Heart disease is more commonly associated with older adults, but people of any age, including children, can also be affected by certain conditions. Children can be affected by heart disease in several ways, such as inheriting a condition that affects their heart health, being born with congenital heart disease, or being affected by obesity, which increases an individual’s risk for heart disease. Fortunately, there are specific steps you can take to help promote your child’s heart health to prevent or reduce the risk of problems in the future.
Salt, fat, and sugar intake should be limited while fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and fiber-rich whole grains should be consumed in healthy portions. By eating well, you can maintain a healthy weight, which not only reduces the risk for heart disease but promotes overall health.
According to the American Heart Association, children ages 6 to 17 should be getting this amount of physical activity, mostly aerobic, daily as well as high-intensity activity at least three days a week. Examples of moderate activities include brisk walking, gardening, tennis (doubles), and biking slower than 10 miles per hour.
Smoking has long been linked to heart disease, as well to several other health problems, such as lung disease and cancer. Try to stay away from secondhand smoke as well.
By keeping stats such as blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in check, if a heart issue does develop, you can catch it early and therefore get it treated -early, avoiding more extensive treatment.
It helps if the whole family makes heart health a priority. Not only does it make it easier for kids to follow these tips when they’re being supported by loved ones, but it benefits the whole family to be healthier and happier. An advantage to developing these good habits at a young age is that children will be able to carry them on as they grow up, allowing them to maintain healthy lifestyles as adults.