The Healthy Heart Schools’ Program (HHSP) helps families identify their risk for heart disease and ways prevent it. The Program also helps teachers deliver heart health education. It is a win – win –win program for all concerned. This program provides students with what is often their first opportunity to measure their blood pressure (BP) and cholesterol. Additionally, it allows students to learn life saving measures through the free certificate Level “A” CPR/AED course.
Heart Niagara is now seeing the 2nd generation of families in the program and have found that many of our current participants have parents who were assessed by Heart Niagara in their grade 9 year.
This program has provided a unique research opportunity to gain knowledge surrounding cholesterol and cardiovascular health in adolescence. Currently, our program is the only one in Canada which collects data about heart health in such a large population of adolescents. Research and anecdotal feedback shows that the HHSP is causing people to improve their lifestyle, lower their cholesterols and BP, and improve their heart health.
The HHSP is a two day program in the grade 9 Health and Physical Education Class.
Day 1: The student assessment provided by healthcare professionals includes the measurement of height, weight, waist circumference, cholesterol (non-fasting, finger prick test) and blood pressure.
Following the assessment students are provided with a take home copy of their assessment results. HHSP also mails the family and their health care provider with the heart health assessment result. If the student requires further follow up it can be completed by the family health care provider.
Day 2: CPR and AED Training: Each student will learn how to perform adult and child CPR and how to respond to a choking emergency. They will also learn how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and why these units are critical in the “Chain of Survival.”
Here are a few comments from educators that support our program:
“The instructors are friendly, knowledgeable and able to relate to the students well. We always enjoy this program!” – Principal in St. Catharines
“Fantastic program! The students enjoy the hands-on learning and take pride in receiving the Heart Saver (A) card.” – Teacher