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Coaching Our Kids Carries A Responsibility

     Rohnert Park, California - On 14thApril 2013 an 8 year old boy stepped into the batter's box and faced the pitcher. The ball hit him in the chest and as he was running towards first base he collapsed to the ground. Moments later, he was noted by coaches that his heart had stopped. He was dead. He would have probably stayed that way had two off duty paramedics not responded and started CPR. EMS responded shortly and defibrillated (shocked) him. His heart had restarted by the time he had reached the hospital.

Every year millions of children play sports in school, and in evening or weekend programs. As parents we send our children off to play these sports with the knowledge that in a few hours they will be home again with plenty of stories to tell. Never in our wildest dreams do we imagine them dropping dead. Many are saved by coaches, staff, bystanders, or EMS / Fire departments, but some do not make it.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is not just an event that occurs in the elderly, but often occurs in children. 320,000 Americans go into cardiac arrest each year outside of hospitals of which 2,000 - 3,000 are children. But unlike adults children have a lower survival rate.

When children are placed into the care of coaches and recreational organizers we assume that they are trained to look after our children. We assume that the organization that promotes the activity has done criminal background checks to make sure that the coaches have no history that could endanger our children. How many of us, though, mandate that these coaches are trained in CPR? Unfortunately many of these sports organizations or leagues do not feel that CPR is a primary importance for their coaches, umpires or recreational staff and so do not make it mandatory training.

Coaches have dedicated the time and the effort to provide a service to help educate and train our children. Many times these coaches have to spend hours training to get and keep their coaching certificates. CPR is a skill that may not only save the life of a child in their care but may come in handy at home, in the work place, church, mall, or at the airport. Watching a baseball or football game at home can take about the same length of time as attending a CPR class.

Some coaches are worried about liability. While different states and municipalities have different laws and the best person to ask is an attorney, all states have Good Samaritan Laws that cover the actions of citizens that go out of their way to assist in a medical emergency. These laws protect the rescuer from liability.

CPR is not just for the old but for our children. While we may never have seen a SCA in a child it occurs. Playing the odds is like playing the lottery. You may never win the lottery but someone will. This California boy is alive today because of the quick actions of two spectators and an EMS crew. Take time out of your busy schedule to spend 3-4 hours learning a skill that may save the life of one of the children in your care.

Article Source:

Conor Devery is a firefighter / paramedic with over 20 years of EMS and critical care experience. He has been a CPR instructor for the past 20 years. He formed First Response Training, LLC to improve the survival of SCA victims by teaching CPR in the community. You can call Conor at (561) 459-0221 or

Posted on 2013-07-08, By: *

* Click on the author's name to view their profile and articles!!!

Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author,

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