Today’s generation is immersed in anything but healthy habits. They live by unlimited screen time, junk food and minimal outdoor exposure. So, as responsible parents, you must inculcate good lifestyle choices. The sooner you teach your children, the better they will be able to reap the benefits in the long run. It is particularly important to raise heart-healthy kids, since cardiovascular diseases do not solely affect adults.
The best child cardiologists in India say that medical importance is mostly given to congenital heart diseases. However, there are many other ailments that can develop over a lifetime. In fact, coronary artery diseases can start early but can be reversed with effective steps. So, here are the practices to protect your little ones against heart complications.
1. Adequate Physical Activities
Being a couch potato has a series of ill-effects. It can lead to obesity and irregular sleep patterns, which are detrimental to heart health. So, encourage the child to spend at least an hour jogging, running, swimming, dancing, walking or playing sports each day. These can spike the heart rate, which is beneficial for overall well-being. In fact, a non-sedentary routine has a positive influence on brain functions and the immune system too.
2. Good Night’s Sleep
Establish a fixed bedtime routine to ensure sufficient sleep. While toddlers need 10-12 hours of rest, teenagers must aim at least 7 hours. Lack of sound sleep can increase the risks of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart diseases, according to the American Heart Association. Sleep allows the body to recharge and rejuvenate and lowers the risk factors.
3. Avoid Fatty Food
Child heart specialists recommend avoiding foods packed with saturated fat. They tend to increase the LDL cholesterol levels, which can cause atherosclerosis. This is a type of blood vessel disease and can increase the chances of strokes and attacks. Keep them away from processed meats, pies, patties and fried food. Instead serve loads of avocadoes, nuts, pumpkin and sesame seeds and foods packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower triglycerides.
4. Discourage Smoking
If your child smokes, make sure to put a stop to it immediately. In fact, hookahs and e-cigarettes should be strictly avoided. Nicotine addiction is dangerous and can cause serious heart diseases. Chemicals infused in cigarettes might clot the blood inside the veins. Further, it leads to plaque formation, which can narrow or block the blood transporting arteries. This increases the risks of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure. Educate young adults thoroughly and keep a check to help them to quit smoking.
5. Mental Stability
The best child cardiologists in India encourage parents to ensure steady emotional and psychological health. Teach them to approach elders in case they are anxious, restless or stressed. Make sure they are able to detect early symptoms of depression too. If you are not around, the child must practice meditation. In case of serious or long-lasting discomfort, make sure to seek professional help.
Stay up-to-date with new insights on child heart health. Subscribe to medical newsletters and visit the doctor for annual checkups. Besides, instilling the above discussed habits can also keep the child safe for years to come.