News | January 06, 2008

Online Health Book Teaches Kids to Care for Vascular System

January 7, 2008 - An on-line vascular health activity book that teaches children ages 5-12 how their vascular system works is now available on www.vascularweb.org.

It uses “blood buddies” to teach children how the vascular system delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout their bodies and why they need to eat well and maintain an active lifestyle to keep it healthy. It stresses the importance of exercise, healthy eating, and not smoking through games and coloring pages.

“According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the percentage of children and teens that are overweight has more than doubled in the past 30 years,” said Wayne Johnston, M. D., president of the Society for Vascular Surgeons. “This startling statistic has crucial consequences for the future for these children. If they grow into obese adults, they face a greater chance of having vascular diseases such as stroke and peripheral arterial disease. Vascular surgeons want to do what we can to help parents and schools teach youngsters about the health risks of obesity and smoking. If they understand how their bodies work they may be more likely to take good care of themselves.”

Some of the adult vascular health complications include blocked carotid arteries to the brain that can cause paralyzing strokes, the third leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 15,000 people die annually from ruptured aortic aneurysms, and one in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has peripheral arterial disease. High cholesterol levels, lack of exercise, and smoking are key factors in a person's likelihood of developing these diseases.

This activity book uses entertaining learning tools including a maze, word search, penny game, secret code, and other activities to explain how a vascular system works, why it is important to good health, and how to maintain healthy habits.

For more information: www.vascularweb.org//patients/PDF_Docs/composite_activity_book.pdf

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