Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Start Heart-Healthy Lessons in Childhood, Expert Says

Start Heart-Healthy Lessons in Childhood, Expert Says

SUNDAY, Feb. 16, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Teaching your children about heart health will pay dividends in their older years, a heart expert says.

Youngsters with heart-healthy behaviors are less likely to develop heart disease later in life, said Dr. Susan Haynes, an assistant professor in the cardiology division at Saint Louis University.

That's a message that bears repeating during February, which is designated American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading killer of American women and men.

Before they have a child, couples should talk to their doctor about any family history of heart disease, she said.

"It's good to be proactive about knowing your family risks, making healthy choices, maintaining a good weight, lowering cholesterol and controlling blood pressure, which will keep your heart healthy," Haynes said in a university news release. "Have a conversation about the possible risk factors with your pediatrician or even obstetrician before the child is born."

Getting children to be heart healthy begins with boosting their physical-activity levels and limiting the time they spend in front of the TV or computer, she said.

"Kids between ages 2 and 5 should have no more than one to two hours of screen time a day," Haynes said. Young children who are physically active are more likely to continue being active as they grow older, she said.

Set a good example for your children by not smoking, Haynes said. Children of smokers are twice as likely to become smokers, according to research.

"If there's smoking in the household, kids will anticipate that it's a normal environment and adopt the habits," Haynes said. "It's a good idea for parents to quit smoking before the child is born."

An infant's diet can have a significant influence on heart-healthy eating habits later in life. When a child begins to drink cow's milk, be sure to check the percentage of fat in the milk that would be suitable for the child. This can be based on family risk factors and the child's usual diet, Haynes said.

She also said infants should not be given more than 4 ounces of 100 percent juice a day. Make sure the juice has no preservatives or added sugar, she said.

More information

The American Heart Association outlines how to help kids develop healthy habits.

SOURCE: Saint Louis University, news release, Feb. 14, 2014

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Neurology
Dr. L. Matthew Frank
Dr. Ingrid Loma-Miller
Dr. Ralph Northam
Dr. Dayna Perkowski
Dr. Svinder Toor
Dr. Larry White
Health Tips
Abuse of Prescription ADHD Drugs Rising on College Campuses
Cool Tools to Keep Your Kids From Smoking
Do Parents Influence Their Kids’ Health Behaviors?
Guidelines for Raising Smoke-Free Kids
Helping Children Conquer Fear
How Old Is 'Old Enough' for Contacts?
Parents-to-Be Must Communicate
Preparing Your Daughter for Changes
Reading to Kids Helps Their Development
Someone's in the Kitchen with Grandma
Talk With Your Kids About These Issues
Talking Sex with Your Teen
Teens and Talk: What's a Parent to Do?
We Can Head Off Teen Tragedies
When to Call the Doctor for Childhood Illnesses
Quizzes
Heart Health Quiz
Heart Quiz for Women Only
NewsLetters
Better Heart Health No Matter What Your Age
Is Your Sweet Tooth Harming Your Heart?
Preventing Stroke in Women
Diseases & Conditions
AIDS/HIV in Children
Anatomy of a Child's Brain
Anatomy of the Endocrine System in Children
Anomalous Coronary Artery (ACA)
Anxiety Disorders in Children
Asthma in Children Index
Bone Marrow Transplantation in Children
Brain Tumors in Children
Chemotherapy for Children: Side Effects
Diphtheria in Children
Discipline
Ewing Sarcoma
Firearms
Heart Disease and Pregnancy
Hepatitis B (HBV) in Children
Home Page - Cardiovascular Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Musculoskeletal Disorders
Inflammatory and Infectious Neurological Disorders
Inguinal Hernia in Children
Insect Bites and Children
Kidney Transplantation in Children
Meningitis in Children
Mood Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Muscular Dystrophy
Myasthenia Gravis in Children
Osteosarcoma in Children
Pediatric Blood Disorders
Poliomyelitis (Polio) in Children
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
Pregnancy and Medical Conditions
Preparing the School-Aged Child for Surgery
Schizophrenia in Children
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
Sports Safety for Children
Superficial Injuries Overview
Television and Children
Thalassemia
The Growing Child: 2-Year-Olds
The Heart
The Kidneys
Vision Overview
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Your Child's Asthma
Your Child's Asthma: Flare-ups

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.