The Star Says: Hero Jacob’s lesson to trust our children

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Never let it be said that our young ones aren’t as bright as we were at their age.

Today we tell the story of courageous Jacob Marshall who has been hailed a ‘little lifesaver’ after he stepped in to save his 63-year-old neighbour – who was 20 minutes from death as she battled to breathe.

The seven-year-old calmly called 999 when Brenda Pearson turned up at his family home in Hillsborough unable to talk and then collapsed on the doorstep.

His quick thinking, and instructions to the emergency services, meant paramedics were able to arrive on the scene within minutes and race grandmother Brenda to hospital for treatment.

Jacob is to be roundly congratulated and was treated like the hero he is on his return to Rivelin Primary School by fellow pupils and staff alike during a special assembly in his honour.

We often criticise our young people for no other reason than we probably received the same criticism at their age.

Exams are easier, we say. Everything is put on a plate for them, we moan.

Neither are true of course.

In fact, I’d suggest that growing up these days is extremely difficult with the pace of everything from technology to world affairs speeding up, not slowing down.

What Jacob has demonstrated so perfectly is that children are the same now as they have always been.

At some point he will have been taught what to do in case of an emergency.

He will have listened, understood and taken it on board. The advice may not have been at the forefront of his mind all the time but when he needed to remember he did.

And that is the same for the vast majority of children. They know more than they let on.

They do listen and they do learn. In some cases they know more than us!

Another thing Jacob’s story tells us is of the importance of knowing what to do when a situation such as the one he found himself in arises.

Do your kids know how to dial 999? Do they know your address and house number? Could they tell the emergency services simple information which may save someone’s life?

It’s a fine line between giving them this knowledge and scaring them but a parent should know when they are ready.

The chances are that, like Jacob, they will be just fine.