Each February is American Heart Month, and this year, the American Heart Association is urging all Northwest Arkansas families to learn the life-saving skill of CPR.

With more than 350,000 people experiencing cardiac arrests outside of a hospital each year, including 23,000 children, CPR is a critical skill that kids as young as 9 years old can learn.

The Association’s Nation of Lifesavers, an American Heart Association initiative focused on doubling the survival rate of cardiac arrest by 2030, makes it easier than ever to learn CPR with many learning options available to families. In Northwest Arkansas, families can take an online CPR course, learn and practice Hands-Only CPR with a CPR Anytime® Training Kit or find a Heartsaver™ certification course near them.

“If you are called to respond in a cardiac emergency, knowing CPR may save the life of someone you love,” says Debbie Alsup, chairperson of the American Heart Association-Northwest Arkansas Board of Directors. “We are committed to extending the chain of survival in Northwest Arkansas through education because the power to save a life is in each of our hands.

The Association is committed to turning a nation of bystanders into lifesavers. The multi-year initiative will ensure teens and adults can learn about CPR and AED use, share that knowledge with friends and family and engage employers, policymakers, philanthropists and others to create support for a nation of lifesavers. The long-term goal: to ensure that in the face of a cardiac emergency, everyone, everywhere is prepared and empowered to perform CPR and become a vital link in the chain of survival.

CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival – which is key since about 90% of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. For more information on how to join the Nation of Lifesavers this February, visit heart.org/nation.