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Talking to heart experts
June 13, 2024

By William Cramp Fit Flyer reporters | Mrs. Quintana’s second-grade cub reporters recently interviewed Dr. Alyssa Willis and Dr. Therese Renaud. They work at St. Christopher Hospital for Children and are experts in children’s health. The reporters asked about the heart. The information has been lightly edited and shortened.

Question: What makes you experts?
Dr. Therese: We spent a lot of time in school learning all about the different parts of the body, including the heart. We work taking care of kids and that includes taking care of their hearts to keep them healthy.

Question: Why is the heart important?
Dr. Therese: The heart is one of the most important parts of your body. It pushes blood and nutrients to your body and it helps keep all the other parts of your body working well. 

Question: What is blood?
Dr. Alyssa: Blood is the liquid that runs all throughout your body. It has water and cells that deliver oxygen to parts of your body. Red blood cells give it the red color.

Question: What do you want children to know about the heart and heart health?
Dr. Alyssa: The heart is a really big muscle. When you’re running and jumping and playing, you making your heart strong.
Dr. Therese: It’s important to know about parts of your body so you know how to take care of it and keep it healthy for a long time.

Question: How can we keep our hearts healthy?
Dr. Alyssa: Exercise. Walk around the park. Walk to and from school. Find an exercise that gets your heart rate up and uses your heart muscle. That will help your heart.
Dr. Therese: Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. These foods are good for your heart.

Question: Do doctors get sick, too?
Dr. Therese: Doctors can get sick. At the hospital, we wear masks to make sure we don’t spread germs. We get sick like everyone else but we do what we can to take care of our bodies so we don’t get sick as often.

Question: What do you do to reduce stress? 
Dr. Therese: I talk to my family and friends and do things with them to get my mind off of stressful things. I like arts and crafts.
Dr. Alyssa: I like to go out to dinner or walk outside in the park. Anything that’s outside of the hospital helps me reset my brain. I like painting and doing puzzles.

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Since 2003, Healthy NewsWorks has been empowering elementary and middle school students to become researchers, writers, and confident communicators who advance health understanding and literacy through their factual publications and digital media.

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