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Teens urged to learn CPR to help save lives

Posted at 3:31 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 05:41:58-04

Alina Barrera, 16, knows what to do if someone stops breathing. She knows CPR. She's in the medical program at her school. But according to the American Heart Association, more kids across the country should learn the procedure.

The organization says only 34 states require CPR training as a graduation requirement.

Erica Whitfield is a Palm Beach County School Board member and a member of her local American Heart Association.

Florida does not require CPR for students. But the school district found a way to teach hundreds of kids CPR.

"This past year we worked with our PE (physical education) department and trained all of our middle and high school PE teachers to become trainers in hands-only CPR," she said.

Schools across the country are using a kit that comes with an inflatable mannequin, an instructional DVD and all of the information needed to learn and teach CPR.

According to the organization, more than 400,000 people have sudden cardiac arrest. They hope to reduce those numbers because of teens like Alina.

"I feel that if I was ever put in a situation where I needed to save someone's life, I would be capable of doing that," she said.

The Heart Association says their family CPR kits cost under $40. For more information on which states require CPR as a high school graduation requirement, click here.