One person in every household should be trained in first aid, enabling them to respond to medical emergencies quickly and safely, says New Zealand Red Cross.
It's made the call because Saturday is World First Aid Day.
Knowing what to do in an emergency is often the difference between life and death, says secretary-general Tony Paine.
"The first people at an accident aren't doctors or paramedics. They're mums and dads, your workmates and your friends, the supporters on the sideline at the rugby match.
World First Aid Day this year focuses on first aid for and by children.
"Getting children involved is so important. Even something small, like teaching your child how to call for help, could save your life," Mr Paine says.
New Zealand Red Cross reaches more than 60,000 Kiwis every year through its NZQA-approved first aid training.