It is every parent’s dream that their children be fit and healthy. But there are a lot of health care risks that can harm your child. By knowing what these risks are, parents have a better chance of helping their child avoid them.
Let’s take a look at 10 of the biggest health care concerns facing young people today.
Children who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of contracting various disorders that can reduce their life expectancy. Obese children are more likely to become obese adults and are more likely to have a lower quality of life.
Not Enough Physical Activity
If your children spend too much time playing video games or in front of the television, it might be time for some changes in lifestyle. Lack of adequate exercise can lead to childhood obesity, improper development, and other issues.
If your child is overusing or misusing drugs – which includes illegal drugs as well as some over-the-counter medicines – it may be a sign that there are other issues that need to be explored. Drug abuse can indicate the presence of various physical, emotional, or psychological problems that require treatment.
Consuming too much alcohol, especially by young people, can be dangerous. It can harm their health and development – as well as lead to drunk driving accidents or arrests, inappropriate sexual activity, and other issues.
Cigarette smoking is particularly damaging to young people because it is so addictive. A teenager may think they are trying something for fun but may quickly find themselves craving tobacco. Nicotine is known to lead to various respiratory and other illnesses and diseases. Teens who smoke are also less likely to be physically active, which can contribute to obesity issues.
This problem is trickier than the rest because you don’t have a lot of control over it. Bullying can cause stress and emotional problems like depression. And these issues may be carried into adulthood.
The internet can be an informative and fun place, but it can also be dangerous for children. There are a lot of people online with bad intentions (sexual, bullying, or otherwise) who intentionally prey on young people. In addition, too much screen time may lead your child to neglect other important aspects of their life such as face time with friends, outdoor recreation, schoolwork, physical activity, and more.
Child Abuse and Neglect
You can’t always be there to protect your child – which is why open communication is so important. As long as your child knows that anything can be discussed with you, it will be harder to keep things like abuse or neglect hidden. It’s also important to keep an eye out for signs that something may be amiss with your child: erratic behavior, changes in behavior, drug or alcohol use are all signs that your child or teen may be grappling with something they need help with.
High levels of stress can lead to various medical and emotional problems. Make sure your children know how to arm themselves against stress by getting enough sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, and more.
Make sure you have a talk with your child about the risks of sexual intercourse, including unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Offer resources if your child or teen wants more information.
Pediatricians in NE Massachusetts
To keep these health care risks from becoming a reality, make sure to talk to your children and teens. Let them know how they can avoid these risks. Also, make sure you set an example for them.
If you need more advice, talk to your pediatrician. Your child’s doctor is in the best position to explain these health risks to you in more detail and provide specific pointers for your situation.
Children’s Health Care is a pediatric provider offering comprehensive care for children, from birth to adolescence. If you’re interested in finding out more, call our Newburyport office at (978) 465-7121 (Lower Level) or (978) 388-9880 (Upper Level). You can also call our Haverhill, Massachusetts, office at (978) 373-6557. We hope to see you soon.