February 2023 is American Heart Month for the 59th year in a row! During this month, awareness is brought to the topic of healthy hearts and heart disease. Here in our office, we assess the heart during our physical exams, check blood pressures, and may conduct further screenings if your child is at risk for heart disease. At times, we refer to cardiology to provide more in-depth cardiac care.
High blood pressure in a child or adolescent raises the risk for future heart problems. According to the CDC, more than 1 out of every 7 children in the U.S. between the ages of 12-19 years old had elevated blood pressure between the years of 2013-2016. Many heart problems can be prevented or reduced by following a healthy lifestyle plan. A balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, and low sodium foods, as well as low sugar beverages and water can contribute to overall health. Daily physical exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are also important factors. As a parent, you can act as an example for your child by modeling healthy eating and exercise, while also protecting your own health. If you are looking for a place to start, try out the CDC’s Healthy Lifestyle Goals Calendar to get on track for a healthy lifestyle today!
Center for Disease Control (CDC). (February 24, 2020). High blood pressure in kids and teens. https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/youth.htm