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'Laces' Project Highlights Sudden Cardiac Arrest Month

Watch for colorful shoelaces next month, signifying support for law to place life-saving devices in schools.

The Janet Fund, New Jersey’s advocate for the prevention of sudden cardiac arrest, is running a campaign throughout the month of October called Laces for Life in order to raise awareness for National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month.

Sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of more than 325,000 Americans each year, the equivalent of 1,000 people each day, or one person dying each minute.

High school and youth groups, and cheerleading and band organizations throughout Morris, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon, and Union counties will be wearing red shoe laces to build awareness about sudden cardiac arrest in youth.

"This is a very simple and powerful message that the youth of New Jersey can send to our state representatives that they want to be protected from sudden cardiac arrest by having Janet's Law passed," said Jim Zilinski who founded the Janet Fund with his wife, Karen in the wake of their daughter Janet's tragic passing from sudden cardiac arrest in 2006.

Janet’s Law would require:
• Require all public and private schools K-12 to have an AED on site.
• Require at least five school employees to be certified in CPR/AED.
• Require an emergency action plan for a sudden cardiac event
• Require AEDs to be located in an accessible, unlocked location (such as out side school
gym) with appropriate signs above the unit.
• Require signs directing people to the AED throughout the school.
• Require AED to be accessible after school hours if the school doors are open. (such as
youth basket ball, wrestling, afterschool programs, etc)
• Recommend all youth sports coaches and camp counselors be CPR and AED certified.
• Recommend all public playing fields and youth camp facilities have an AED.

“There is no cost to participate, but donations are always welcome,” Mr. Zilinski said. "The donations all go towards our mission of saving young hearts, one at a time.”

If you know of a team or school group that would like to join the awareness campaign, contact Mr. Zilinski at jim@thejanetfund.org.

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