Good Heart Habits for Children and Teens Reduce Risk in Adulthood

The good news about adolescent heart disease is that it’s not a major cause of death for younger people. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for adults in North America, though. According to the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, someone dies every 37 seconds due to cardiovascular disease.

High Blood Pressure in Children

High blood pressure is a relatively rare occurrence in children. Approximately three percent of kids have this medical condition, which can be serious if it goes untreated. Part of a child’s annual checkup should include a blood pressure check.

A family history of high blood pressure means that a child’s blood pressure should be monitored carefully. high blood pressure riskHigh blood pressure in children may result from another medical condition, such as kidney disease.

Help Children Make Good Lifestyle Choices

Parents can have a big influence on their children’s health choices by making good ones themselves. Children watch what their parents do, and this can have a greater impact than what they say. Parents can help their children get off to a good start by doing the following:

  • Drinking alcohol only in moderation.
  • Quitting smoking (or not taking up the habit in the first place).
  • Eating a balanced diet that includes whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables.
  • Getting regular exercise

A child to learns these good health habits early is more likely to continue to observe them in adulthood. Some of the risk factors for heart disease are not things that an individual can control, while adopting good health habits will lower the risk of of heart disease for adolescents and adults alike.

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