"Sesame Street" features fuzzy friends, incredible pop culture parodies and big-name guest appearances. For those reasons, the educational show has stood the test of time (44 years!) as a savior for parents who want to give their kids TV time without worrying about so-called brain rot. But apparently, the show is a literal life-saver too.
Seven-year-old William Ruhno used first-aid skills he says he picked up from "Sesame" to save his friend Derek Almeida when the boy started to choke at recess last week.
In an interview with News 12 New Jersey, Almeida said of Ruhno, "I appreciate what he did to save my life, and he's one of my best buddies."
"I thought that was outstanding for a child that age, to be able to think that quickly and to be so responsible" said Linda Richardson, who is principal of Newark's Ann Street School (where the event took place), also on News 12.
Speaking to CBS 2, Ruhno said, "I put my arms around him and I did a fist with my hand over it and I just [pulled]." It worked on the second try.
Ruhno demonstrated the Heimlich in both TV interviews.
Ruhno's mom, who told News 12 she saw her son save Almeida but wasn't sure what was happening at the time, said on CBS that she was proud and "overwhelmed." Asked if her son was a hero, she gave a wholehearted "yes."
The satisfaction of doing a good deed wasn't this little hero's only reward; Ruhno received a set of toy cars from Almeida -- and got to visit his school's "prize box" as well.
Ruhno may have picked up his first-aid skills outside the classroom, but kids can learn skills that save lives during school hours, too. Recently, 5-year-old Nathaniel Dancy helped family members locate his dad, who had a stroke and an aneurysm, by spelling out one of the words on a nearby sign.