Camps and youth sports programs in New York could soon be required to provide automated external defibrillator equipment at their facilities, games and practices under a proposal given final approval this week by state lawmakers.
The measure next heads to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s desk for her consideration.
The measure is meant to address instances of sudden cardiac arrest, a leading cause of death for young people that can have a 90% fatality rate.
Known as AEDs, the equipment is already required in school buildings; legislation approved this week would apply to non-school settings. It’s estimated that as many as 14,000 sudden youth cardiac arrests occur across the country annually.
Lawmakers backed the measure as Westchester County residents Dana Colasante and Alice Schoen called for the legislation after their family members experienced sudden cardiac arrest during youth sporting events.
The bill was backed by state Sen. Shelley Mayer and Assemblyman Steve Otis.
“There is a tremendous gap in the public’s understanding of the need for including AED equipment and protocols as part of standard youth sports first aid planning,” Otis said. “We have the ability to prevent heart-breaking tragedies by making sure that camps and youth sports programs develop their own plans to make sure AED equipment and procedures are in place.”