When I had gone to be certified as a personal trainer many moons ago, I was told that once a year I’d have to go for CPR training.

In that line of work, it’s a pretty big deal, since you may have a client who may suddenly collapse on you, and administering CPR or using the AED could save that life.

It turns out that NJ lawmakers have approved bills that would require high schools to teach CPR and use of defibrillators.

Outside of the possibility of making a high school kid a responsible party to a lawsuit should CPR not be performed properly – how is this a bad thing?
Especially when seconds count and a life can be saved.

The New Jersey Legislature approved measures Monday requiring high school health classes to teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the proper use of automated external defibrillators.

The bills, sponsored by Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington) and Assemblyman Angel Fuentes (D-Camden), mandate the lessons be added existing health and physical education curriculum.

The instruction would based on nationally recognized programs, such as those from the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. 

“Knowing how to properly perform CPR and use a defibrillator are basic life-saving skills that all graduates should have when they leave our public schools,” Allen said.

Fuentes said training in these life-saving techniques would help students react to emergencies, and he pointed to a recent event in Passaic as proof.

A student who stopped breathing because of seizures was saved by his peers, who performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

Luckily there were people nearby who administered CPR until emergency services arrived, and the child was saved.

The upside to taking time out of one health science class is priceless.

Finally legislators have come up with what I feel is a very practical piece of legislation.

Should NJ high schools be required to teach CPR and the use of an AED in health science classes?