Seat Cushion to Float, Really?

06/01/2015 02:29 pm ET | Updated Jun 01, 2016

For Memorial Day, my family and I flew from Philadelphia to Tampa. I fly a lot for work so I am used to the experience. However, my children, who are eight and twelve, always have questions. My son was fascinated that his seat cushion doubled as a flotation device. He wanted to bring it to the pool with us. I was fascinated that we were hearing this instruction on a flight that wasn't flying over water.

After thinking about it, I realized that I hear it all the time on flights from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh too. Why? Is this a real threat?

There are only six things we hear before every flight, so they must be really important, right? I had to find out.

According to the Global Incident Map, there were no crashes into bodies of water by U.S. commercial planes from 2014 to present. In fact, there were no crashes at all!

That sounds like a parent in Florida telling her child every day to be careful on the way to school because the sidewalks get slippery when its icy outside.

Well, what about those oxygen masks? They get a mention too, so they must come into play a lot. The Aviation Herald listed only two incidents of loss of cabin pressure on U.S. commercial flights since 2012.

So what gives? Why do we educate people how to react to events that rarely occur? Alternatively, why don't we educate people how to react to events that can occur more frequently?

Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled "Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Should NCAA Require EKG Testing?" This is the third article written by the WSJ in the last three months on this topic. It is a hotly debated subject. This latest article shared a new study showing that 1:5,200 NCAA male Division I basketball players will die from sudden cardiac arrest. The problem doesn't just end there. Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death of adults in this country.

This week is National CPR and AED Week. CPR and AEDs are tools required to save the life of someone who is in cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is what happens when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. The heart goes into an erratic beat and can no longer pump blood. That's where the CPR and AED come into play.

An AED is the only device that can correct that heartbeat. The AED, after determining that there is a problem (it's a smart device), delivers a shock to "restart" the heart.

CPR is the act of compressing the heart thereby delivering blood throughout the body until the heart can start doing its job again.

In honor of this special week, I'd like to look to the skies and introduce pre-game instructions at all NCAA basketball games for the safety of all those present. It'll go something like this.

Thank you for joining us here at the Schottenstein Center. We're glad that you came out to see the Ohio State Buckeyes take on the Michigan Wolverines. Before we get started, please give your attention to the students on the court.

In the event of a medical emergency, please dial 911, send someone to locate the nearest AED device and begin chest compressions. The AED devices are located outside of gates 101, 121, 201 and 221. When you begin chest compressions, lock your hands together like this, put your palm on the person's sternum, and press hard and fast, like this. Do this until help arrives.

It's that easy. And yes, it really is that easy. Remember the two nine year old boys who administered CPR and saved the life of a baby because they remembered the CPR poster outside of their school cafeteria?

In 2014, attendance at Division I NCAA basketball games exceeded 27 million people. Providing these pre-game instructions will educate generations of people on how to save lives, and make them aware that sudden cardiac arrest isn't just an adult thing. It will also protect the lives of our student athletes who are more prone to experiencing sudden cardiac arrest than water landings or loss of cabin pressure.

To learn more about CPR, watch this entertaining video.

To learn more about AED devices, watch this entertaining video.