The Panther Press

Ameriheart Comes to North Lamar

School NewsGreg Higgins
A Paris Cardiology Center team member guides North Lamar 5th graders through a giant walk-through heart educating them on the heart’s functions and risk factors associated with strokes.

A Paris Cardiology Center team member guides North Lamar 5th graders through a giant walk-through heart educating them on the heart’s functions and risk factors associated with strokes.

North Lamar students have been learning in a big way – the Ameriheart way.  On Thursday of this week, Bailey Intermediate 4th and 5th graders took a tour of the World’s largest display of a full-blown human heart stationed in the school gym.

The Ameriheart Fair, sponsored by Dr. Khalid Shafiq, M.D. and his team at Paris Cardiology Center, is an interactive exhibit used to educate, help instill healthy habits, and promote proactive measures to ward off the number four killer in the world.  Stone Middle School 8th grader, Sayek Shafiq, and Bailey 4thgrader, Layla Shafiq, handed out educational posters and brochures to their peers on heart health and preventative maintenance.

“Children hold the key to their future and that key is their healthy habits,” said Ayesha Shafiq Director of Paris Cardiology Center.

According to latest research, 80% of heart disease is preventable.  If children learn to set their hearts and minds on preventative care and manage their heart risk factors early on, they can prevent being victims of the number one most deadly disease in the world when they grow older. 

Surprisingly, the risk factors for heart disease and ischemic stroke are the same. By taking care of heart disease risk factors, children can learn to prevent the onset of stroke as they get older. As the number four killer in the world, strokes are also the largest cause of adult disability in United States.

At the Ameriheart Fair, students were encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle with a well-balanced heart diet.  Recommendations were given to exercise five times a day for 60 minutes, get between 9 to 11 hours of sleep a day, and to watch their daily intake of salt and sugar.

Students were also educated on the adverse effects of smoking and alcohol use.

According to statistics, most teens start smoking at the age of 13. Eventually 8 out of 10 children cannot stop smoking when they grow up because they become nicotine addicts.  Moreover, smoking releases 4000 toxins in their bodies that can cause several forms of cancer and can be the prelude to Peripheral Arterial disease later on in life. Smoking also causes teenagers to have more colds and increases their risk of having asthma. On the same note, the students were educated that according to research alcohol use contributes towards an increased risk of stroke later on in life.