World Heart Day is celebrated every year on September 29 and focuses on improving the heart health of people around the world. The World Heart Federation is the primary entity behind this campaign cum event. Therefore, it is important to celebrate this event with proper awareness about heart disease. Moreover, the focus of this article would be on how to prevent heart disease in children as they are also at significant risk of suffering from Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) just like older people.
World Heart Day 2022 Theme
Tips Parents can Follow To Save Children From CVDs
Heart disease in children is more common than you might think. However, people are not much aware of it and might have a problem deterring their child from contracting such a disease. This is why we have provided some tips that parents can follow to prevent their children from cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, some of the following points would answer the question of how to prevent heart disease in general as well.
1. Increase Physical Activities
It is important for the children to perform a number of physical activities during the day to keep their hearts healthy. This can be achieved by simple exercises that the entire family can do together. These include bike rides, cycling, a walk down the streets, swimming, or even playing outdoor games. In case the parents are unable to perform these activities for some reason then they can supervise the children and encourage them to do so.
Start at a young age so that a healthy heart for preschoolers can be achieved but if you didn’t know about it then, it is never too late and you can start just now. However, don’t overdo it as it may result in an irregular heartbeat in children.
2. Reduce Screen Time
Increased screen time can result in an inactive lifestyle and would promote constant snacking. This might result in overeating and obesity over time. These can be a reason for high bad cholesterol which can in turn lead to a rise in heart disease in children symptoms. In addition, screens can also do damage to the eyes and concentration levels. Therefore, parents should try limiting screen exposure for children, be it television, mobile phones, or computers.
3. Adopt A Positive Mindset
Being positive during the journey is extremely important as a happy mood and soul would be beneficial in making efforts toward safeguarding your children. You can consider listening to music while doing physical activities or even try aroma therapy for a positive mindset. These alterations would be beneficial for both you and your child. Moreover, whenever you achieve your set targets then do celebrate that for better motivation.
4. Healthy Food Options
It is essential for parents to keep a check on what their children are eating both at school and at home. They might love snacking on unhealthy options like fried chips or desserts or chocolates that are processed and have high sugar content. This is why parents should always provide them with healthier alternatives like dates, dry fruits, and fresh fruits. However, if their children like to have things that are considered to be ‘junk’, parents can try offering them healthier options like baked chips and homemade ice cream.
5. Take Them To The Grocery Store
When you are at the grocery store make sure to take your child with you as in the due course they will learn about the nutritional benefits of the foods that are healthy. You can do fun activities like reading the nutrition labels of items you buy and ask them to have a note of it so that they can answer any questions related to it later. This way they will be engaged in the entire process and would go for healthy food options after learning new things about them. Consider teaching them about heart-healthy foods. Moreover, this practice is a must for a healthy heart for preschoolers.
6. Schedule Medical Checkups Prior To Sports Events
If your child is into sports and his important events are coming it is vital for you as a parent to schedule a medical checkup appointment. Make sure to consult the paediatrician for the tests to be carried out so that optimum results are known. This will aid in protecting your child from cardiac risks during sporting activities or exertion.
7. Set Realistic & Achievable Goals
It is important to note that parents should not set goals or targets that are not realistic for both them and their children. They should keep in mind the need for reformation and the nature of their child before making any decision. Moreover, working hard is not that necessary but the fact that your children should enjoy the process matters the most. So, set goals accordingly and take inputs from your young ones to involve them in the journey.
8. Eat Dinner Together
The family that eats together stays together, so, focus on making dinner plans with your children every day. Encourage them to be a part of the cooking process and teach them new things about food and diet in the meantime. This will deter them from using the screen for long hours and would also provide relief from the physical activities that might have strained them out. Further, eating together would inculcate a sense of togetherness and would be beneficial in improving their mental health, which could then reduce heart risks as they would not be stressed.
9. Keep Constant Check On Your Child’s Activities
We know it is difficult to maintain a check on your child’s activities throughout the day but you need to make efforts in doing so if you want your child’s heart health to be good. Monitor what they are doing or eating at any point during the day. Also, try preventing any unhealthy habits apart from the one we mentioned earlier. Make sure to check with the paediatrician for regular updates on your child’s health and be involved with them all the time for choosing the best for them. If you haven’t been doing it this World Heart Day would be a great start for it.
10. Regulate Salt Consumption
High salt intake can be harmful to one’s heart health and can be a reason for heart disease in children symptoms. This is because salt can increase the level of bad cholesterol in the body. Therefore, parents should take extra care of what food items are provided to their children. In addition, the ingredient list and nutritional label of processed foods should be checked for salt content. Without such checks, if the salt intake is high then an irregular heartbeat in children may be witnessed.