The Heart and Stroke Foundation
Heart disease and stroke are 2 of the 3 leading causes of death in Canada = and 70,000 people die every year from these cardiovascular diseases. The good news is that cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is 80% preventable
Our mission is to impact heart disease and stroke in 3 ways:
- Prevent disease
Give children and youth the best start for a long, healthy life – through programs like HeartSmart Kids™!
Increase healthy weights among children and youth
Increase vegetable and fruit consumption as a measure of healthy nutrition
Increase physical activity
Decrease tobacco use
- Save lives
Enable faster, better cardiac and stroke emergency response and treatment
Install Automatic External Defibrillators in public facilities and provide training to staff
- Promote recovery
Enhance support for survivors, families and caregivers
Increase survivor risk factor management to prevent further incidents
The HeartSmart Kids™ Program
Education programming for children and youth that teaches how to build a healthy lifestyle are the key to future prevention. The HeartSmart Kids™ program was launched in 1995/96 and since then has trained over 10,000 educators to deliver health education to elementary school students. It is a curriculum-based program designed to help educators teach children and families how to lead healthy lifestyles. The program is directed to health educators including school teachers, nurses, dietitians after-school program facilitators, etc.
The program has been designed in such a way that it is tied to the BC Ministry of Education’s learning outcomes and uses a fun and effective approach to help students learn to make healthy choices that will guide them throughout their lives.
HeartSmart Kids™ originally focused on three lifestyle components, healthy eating, active living and being smoke free to encourage children and families to build healthy behaviours and lead heart-healthy lifestyles. After an extensive evaluation completed in 2013, we decided to do some major updates for our 20th anniversary and 2015-16 school year launch. Educators spoke and we listened!