Some Sioux Falls Elementary students from Garfield Challenge Center are taking to heart what it takes to make our heart pump. As Nancy Naeve Brown tells us they were definitely pumped to take a field trip to the Avera Heart Hospital to learn from the experts.
These 4th graders from Garfield Challenge Center are getting some hands-on experience on how to do hands-only CPR. That's one of several booths set up in the lobby of the Avera Heart Hospital. In conjunction with Heart Awareness Month, the class is doing a week long unit on one of the most important organs in our body.
Garfield Challenge Center 4th Grader Gillian Hilscher says, "I think it's really interesting because you can learn how the heart affects the whole body. Some kids may think it's gross, but it can really help you."
Director of Marketing for the Avera Heart Hospital Lindsey Meyers says, "We hope they learn how the heart functions. I think that's important to learn it's a muscle and you have to work it hard just like any other muscle in your body.
The other thing we'd like them to take home is how to do CPR. It is so important and the knowledge they gain today can last them an entire lifetime."
The children got the procedure down, but had no idea how long 30 seconds straight of straight-arm pushing would feel like.
Garfield Challenge Center 4th grader Alli Benson says, "It's a lot harder than it looks because you have to keep doing it until the ambulance gets there and that could take a while."
Gillian also said, "It was fun but it was also kind of hard too."
At one of the booths Avera Heart Hospital Registered Dietician Nikki Ver Steeg was teaching the kids how fat and calories can affect your heart. She told the kids about how ingesting an extra 100 calories a day will add up to 10 pounds a year.
Lindsey says, "We love being able to start early because not only do they learn something here they take it home and share with their parents and the whole family."
And what they're learning is the heart is an incredible machine and we need to do everything in our power, starting now, to keep it pumping properly or they will end up back here at the Avera Heart Hospital one day and it won't be this fun.
To conclude their week, a cardio nurse from the Avera Heart Hospital is bringing a pig heart to the Oyate Center for the Garfield Challenge Students to see and dissect.