Thousands of Danish daycare workers lack first aid knowledge

Current legislation doesn’t make it obligatory

Despite over 20,000 accidents taking place at Danish daycare institutions every year, many of the daycare employees are unfamiliar with life-saving first aid techniques.

A survey of daycare employee union BUPL about its 60,000 members showed that four out of ten daycare employees have never taken a first aid course.

“It’s the municipality’s responsibility to ensure the employees can help the children if they get hurt,” Mette Larsen, a spokesperson for BUPL, told Metroxpress newspaper.

“Human lives mustn’t be translated into kroner and øre, and this will in no way break the municipality’s budget.”

READ MORE: Parents sending sick children to daycare

Lacking laws
Danish legislation does not require daycare workers to be proficient in first aid. Instead, it’s up to the daycare leadership to ensure that first aid competencies are in place.

And while all the new daycare employees have learned first aid as part of their education, BUPL maintains that all first aid diplomas should be refreshed every three years.

Last year, Esbjerg Municipality became the first to pay for all of its 1,100 daycare workers to take a first aid course tailored for taking care of children. But for now, Esbjerg is the only municipality to have done so.

“Aside from becoming more secure for parents to deliver their children to the municipal institutions, we hear from the workers that they feel more secure on a daily basis because they know what to do in the case of an accident,” said Anne Merethe Løvmose, a spokesperson at Esbjerg Municipality, told Metroxpress.

First aid courses are obligatory in the military and it is also now necessary to complete an eight-hour traffic-related first-aid course when obtaining a driver’s licence.