A Heart Is More Than a Valentine
By Christina Elston

One way to show your kids you love them this month is to help them get involved with the American Heart Association (AHA). You might be surprised to learn that cardiovascular disease is the No. 3 cause of death in children under age 15. And, sadly, for the first time in history, children’s life spans are predicted to be shorter than their parents’ because of inactivity and obesity-related illness.

The AHA’s mission is to reduce death and disability from heart disease and stroke. And your kids can help. Two fun activities, Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart, offer a chance to get some heart-healthy exercise and raise money for the AHA. Events can be organized at any school any time of year. Kids collect donations from family and friends, jump rope or play basketball – and earn thank-you gifts for their efforts.

Visit the organization’s Web site at, and click the “Fund Raising” tab at the left side of the home page to learn how your child’s school can participate.


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    Christina Elston is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in family health issues.

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