Preventing Heart Attacks in Children


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years
  • The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period.
  • In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

Obese youth are more likely to have increased risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the largest cause of death in the United States and each day more than 1000 people experience a sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. According to a Mayo Clinic Commentary (June 2015) ( 21 states now mandate that a child have Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training in school. (Some reports state that as many as 33 states mandate training.) Students are more likely to encounter cardiac arrest victims in shopping malls, movie theatres or among family members. No child should be allowed to graduate high school without CPR training.

All educators, as well, need to be trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).