Students learn healthy heart habits

Mar. 17—LIMA — The Lima Memorial Health System Listen to Your Heart Program offers a fun and interactive way of teaching elementary students about heart health and living a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Perry Elementary students grades 1-4 learned the benefits of being heart healthy through teaching and a variety of interactive stations, including a hands-only CPR demonstration, heart-healthy nutrition relay station and a "When to Call 9-1-1" game.

Brian Scheid of Lima Memorial Health System said, "We're here with a group of volunteers from all sorts of different backgrounds in the hospital. We're here to have some fun and teach the kids about heart health and how to react in a cardiac emergency. It's scary to think but three out of four heart attacks that happen outside of a hospital happen at home. It really important for kids especially at these ages to know how to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack and be able to pick up a phone and dial 911 to get emergency help."

The focus of the day was to teach the kids how to prevent cardiac disease and enjoy a heart-healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy and moving were major themes of the activities. There was a relay race in which cutouts of both healthy and non-healthy foods were placed on the floor across the room. Students had to run across the room, select a healthy item with the guidance of an adult and the sprint pack and place the item on a plate. This was done three times, once for each meal of the day.

There was a station where students were taught hands-only CPR. Each student got to practice on a mannequin. Students pushed on the chest as an adult kept a pace clapping to the tune of "Baby Shark."

"I just think it's great for us to get back our into our communities and get integrated with our school systems. It's very much needed after COVID, and we're happy to be here and happy to get into more schools as we move forward."

Educating children at a very young age is key to instilling heart-healthy habits that will promote good health and well-being into their adulthood.

Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409