Happy Heart Month from the Cardiac Center’s Child Life team at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)! February is more than just a greeting card holiday for the kids and families served by CHOP’s Cardiac Center. We’ve come up with five meaningful ways to celebrate Heart Month and raise awareness of congenital heart disease.
- Team up: Encourage your child’s school to host a pajama day, bake sale, or creative event to promote the Philly Spin-In — a big workout to help little hearts! CHOP’s 2019 Spin-In will take place March 9 and 10. Find information on how financial donations can support the Philly Spin-In.
- Say thanks: Perhaps you or your child might want to send a heartfelt thank you card to the cardiologist, surgeon or nurse who made a positive impact on your hospital experiences. This could be a great opportunity to start the conversation with your child regarding all the various ways different people worked together to help. Please be mindful that handmade cards/items may not be shared with or distributed to current patients in the hospital due to infection control policies.
- Send goodies: Families spending their time during Heart Month in the hospital need extra support. Our psychosocial team really appreciates generous donors who might send bagel trays or coffee to our family longue so that caregivers can feel remembered, too! This helps foster a sense of community among heart families who have experienced similar triumphs and hardships while their children remained hospitalized.
- Get crafty: Take this opportunity to help create your own Valentine cards, decorations for the home, or gifts for others which celebrate the heart warrior in your lives. Try footprint art for babies, handprint crafts for school-age children, or baking heart-themed treats with teens. Child life is centered on the idea that play is the language of children. Through normal activities such as art or crafting, children can share how much they know about their own healthcare journey in addition to expressing their feelings.
- Start sharing: Research tells us that empowering your child gives them a greater sense of control over their illness. Provide your child with strategies or suggestions for language to help them share with friends why Heart Month has a special meaning for them. Additionally, using social media to share your heart story is a fast and easy way to raise awareness about CHD. CHOP has a specific Facebook page for the Cardiac Center where families share their stories. We’d love to hear from you!