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Philadelphia youth football teams reevaluating player safety after Hamlin's cardiac arrest

Philly youth football teams reevaluating player safety after Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest
Philly youth football teams reevaluating player safety after Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest 01:20

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition after his heart stopped beating during a game against the Bengals in Cincinnati on Monday. Hamlin suddenly collapsed after making a tackle.

Players on both teams were visibly shaken and offered prayers as the ambulance departed the field.

The Bills say Hamlin is sedated and getting treatment.

The game was postponed. The NFL says it will not resume this week.

Hamlin's injury has youth football teams in Philadelphia reevaluating player safety.

There are thousands of young players suiting up to play, dreaming of one day making it big in the NFL, but their coaches are also teaching them about the risks.

The 215 Falcons are the regional and national championship-winning youth football team out of Northeast Philadelphia.

The players may be young -- ages 8 to 13 -- but they're fearless.

One player was asked if he ever gets hit. He replied, "If they can catch me."

Coach Dontae Hodges says football can be a rewarding sport.

"It also teaches a man how to be disciplined," Hodges said. "It opens doors."

However, it comes with safety risks.

One of the worse case examples is Hamlin, who collapsed after a tackle Monday night against the Bengals.

The 215 Falcons is making it a teachable moment.

"It was a crazy injury," one player said. "I've never seen an injury like that before."

Jenn Parrado from Simon's Heart, a local organization that helps provide heart screenings and automated external defibrillators for sports programs in the community, says the life-saving device should be on the sidelines for all sports teams' games.

"They are the only thing that can safe a life in the of sudden cardiac arrest," Parrado said. "Someone has to get that AED between 1 and 3 minutes."

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes in America.

AAP estimates 2,000 people under 25 die from this condition every year in comparison to sports concussions, which result in at least one death a year.

215 Falcons team manager Shawn Robinson says this incident made them evaluate how their youth games could be safer.

They say all the coaches and staff are CPR certified, but Robinson says he would like to see more medical professionals on the sidelines of their regular season games in the event of an emergency similar to what happened Monday night.

"The only time you'll see medical professionals on hand is if it's some type of playoff atmosphere or championship atmosphere," Robinson said. "Even down to having an ambulance on standby, I think it's all something that could be possible. It definitely comes down to funding, it comes down to availability and, of course, people have to be aware of it."

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