With my early education background, I'm invited to many preschools to teach American Red Cross Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED to the staff. A majority of the schools I've been to do not have an AED on site. Directors and teachers ask me, do we need to buy and AED? The short answer is, no but it does not hurt to have an AED installed at the school or facility.
"CPR plus defibrillation within 3–5 min of collapse can produce survival rates as high as 49–75% Early advanced life support followed by post‐resuscitation care delivered by health care providers." - Ibrahim, Wanis H
Why not have an AED and a early education school or center?
First it's not a requirement in the state of Illinois, where I'm based, to have an AED in early childhood settings. Laws where AEDs need to get installed vary from state to state. In Illinois fitness centers, licensed horse racing facilities, facilities performing moderate or deep sedation or general anesthesia (i.e. dentist offices), police departments, secondary schools' fitness facilities are required to have AEDs.
Secondly, According to the American Red Cross 2023 Health guidelines, your more likely going to see breathing issues leading into cardiac arrest in infants and children rather then cardiac arrest being the primary cause. Ventilations with compressions are more important in this scenario. The first chain in the cardiac chain of survival is prevention. Keeping choking hazards away from children and making a safe environment should reduce the risk of breathing emergences and reduce the risk of them turning to cardiac emergences.
Why have an AED on site at the preschool?
Overall, it does not harm to have an AED on hand because out-of-hospital cardiac arrest can happen in infants and children. There is little evidence showing any harm in AED use on infants and children.
You might want to have an AED on site incase a parent, guardian or a staff member go into cardiac arrest. Ina study published in the National Library of Medicine, "CPR plus defibrillation within 3–5 min of collapse can produce survival rates as high as 49–75% Early advanced life support followed by post‐resuscitation care delivered by health care providers."
At the end of the day the befits of having using an AED outweighs any risks according to the American Red Cross Guidelines.
Looking to Purchase an AED for your workplace?
DobroSKILLS is a proud partner of Cardio Partners, Inc and we are now able to sell AEDs and supplies directly to consumers. If you are in the market for purchasing AEDs or looking for training in the Chicagoland Area, please contact us and we can help tailor a quote to your needs.
Resources and citations
Early Access | Red Cross Guidelines Database: Public Access Defibrillation Programs for Infants, Children and Adolescents. (2023, December). American Red Cross Guidelines. Retrieved January 10, 2024, from https://redcrossdb.wpengine.com/guidelines-database/early-access/
Illinois AED Statutes and Regulations. (n.d.). AED.com. Retrieved January 10, 2024, from https://www.aed.com/illinois-aed-statutes-regulations
The National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2007, October). Recent advances and controversies in adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved January 10, 2024, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2600120/