LITTLE life-savers were made in their many yesterday as thousands of pupils as young as age three were taught CPR.

Schoolchildren were doing their bit to help South Central Ambulance continue as the country's best area for cardiac arrest survival rates.

The ambulance service said 'nearly 50 per cent' of those survivors were helped by innocent bystanders doing CPR or using a defibrillator.

So those vital emergency skills were past down to some 10,000 children by SCAS yesterday as part of international Restart a Heart day.

Life-saving lessons were given by paramedics, police officers, military officials and firefighters across eight schools in Oxfordshire.

SCAS head of operations Nic Morecroft said: "We know that one of the big concerns members of the public have about giving first aid and chest compressions to someone who has collapsed and is not breathing is that it might harm the patient.

"Even if you aren’t an expert in giving chest compressions, it’s been shown from studies that you can at least double if not treble someone’s chances of survival by having a go at giving chest compressions.

"That’s why SCAS is delighted to be part of Restart a Heart Day which will train thousands more people in CPR and to use a defibrillator.

"Anyone can learn these simple skills which one day, could mean you help save someone’s life."

Children were taught how to carry out CPR(or chest compressions) as well as how to use a defibrillator.

Pupils at Gosford Hill School in Kidlington rolled up there sleeves to get stuck in.

Assistant headteacher Alison Driscoll said: "We know the importance of CPR in improving life chances of people who have had a cardiac arrest, so the opportunity to train 160 students in one day in this vital skill is great.

"The students really enjoyed the session and were still talking about it hours later.

"It is also lovely for them to meet emergency service workers who led the workshops. We now have a lot more young people who will feel confident in knowing what to do in such an emergency."

Also among those taking part was 350 pupils from Longfields School in Bicester.

Headteacher Paul Hollidge said: "It went fantastically and all children from nursery through to Year 6 took part, pairing the older children with the younger which was a good mix.

"It is one of those things you hope no child would ever have to use but equally can make all the difference between life and death so is important to learn.

"It is about our children being educated and prepared to use these skills if necessary."

Other Oxfordshire schools that took part included Gosford Hill School , St Andrew's CofE Primary, Abingdon and Witney College, Bartholomew School, Wallingford School, Henry Box School and Carterton Community.

SCAS said for every minute that passes without CPR starting on a person in cardiac arrest, their chances of survival reduce by per cent.

The latest NHS England data shows SCAS has the best survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

From April 2017 to March, the survival rate for the area was 14.8 per cent, the England average was 8.8per cent.

A statement from SCAS said: "As well as skills of our ambulance crews and hospital colleagues, part of the reason for our survival rates are due to a bystander CPR rate of nearly 50 per cent."