembly and small workshops on how to spot if someone is choking and what to do to help.

The youngsters also followed instructions from an automated external defibrillator (AED) to attach electrode pads to a manikin torso and were made aware that their own school houses a lifesaving AED.

Mary Parker, Mowden Junior School deputy head teacher, said: “It’s been a fabulous day and the children have taken it seriously and given it 100 per cent, but they’ve also enjoyed it too.

“We’d like this to continue to maybe make this an annual event to get more pupils involved.

“We could even get our infants to take part as they were part of the assembly and all the children have been really enthusiastic about the day.

“It’s been wonderful to have the nurses here and hopefully the children never forget what they’ve learnt.”