Estepona council is about to begin a pioneering initiative which involves carrying out preventive cardiac health checks on third and fourth year secondary school pupils to try to detect potential heart problems which could cause difficulties when they are playing sport.
The health check is completely free, as the cost is met by the town hall. The aim is to define the pupils' aptitude and risk factors so they can take part in a sport or physical exercise safely, independent of their competitive level. The doctor who carries out the check will refer the pupils to a specialist if he or she detects any potential problems.
The tests consist of an ECG and a clinical examination, and there will be additional checks if any anomalies are detected. This is the normal type of check-up undergone by anyone who is planning to take up some type of physical activity or sport. The check-ups will be carried out on children between the ages of 14 and 16, as this is the age that doctors say anomalies can usually be identified.
This initiative is part of the 'Estepona Ciudad Cardiosaludable' healthy heart programme, which includes different actions to enhance the detection of cardiovascular illnesses.
The cardiological check-ups are also part of an awareness campaigns among school-age children, with workshops, screenings and interactive games.
Local health centres are also taking part in an overall plan to combat child obesity.
The mayor of Estepona, José María García Urbano, said that all these initiatives organised by the council are aimed at improving the quality of life of local residents.