Governor signs legislation to reduce kids’ cardiac risk

Governor Kathy Hochul Friday signed legislation requiring camps and youth sports programs to put automated external defibrillator (AED) plans in place and to have at least one person trained to properly use the AED at camps, games and practices.

The legislation will require camps and youth sports programs with five or more participating plans to establish an AED implementation plan. The plan is to detail how AEDs will be made available or reasonably accessible at every camp, game or practice, and how they’ll assure that a qualified adult who has successfully completed an AED training course is present.

“We all remember the terrifying moment when Damar Hamlin was injured last February, but young athletes at schools and camps could be exposed to similar risks,” Hochul said. “By requiring camps and youth sports programs to establish an AED implementation plan, kids will be safer and teams will be prepared. I want every parent in New York to know: we’re doing everything we can to keep your kids safe.” 

Hamlin, Buffalo Bills safety, who suffered cardiac arrest Jan. 2 after making a tackle in a game at Cincinnati, and who has since made a full recovery, remarked on the legislation as well.

“Growing up, in all the years that I played football, I don’t remember thinking about where an AED was located or who was trained to use one. I think that many people have had the same experience,” Hamlin stated. “My journey has shown us that no one expects cardiac arrest to happen — and we all need to be prepared.  By requiring that at least one person is trained to properly use an AED at every sports event, camp and practice, this new law will help protect tens of thousands of kids in New York State — and is a really important step in saving lives.”