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“The national average is 15-20 minutes response time for an EMS to get to a site of an emergency,” said Jennifer L. Hervey, CEO and owner of Twin Valley Family Fitness in Elverson. Hervey is speaking up in the community to advocate for kids, your kids. She is trying to bring local awareness to education as a force for safety at the sites of games and practices for all kids’ sports including Little Leagues, T- Ball, Cheerleaders, Peewee Football, Soccer Leagues, swimming, and others.
“Why is first aid and CPR/AED training so important?” she continued, “Because, how often is a trained professional standing right beside you when an emergency happens?”
Her stats are eye opening.
“When dealing with a cardiac event (a heart attack or when a heart stops) brain damage occurs at four to six minutes, permanent damage occurs at six to eight minutes, and irreversible damage at eight to ten minutes.”
She said that first aid is just as important.
“(First aid) can mean the difference between a possible broken bone and paralysis, a quick hospital visit or having to go all the way through rehab, and as simple as life vs. death. We don’t plan these events. They catch us off guard. It is important to know what to do in those first few minutes.”
She related this story, which set her on her path of promoting awareness and training:
“At the age of 15 as an off-duty lifeguard at my local pool I witnessed a two-year-old girl found at the bottom of the pool. She lived, but was under too long and suffered permanent brain damage.”
Hervey has been certified in first aid and CPR/AED since age 14, is trained in EMTB (Emergency Medical Technician-Basic), and is an EMTB-Instructor with over two decades of experience.
Hervey is not critical of our coaches and organizations, but she is aware of a vacuum in the system. That vacuum is training, and Hervey offers solutions.
“Twin Valley Family Fitness is currently working to provide an education class to coaches this fall (date TBD) for sports related injuries and prevention. We are doing this with the assistance of the Chester County Safe Kids Coalition.”
Her goal is simple.
“You can minimize the impact of an accident. Kids only have a fighting chance if someone is there and knows what to do.”
The social consciousness for kids sporting events are held in the hands of parents and coaches.
Hervey says that a parent caught up in “the win-win-win” attitude can lose focus on health, and that telling a kid to ‘suck it up and go back out there’ is a bad practice.
“The majority of kids rely on their coaches the most to keep them safe in practices and games. Kids think that good players should keep playing their sport even when they’re hurt unless a coach or adult makes them stop.”
Her belief is that awareness needs to be raised not just locally but nationally.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide:
Coaches may unwittingly be unaware of the severity of an injury. Coaches say they want and need more sports safety training, but high cost, lack of time, and few local training opportunities impede them. Nine in ten report that a child on their team has suffered an injury, making safety training all the more important. Even today, with all the attention on concussions, our study found that half of all coaches surveyed believe there is an acceptable amount of head contact (i.e. getting their bell rung, seeing stars) young athletes can receive without potentially causing a serious brain injury. For research studies go to www.safekids.org/worldwide/
Nationally there are six recognized organizations that teach CPR/AED and First Aid: American Heart Association – AHA; American Red Cross – ARC; American Safety and Health Institute – ASHI; Emergency Safety Education Institute – ECSI; Medic First Aid – MFA; National Safety Council – NSC. All of these organizations must follow the same guidelines (which came out in 2011), and the information is all the same, but each uses their own teaching style.
Parents and coaches can now be hands-on for a minimal time and monetary outlay.
Twin valley Family Fitness offers the following courses (individual and group rates are available at their location or yours): Adult CPR/AED - 3-4 hours; Child, Infant CPR/AED - 3 hours; Adult, Child/Infant CPR/AED – 5-6 hours, CPR for the Professional Rescuer/Healthcare Provider – 8 hours + (written exam), First Aid – 2-3 hours.
For pricing and more information, contact Twin Valley Family Fitness at 610.901.3373 or stop in at their location at 51 S. Pine St, Elverson, PA, 19520. Visit Twin Valley Family Fitness online at www.TVFamilyFitness.com
Additional Information from Safe Kids Worldwide:
What’s a concussion? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Even a ‘ding’, ‘getting your bell rung’, or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. You can’t see a concussion, but signs and symptoms of concussion can either show up right after the injury or not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury.
The original Lystedt concussion law from Washington State defines a concussion as follows:
“A concussion is caused by a blow or motion to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. The risk of catastrophic injuries or death is significant when a concussion or head injury is not properly evaluated and managed.”
But remember: concussions are not the only injuries sustained in sports!