Kids get the info on spotting a stroke

Third-graders, from left, Hunter Thomas, Matthew Velez, Sebastian Mendez, Jayden Gonzalez and Elijah Farias examine a plastic model of a brain at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx borough of New York. The hospital teaches children to recognize stroke and get victims to a hospital quickly. (AP Photo/Jim Fitzgerald)

Third-graders, from left, Hunter Thomas, Matthew Velez, Sebastian Mendez, Jayden Gonzalez and Elijah Farias examine a plastic model of a brain at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx borough of New York. The hospital teaches children to recognize stroke and get victims to a hospital quickly. (AP Photo/Jim Fitzgerald)


Andrea Esteban tried to smile with half her face, crossing her eyes in the process, and her third-grade classmates giggled. Matthew Velez struggled to speak, “Luh, luh, uh, gronk,” and the kids erupted in laughter.

But the funny faces, the gibberish and some arm flapping were all part of a serious lesson to help kids learn the telltale signs of a stroke by imitating them. The idea is to enlist children, particularly those who may live with older relatives, as an army of eyes to help recognize the warning signs, get help for victims more quickly and hopefully save lives.

“If my mom has a stroke, I’ll know what to do,” said 10-year-old Madison Montes. “Run to the phone and call 911.”

The experimental health education program at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx is aimed at the most crucial factor when it comes to a stroke: Time.

Each year, about 795,000 Americans have a stroke and about 130,000 die. Some are caused by bleeding in the brain, but the vast majority is caused by a clot that blocks blood flow, starving brain cells. A drug, called TPA, can dissolve those clots, but only if it’s given within three to four hours of the first symptoms, and the sooner the better.

The early warning signs of a stroke include a droopy side of the face, slurred or strange speech, and the inability to keep arms raised.

Pencil erasers in the shape of the human brain lie on a table at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx borough of New York. The erasers were given to third-graders who attended a class that teaches them to recognize stroke and get victims to a hospital quickly. (AP Photo/Jim Fitzgerald)

Pencil erasers in the shape of the human brain lie on a table at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx borough of New York. The erasers were given to third-graders who attended a class that teaches them to recognize stroke and get victims to a hospital quickly. (AP Photo/Jim Fitzgerald)

“There’s a pretty good chance some children might witness a parent or a grandparent having a stroke,” said Jim Baranski of the National Stroke Association. “So if they’re armed with the signs and symptoms, they could likely save a life.”

Montefiore’s program has been used since 2012 with private schools in its neighborhood, where children are often in a grandparent’s care because parents are absent or both working. The goal is to study the results and, if successful, replicate the program across the country.

“The kids get a kick out of it because they get to do a little acting,” said Dr. Robert Glover, a neurologist who helped develop the program. “But when they’re done, they know about stroke and they can teach their families.”

At the start of the stroke class last month, in a first-floor room at the hospital, Dr. Kathryn Kirchoff-Torre asked, “Who knows what a stroke is?”

“A heart attack?” one child offered.

“Well, we like to call it a brain attack,” Kirchoff-Torres said. “It’s a problem with the brain.” She then taught the children to use the word “FAST” as a memory device. With cartoons and music bringing the point home, they learned “F” is for face, “A” is for arms, “S” is for speech and “T” is for time.

After the play-acting and the multimedia show, the doctor invited questions from the children.

“How do you catch a stroke?” one boy asked. The doctor assured him that strokes are not contagious but can be caused by “high blood pressure, smoking cigarettes, junk food.”

“What if we don’t have a phone?” a girl asked. Kirchoff suggested asking a neighbor or running to a storefront.

“What if you live in the desert?” was the follow-up question, to which Kirchoff smiled and said, “It’s a good thing you live in the Bronx.”

———

Reported by JIM FITZGERALD of the Associated Press from NEW YORK, N.Y. AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard contributed to this report.

Read More

St. Patrick’s Day event

 

StPatDay

Royer’s Flowers & Gifts is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day event, decorating a white carnation. The event is for ages 5-12, 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. March 15 at both York locations, 805 Loucks Road and 2555 Eastern Boulevard. Registration: 854-7733 or 755-7673.

Read More

Create a daisy arrangement

 

Kids club arrangement (Jan 2014)

 

Royer’s Kids Club, for ages 5-12, will hold an event 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. Jan. 18 at both York County locations, 805 Loucks Road and 2555 Eastern Boulevard. Participants will create a daisy arrangement in a decorative jar and also receive a balloon. Registration: 854-7728 or 755-7673.

Read More

Human Christmas tree

 

PHOTO - HUMAN CHRISTMAS TREE

In friendly holiday competition, the new Administrator of St. Patrick Catholic Church in York, Rev. Keith Carroll, shown, took the top prize at the parish school’s annual Human Christmas Tree competition. Decorated by the students of grades 1 – 3, Fr. Carroll received more votes than his good-natured “competitor,” Rev. Jonathan Sawicki from the neighboring Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Mary Elizabeth Muir, school principal.

Read More

Chess Team champions

 

chess.jpg

 

The York Homeschool Association Chess Team finished first in the Junior Varsity Division of the Susquehanna Scholastic Chess Tournament, at Perryville, Md.  Competing for the team were, from left, Alex Marchesani, Al Mokris, and Jimmy McAllister.

Read More

Junior Achievement earns award

 

Summit Award Photo J.Gonzalez

 

Junior Achievement of South Central PA earned a Gold Summit Award from JA USA for outstanding success in financial health, program quality, management effectiveness and program growth.  Josie Gonzalez, a sixth-grader at Locust Grove Elementary School, displays the award during her tenure as Mayor of JA BizTown Nov. 16.

Read More

Fall Festival

Manchester ACE Hardware is having a Fall Festival, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 19 at their store, 4335 N. George St., Manchester. Featuring face painting, a petting zoo, bounce houses and more. Information: 266-3664.

pumpkins

Read More

Grand Champion Steer purchased

Saubels

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saubel’s Markets purchased the Grand Champion Steer at the York Fair Junior Livestock sale on Sept. 14. Pictured from left is Greg, Betti and Adam Saubel, 2013 York Fair Queen Nicole McCord, and six-year 4-H member Daniel Rohrbaugh, with his 1,340 pound Angus steer.

Read More

Fall Festival

Stauffers of Kissel Hill will host a Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 at both their garden centers, 3949 Carlisle Road, Dover, and 4450 Lincoln Highway, York. Festivities include hay rides, straw mazes, games and more. Information: www.skh.com.

pumpkins

 

Read More

York Fair poster contest to highlight food safety

The York Fair is conducting a Food Safety Poster Contest for area students age 8 to 18. Posters must communicate food safety at the fairgrounds with themes such as hand washing, proper food storage and use of hand sanitizers. Sonnewald Natural Foods is sponsoring the contest in York and will award cash prizes of $18, $16, $14, $12 and $10 for first through fifth place entries in three age categories (8-11, 12-14 and 15-18). The three first place winners at the York Fair will be forwarded to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture for state level judging at the 2014 Pennsylvania Farm Show in January. Cash prizes there will be up to $100.

The local posters will be displayed at the upcoming York Fair. Information on entering the poster contest is available on the York Fair Website (www.yorkfair.com). On the website, click on “premium books & contests” then click on “2013 poster contest. Or call the York Fair office at (717) 848-2596.

Read More