Keeping a Healthy Watch on our Kids
An alarming cry for help is coming from our children; because many of their “hidden” healthcare needs are being ignored. Recently, Dr. David Katz of Yale University School of Public Health expressed that, for the first time, we are living in a generation where parents will outlive their children…a frightening wake-up call for society as a whole. We are being commissioned to improve the quality of healthcare for our children. But how do we begin?
First: Develop a partnership with your child’s healthcare provider early on in the child’s life. Commit to “well” visits and educate yourself of the things that your child needs to stay active, healthy and well.
Second: Introduce EXERCISE into your child’s daily activities, i.e. running, playing hard and walking. Current studies reveal that today’s children are not getting sufficient exercise at school. Their after school “activity” often consists of playing video games, watching television or sitting for long periods of time in front of the computer. Exercise is the key to the formation of healthy bones and strong muscular structure. Surprisingly, studies found that children from four to six, who have high motion and physical activity levels, have hip bone density 12 percent higher than inactive children.
Third: Parents should closely monitor the EATING habits of their children. Proper diet and nutrition are necessary in maintaining optimum health. Kids have a higher metabolism and “turn over rate of repair;” therefore, it is essential to build their bodies with good, wholesome foods. Mentor your child with proper nutritional information, encouraging him/her to choose fresh, wholesome foods, as opposed to processed, fast, and packaged foods.
Fourth: Encourage WATER to become your child’s “beverage of choice.” Water affects the cooling system, stimulates brain activity, promotes healthier skin and aids in maintaining a normal blood pressure range. A good rule of thumb to follow is: daily water intake should be a ½ the body’s weight in ounces. In other words, a 100 pound child should consume 50 oz. of water daily.
Fifth: The NERVOUS SYSTEM is one of the most overlooked aspects of a child’s overall health. Studies conclude that 80 percent of all births can result in Nerve Impingement Syndrome (NIS), which is interference in the communication between the brain and the body. Research conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that 40 percent of all children will fall on their heads by one year of age, and on the average, children between two to five years of age will experience over 200 falls. By 12 years, a child will experience over 1,000 spinal traumas. Whether through the birthing process, sporting activities, falling or simply playing, children can experience NIS. A chiropractor can examine your child and determine the health of his/her nervous system.
For parents, grandparents and caregivers, this is a call-to-action. We are asked to be watchful of the “hidden” healthcare problems of our children. Remember, it is better to fix health problems early on in life, than trying to repair a bigger problem later on. By creating a partnership with our child’s healthcare providers and teaching our children healthful habits, we are giving them a better chance of living a long and healthy life.
- “Physical Activity Strengthens Children’s Bones,” To Your Health Newsletter, www.chiroweb.com, August 1, 2001
- “Chiropractors offer tips to keep your young athlete healthy and fit,” American Chiropractic Association, November 2000; www.americhiro.org
- Dr. David Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, of Yale University School of Public Health. www.davidkatzmd.com
For more info, contact Dr. Tony Jensen at (775) 323-1222.