A California law slated to take effect this summer has some school districts feeling a financial pinch.
On its face, the law is meant to encourage safety at athletics events. As The Union points out, about 10,000 youth are annually affected by sudden cardiac arrest nationwide. The odds of saving the life of someone suffering from sudden cardiac arrest improve significantly when an AED can be administered quickly.
However, the new legislation doesn’t appropriate any state monies to fund the purchases of AEDs.
“If you have any athletic activity in the schools, then you have to have an AED available, and it has to be acquired outside of state funding,” health services coordinator Sharyn Turner told The Union.
Most California schools — about 75 percent according to The Union — already have AEDs, and most of those are concentrated in high schools, where according to turner “the chances of (cardiac arrest) happening at a high school is much higher than at an elementary school.”
Still, schools that offer athletics, even at the elementary and middle school levels, will be required to have AEDs according to the law.
Nevada County, Calif., is partnering with the public health department and seeking grants to fund additional AED purchases. Turner said that she hopes to buy the lifesaving devices in bulk by next fall.