First Aid Myths and What to Do Instead

After 25 years as a Canadian Red Cross Training Partner, I’ve heard many fascinating and horrifying anecdotes about how best to give first aid to the sick or injured. I’m amazed at how some people have survived despite the unconventional treatment they’ve received from well-meaning bystanders.

There are many ways to provide first aid. Some are effective, while others are downright reckless. To learn more, please read the article linked below, which features the most popular myths surrounding this topic. With each myth, you’ll learn what the Canadian Red Cross recommends you do instead.

17 Common First Aid Myths That Hurt People & What the Red Cross Recommends Instead

Black Balloon Day – March 6

March 6 is International Black Balloon Day. Take a few minutes this week to educate yourself about the toxic drug crisis and learn how you can support loved ones who may be struggling with substance use issues.

The event brings awareness to the worldwide toxic drug crisis and highlights deaths from drug overdose and substance-related harm. On this day, people pay tribute to family and friends who have died from drug poisoning and overdose. The event also aims to deflate the stigma of addiction, which is the reason many don’t seek help. Addiction is a brain disease — not a moral failure. People need reassurance that addiction is not their fault.

Black Balloon Day began with one family’s tragic loss. On March 6, 2015, Greg Tremblay, a father of four aged 38, died of an overdose. His mother-in-law, Diane and sister-in-law, Lauren Hurley, initiated the event to remember Greg. It has since become an international event. Learn more.

Man in a turquoise t-shirt clutches his chest in pain

What to Do if Alone and Having a Heart Attack

Have you ever wondered what you’d do if you were alone at home and suspected you were having a heart attack?

Deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) jumped globally from 12.1 million in 1990 to 20.5 million in 2021, according to a May 2023 report from the World Heart Federation. In 2021, CVD was the leading cause of death worldwide.

What To Do When a Heart Attack Occurs

When a heart attack occurs, it’s essential to act fast and get medical attention—every minute counts. You may not have time to wait for an ambulance to arrive before you start feeling the effects of the attack. Can you survive a heart attack alone? Yes, but it depends on your actions immediately following the onset of symptoms. Your chances of surviving are pretty dismal without immediate medical help.

Following the tips in this one-minute article will improve your survival odds significantly.

Heart Attack When Alone: 5 Smart Things Experts Advise You Do Immediately for the Best Chance of Survival

#heartattack  #firstaid

Register for a Red Cross first aid & CPR class and learn to save a life.


Two young boys lying on the floor colouring

Home Alone Online Training for Children

Safe + Sound First Aid Training offers Home Alone online training for children aged 10+. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from parents and caregivers about children being home alone.

Q: How can I tell if my child is ready to stay home alone?

Signs Your Child May Be Ready To Stay Home Alone:

While every child matures differently,  some signs indicate your child may be ready to stay home without adult supervision for short periods of time. These signs will help parents, guardians, and caregivers gauge their child’s readiness.

Your child —

  • is at least 10 years of age.
  • follows family rules and instructions.
  • knows his/her full name, address, major intersections and phone number.
  • understands when and how to contact 911.
  • is not afraid to stay home alone.
  • knows what to do when the unexpected arises.
  • has basic first aid skills, knows where the first aid kit is and how to use its contents.
  • knows how to lock the door routinely and safeguard the key
  • knows how to contact a trusted adult if needed.

Q: What are the benefits of online, self-directed Home Alone classes for children aged 9-13?

There are several benefits to online, self-directed classes on the subject of home alone, safety, and first aid for children aged 10+:

Self-sufficiency: These classes can teach children how to be self-sufficient and take care of themselves if they are home alone.

Safety skills: Children can learn essential safety skills, such as handling emergencies and what to do in the event of an injury.

Independence: These classes can help children develop a sense of independence and responsibility.

Confidence: Children can gain confidence in handling difficult situations by learning new skills.

Fun: These classes can be engaging and interactive, making them more enjoyable for children.

Convenience: Children can complete online, self-directed classes at a time that’s convenient for the child and their family.

Accessibility: Online classes can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making them a convenient option for families who may not have access to in-person classes in their area.


Q: What is the minimum age for leaving children home alone?

Please check your community’s child protection services for local guidelines or laws regarding the recommended minimum age to leave a child home alone. This age varies from province to province and state to state.


Q: What other factors should I consider when deciding if my child is ready to stay home alone?

Parents should be mindful that not all children mature at the same age and that age is not the only factor to consider when deciding a child’s readiness. Temperament, maturity, access to Emergency Medical Services, and willingness are also factors to consider.

Parents should not force a child to stay home alone before they are ready. Taking the Home Alone course will help youths develop many essential safety skills, but it does not guarantee that a child will be prepared to stay on their own. This is a judgement call for parents, guardians and caregivers as they know the child’s abilities best.

The Home Alone Safety for Kids course will help your child prepare for independence. Practical and convenient, this self-guided and self-paced tutorial helps to build a child’s confidence through engaging games, rich digital media, videos and colourful graphics that equip youth with skills for a lifetime of safety. It provides valuable life skills for your child and peace of mind for parents and caregivers.


Q: How long is the online Home Alone course?

The Home Alone Safety for Kids online course takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.


Q: How old do children have to be to take the Home Alone online course?

The Home Alone Safety for Kids online course is designed for children aged 10+ years.


Q: What topics are included in the online Home Alone course?

  • Home Alone course topics include:
  • How to be street smart and stay alert
  • Routines and house rules
  • Safe snacking
  • Making smart choices online
  • Fire safety
  • Injury prevention
  • Basic first aid


Q: Can I watch a preview video of the Home Alone course?

Yes, click here to see a preview of the Home Alone Safety for kids course.


Q: What is the pass mark for the Home Alone course?

Participants must achieve a mark of 80% to receive a certificate of completion. They can repeat the course twice if they don’t get 80% or more on the first attempt.


Q: Will my child receive a certificate after completing the Home Alone course?

Yes. Your child will receive a digital participation certification after completing the Home Alone course.


Q: After taking the Home Alone online course, will my child be qualified to babysit?

After taking the Home Alone Safety for Kids course, your child will be safer and more confident to stay home alone. If they are planning to babysit, we recommend they also take a Red Cross Babysitting course. You can find more information about this course here: Canadian Red Cross Babysitting Program for 11-15 year-olds.


Q: How can I register my child for the Home Alone course?

Click here to register your child today for the Home Alone Safety for Kids course.


Q: Who can I contact if I have questions about the Home Alone course?

Please contact us here via this form. Thank you.


Home Alone Online Training for Children is an investment in your child’s safety.

An older woman wearing jeans and a white t-shirt, sits on a beige sofa drinking a glass of red wine and looking depressed.

Substance Use in Older Adults

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) in older adults is not something most of us are comfortable talking about. But don’t assume your older workers or loved ones are immune. Broaching the subject and having these discussions can save lives. If you suspect someone is struggling with SUD, talk to them — before it’s too late.

The following article discusses the relationship between alcohol use, falls and hip fractures in older adults. It includes suggestions on how to broach the subject of substance use with family members and where to find helpful resources:

Is Alcohol or Old Age the Cause of Your Older Family Member’s Broken Hip?

This article outlines some practical ways you can help prevent people from dying from atoxic drug poisoning:

Opioid Overdose: Four Things We Can Do Today to Stop Senseless Deaths

You can find other articles on substance use, addiction and the toxic drug crisis here.

Openly discussing substance use in older adults with families, co-workers and doctors can save lives.

Young child asleep in a hot car

12 Ways to Prevent the Tragedy of Hot Car Death

Imagine walking across the hot parking lot after a long day’s work, opening your car door and realizing with horror that the child you were supposed to drop off at daycare is still in the car.

At that moment, the world stops, shock hits like a sledgehammer, and the guilt and gut-wrenching grief will change your life forever.

How do hot car tragedies happen, and what can we do to prevent them? Read more.

Click here for information about Emergency Child Care First Aid & CPR training

A map of the world created using coloured pills

People of the World — Wake Up to the Toxic Drug Crisis!

This poem is a call to action. Toxic drugs are killing our family and friends, and we can no longer look the other way. Where will this human disaster end if we fail to take action now? We must educate ourselves and start uncomfortable conversations with loved ones, friends, co-workers and employees. We need urgent solutions to prevent countless more deaths in our communities and worldwide.

Read the poem on

Other related blog posts include:

Benefits of Free Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid Overdose: Four Things We Can Do Today to Stop Senseless Deaths