Annually, non-communicable diseases claim the lives of 41 million children, and cardio-vascular diseases top this list, according to data published by UNICEF. Heredity is a significant factor in such ailments, followed by an unhealthy diet. The other factors are obesity, diabetes, lethargy and high blood pressure. By teaching children how to lead a healthy lifestyle, parents can reduce their risk of heart diseases in future. Apart from this, here are a few simple ways to reduce the risk of heart problems in children.
Along with healthy growth, a well-balanced diet will keep heart problems at bay. Try to breastfeed the baby for a full year, even when they start eating solids. Make sure to limit the fat content in the food and maintain the right daily calorie intake. Include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The diet must be high in fiber and lean protein too. Further, keep a check to prevent over-snacking in between meals.
Moderate Intensity Exercises
This includes running, cycling, walking or physical play for at least 30 minutes every day. It will improve blood circulation and strengthen the heart muscles. The child will also be able to maintain a healthy weight, which is a must to prevent heart risk. Doctors performing pediatric cardiac heart surgery in Hyderabad report that obesity is one of the main causes of heart disease and must be controlled consciously.
Check Cholesterol Levels
Get your child screened for blood lipids regularly. This will prevent the development of diseases related to high cholesterol levels. Along with this, make sure to limit the intake of sugary drinks and foods. Read the jar labels well to avoid trans fats and saturated fat. Include food like low-fat yogurt, breads and cereals. Avoid excessive margarine and sour cream as much as possible.
Limit Screen Time
There is no harm in introducing digital media to kids. But make sure the usage is limited to 2-3 hours a day at the most. Encourage them to play in technology-free zones like parks and playgrounds. Let them spend more time running around, splashing in a pool or enjoying with pets. Sitting in one position for hours with an electronic device can reduce energy levels and lead to inactivity.
Avoid Smoking Around Them
Passive smoking is known to increase the risk of heart diseases in children. It impacts their arterial functions, leading to cardiovascular consequences. The functioning of the heart is impaired drastically. Pregnant women, in particular, should give up smoking altogether. Many countries have taken up community smoking ban laws and imposed strict taxations. But you will also have to be careful at home. This will help prevent asthma and bronchitis in both the parent and the child.
A healthy lifestyle is the key to a healthy heart. Don’t force children to finish their meals always. If they are full, let them be. Avoid places where people are smoking. If the child is diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, choose the best hospital for paediatric cardiac surgery in Hyderabad to help them get better quickly.