Editorial: Mandate CPR in high school
If one day you found yourself having a heart attack, and the only thing between you and the Grim Reaper was a gangly teenager with bad skin, you'd be glad the state made CPR training mandatory for all high school students.
Under a bill making its way through the state Legislature (A.9298/S.7096), students would have to be trained in CPR and in how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), a device that can help restart hearts.
School isn't just there to train kids in the three R's. It's also there to prepare them for life.
The requirement wouldn't take the place of any other studies. It could be taught as part of existing health or physical education classes. The training is a lot simpler than the old days, relying more on chest compressions and less on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. And equipment could be borrowed from the Red Cross or local emergency squads, or purchased with grants and donations.
About 300,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside hospitals each year. CPR administered on the scene can double or triple the chances of survival.
Let's give kids a skill that will serve them for a lifetime, and one we hope they'll never have to use.