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IFRC and FutureLearn partner to offer an introductory course on first aid skills to save the lives of children

London/Geneva, 09 November 2016—FutureLearn, the social learning platform, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), are partnering to introduce a series of basic first aid courses—the first, open for enrolment today, is aimed at increasing survival rates of children.

Every year, nearly one million children die from injuries and violence and millions more are hospitalized—mostly from unintentional accidents like drowning, car crashes, falls, burns and poisoning.  When a medical professional is not immediately available, it is often family members, friends or bystanders who are on the scene first and become the first critical step in the chain of survival.

This new course, An introduction to child first aid: Saving young lives,” will give participants basic first aid principles and skills to evaluate and respond to the five most common causes of child injuries:

  • Choking: Learn the signs of choking in an infant or child and how to safely relieve airway obstruction
  • Bleeding: Learn how to assess and properly stop a child’s nose bleed
  • Burns:  Learn how to cool burns to relieve pain and reduce the chance of swelling and infections, and learn how to dress burn wounds
  • Wounds and abrasions:Learn how to clean wounds and abrasions to avoid infection and manage bleeding
  • Cardiac arrest: Learn how to administer rescue breaths and chest compressions to resuscitate an infant or a child

This two-week online course, starting 23 January 2017, will be taught by first aid experts from IFRC and its Global First Aid Reference Centre. The Red Cross Red Crescent network has been the world’s leading provider and trainer of first aid for more than 100 years and continues to train some 15 million people around the world annually.

“Our goal is to equip as many people as possible around the world with basic first aid skills that can help save lives and FutureLearn’s global reach made them the partner of choice for us,” said Dr Julie Hall, IFRC director of health and care. “This introductory course is designed for adults of all education levels, and in particular those who live or work with children and young people.  We think it will be an excellent first aid primer and hope it will encourage participants to sign up and eventually become fully certified in first aid with their local Red Cross or Red Crescent Society.”

“We’re pleased to welcome the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as a new partner and to introduce this important course to our 5 million learners,” added Nigel Smith, FutureLearn’s Head of Content. “This is the first time we are offering first aid courses and we’re excited to see our social learning platform used to teach essential life-saving skills and build a new community of first responders.”

As with all FutureLearn courses, learners can sign up and attend the course online for free. Statements of Participation are also available at the cost of £24. As this is an introductory first aid course, participants would need to enrol in formal first aid training to achieve official first aid certification.


Note to Editors:

To sign up for “An introduction to child first aid: Saving young lives,” visit: /courses/child-first-aid/1

For more information or interviews, contact:

Niamh O’Grady (London)

Melissa Winkler (Geneva) / +41 79 703 7553

About FutureLearn:
“Pioneering the best social learning experiences for everyone anywhere”
Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a social learning platform, designed to support learning through conversation. It offers 5 million learners free online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, centres of research excellence and specialist education providers like the British Council, Creative Skillset and European Space Agency. In May of 2016, and as a global first, FutureLearn announced that learners could now earn degree course credit through MOOCs with the introduction of a set of Programs. For more information, visit

About International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies:
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people each year through our 190 member National Societies. Together, we act before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. We do so with impartiality to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinion. For more information, visit

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