What is the difference between paediatric first aid and first aid at work?

Paediatric first aider calling 999
Alice Squires
Publish Date:
08 Mar 2022
Reading Time:
4 Mins

First aid at work includes first aid skills for helping the adults within your workplace if they become injured or unwell. If you work with children or babies, such as in a nursery or as a childminder, you will also need to have Paediatric First aid training so you can help them in an emergency.
Having trained people who are able to respond quickly in a first aid emergency can literally be the difference between life and death, and for this reason the Health and Safety executive (HSE) and the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (EYFS) have specific guidance in place.

But, with every workplace being so different, and the dangers and situations faced by employees varying so much, how do you know what your first aid responsibilities are? Do you know what the difference is between first aid at work and courses such as paediatric first aid? And do you need to be trained in both?


First aid provision that meets the needs of your workplace

In 2013, the HSE changed the way first aid was managed in the workplace. The Health and Safety (first aid) regulations 1981 no longer specified what equipment and training must be in place, but instead asked businesses to look at their individual circumstances by carrying out a first aid needs assessment. This needs assessment is then used to ensure appropriate first aid cover is in place.

Of course, the HSE’s guidance includes a huge amount of support for businesses who now have to make decisions based on their specific environment, with guidelines outlining key aspects they need to consider as well as information on how to select a first aid training provider.

But things all get a little more confusing when you work in a childcare setting as in addition to making sure you have first aid provision for adult staff, you also need to ensure there is cover for the children in your care. Fortunately, there are paediatric first aid legal requirements as well. These standards outline what first aid provision and training is appropriate for a childcare setting, and when used alongside the first aid needs assessment required by the HSE, you can ensure you put measures in place to have trained people and appropriate equipment to face any first aid situation.


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What is the difference between paediatric first aid and first aid at work

First aid at work is a term used in industry to describe a particular type of training for the purposes of the Health and Safety (first aid) regulations 1981. For courses called ‘First aid at work’ or ‘Emergency first aid at work’ the HSE require individuals to cover a set syllabus over a specified length of course. The number and types of first aid skills covered will depend on whether you complete a full first aid at work course, or the shorter emergency first aid course which is designed for lower risk environments, such as an office. In both instances the training will focus on first aid for an adult that becomes injured or unwell.

Paediatric first aid is the name given to training that meets the specifications set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework (EYFS). The first aid skills covered, course duration and even the certificate requirements are specified to ensure those who have been trained and hold a paediatric first aid certificate are able to help a child or a baby in a first aid situation.

Although this course is developed for the EYFS framework, paediatric first aid can be a good fit for other environments that may include children and babies such as a school.


Do I need to have both Paediatric first aid and First aid at work training?

Possibly. If you are working with young children you would need to ensure you meet the requirements of the EYFS statutory framework, which does include having people trained in Paediatric first aid. Paediatric first aid does not routinely include treating adults; this means separate first aid provision (training and equipment) would need to be considered for managing illness and injury that may involve adults in your setting.

The British Red Cross Training now includes helping an adult who is unresponsive or choking on its Paediatric first aid courses. This is not intended to replace the need for trained first aiders as required in the Health and Safety (first aid) regulations 1981, but does mean in an emergency they can help should a colleague need it.

The type of training, and the number of people that need to be trained will ultimately be determined by your first aid needs assessment and any regulations covering your specific type of work.


Find out everything you need to know about Paediatric first aid training courses; your responsibilities what course are available to childcare provides, and more.

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