Educating the Next Generation of Life Savers

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death on school campuses and the number one killer of student athletes. One in 300 youth has an undetected heart condition that puts them at risk. Physicians acknowledge that medical practitioners and parents alike miss warning signs and risk factors that cause SCA. Research shows the public is unsure what SCA is, or that a bystander can triple the victim’s chance of survival with CPR.

With an SCA survival rate that has remained below 10% for three decades, this public health crisis requires a new approach to a time-worn problem. We need to create cultures of prevention with youth live, learn and play so the next generation grows up knowing they CAN save a life. Smart Hearts Don’t Miss A Beat is a new program that empowers young people to prevent sudden death at home, in school, on the field, at the doctor’s office and in their future families, and workplaces.

Definition of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Causes of SCA
SCA vs. Heart Attack
Incidence of SCA in Youth

Warning Signs of Heart Condition
How to Recognize Warning Signs
Why Don’t Kids Report Symptoms
Family Risk Factors

Identifying Cardiac Abnormalities
Assessment In Preventative Care
Diagnostic Tools
Genetic Testing

The Cardiac Chain of Survival
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
Automated External Defibrillation (AED)

Program Goals

  • Educate youth to recognize warning signs and family risk factors so they can be their own heart health advocate
  • Empower youth to use CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) and teach others the Cardiac Chain of Survival
  • Equip youth with leadership skills that prepare them to advocate for prevention in their communities


• 5 Videos (total 30 minutes)
• Video Worksheet for Students
• Quiz and Answer Key
• Corresponding Activities
• Slide Deck for Classroom Discussion
• PDF for Independent Study

Find Smart Hearts for Girl Scouts here!

Check Us Out On Live Well San Diego

How You Can Have A Smart Heart

Who: Curriculum suitable for middle school through college-aged youth in school, troops, community and service organizations (perfect for health career pathway programs)
What: Recorded videos, knowledge quizzes plus activities
Where: Google Drive, Survey Monkey, YouTube and EdPuzzle
Why: To empower the next generation to prevent sudden cardiac arrest

To access the Smart Hearts curriculum materials, please complete the form below.