Teen Hero in Grizzly Bear Attack Teaches Parents a Life-Saving Lesson

bearWhen I heard a group of teens was attacked by a grizzly bear during an outdoor survival camp experience in Alaska, the mom part of me went into overdrive. OMG, my kid is never going to camp! OMG, my kid is never going to Alaska! OMG, my kid is never going to leave my sight. I needed something to temper all that helicopter mom crazy before I did something really nuts. 

And then I found it. In the midst of a tragic situation stands something we as parents could all be doing to make our kids safer: teach them first aid.


That's what made a difference for the seven teenagers as they waited for emergency workers to rescue them. Samuel Boas, a 16-year-old from Connecticut, had been trained by his hometown EMS group, where he served as a volunteer. Not only did he help his fellow campers when the attack first happened, but he refused to be evacuated when help first arrived, staying with the remaining injured teens and continuing to administer first aid.

The kid is a hero, and it's in him that I've found solace. Putting my kid into a bubble, telling her no camp, no travel, no fun, won't work. But making sure she's got some basic medical training would make me a heckuva lot less stressed when I send her out into the big bad world: whether it's to "survival camp" or just out to a concert on a hot summer day with her friends, where a dehydrated teen can fall and smack her head on the ground, leaving her friends to find her help.

As parents we're practically smacked in the face with the knowledge that disaster can strike anywhere, anytime. A prepared kid is a kid who really is ready to spend some time sans parents.

The American Red Cross starts its training in basic CPR/first aid as young as 11 years old, in what they call their babysitter's training. Older kids can be signed up for a more traditional course for less than $100. And before you say, "But my kids are so busy, they have homework, they have no time," the Red Cross is offering online CPR/first aid these days, and you can order kits to practice at home.

Have your kids been trained yet?


Image via ilashdesigns/Flickr

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