Foundation wants Park City schools to play it safe |

Foundation wants Park City schools to play it safe

An emergency can happen to anyone at any time.

That’s the reality that has the Park City-based Play Well — Play Safe Foundation, which promotes health and wellness through sports, attempting to get CPR and defibrillator training and Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome screening programs into local schools. The foundation would also like to donate automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Barbara Sherwood, who serves on the foundation’s Board of Directors, said children who participate in sports are at increased risk of heart emergencies, which is why Play Well — Play Safe is interested in helping schools handle any potential emergencies.

"We want to promote safe participation in sports," Sherwood said. "There are so many children at risk with heart defects that you don’t even know about. Our mission is to get CPR/AED training into the schools and make sure people know how to use the AED machines, whether they are a student or teacher, and that they have access to them."

While students are most at risk when they’re exerting themselves while playing sports, Sherwood said the AED machines could also be used for emergencies throughout the school, provided students and teachers know how to use them. Fortunately, she said, the training is simple.

"Research shows that once people have training, they go from a fear of using them to, like, an 80-percent confidence rate after the training," she said. "They’re so user friendly that even kids can use them. And you increase the survivability rate if an emergency happens by about 80 percent."