Possible best gift this holiday season? Learning CPR

Oh, the holidays - ‘tis the season of gifts, food, happiness and cheer, and heart attacks?

A story by CTV news says there tends to be more heart attacks during the holiday season than the rest of the year. A number of US-based studies have noticed an increase of “heart events” over the holidays - even naming it “holiday heart syndrome”.

According to the Ottawa Heart Institute, there could be numerous reasons behind this: too much food and alcohol, reduced exercise and emotional stress. Also, people who are experiencing heart attack symptoms during the holidays might not want to make a fuss about it and call for an ambulance.

Someone doing chest compressions or CPR on a mannequinNow, before you think this blog is all doom and gloom, there are a number of things we can do to protect our families and also reduce our chances of having a heart attack this holiday season. The first and most important thing is to take a CPR class. With 70 per cent of cardiac arrests happening at home, a CPR class provides you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to know what to do in an emergency. Don’t have time to take a course this holiday season? Why not make it a resolution for the New Year? It could be the best gift you ever give yourself and your family. Find a course near you.

Also, we can take care of ourselves this holiday season by exercising (why not go for a walk with your family?); watching what we eat and drink; and being merry and generous (both are good at reducing emotional stress which is good for your heart). Also, if you feel chest pain or other symptoms, don’t hesitate getting medical assistance.

Be sure to download the free Canadian Red Cross First Aid app for resources at your fingertips.

Have a happy - and healthy -  holiday season everyone!

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