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Many of us don’t think about the health of our hearts until we’re older. But heart problems can affect people of all ages, including children. Some kids are born with heart problems, but others develop them because of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Today, nearly one in three American children and teens is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity is causing a slew of health problems among kids that weren’t seen before. The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that children who are overweight from ages 7 to 13 have a greater risk of developing heart disease as early as age 25.
What’s more, childhood obesity quadruples the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, further increasing the risk for heart disease. Smoking and physical inactivity also increase heart disease risk. These risk factors all have something in common. They are largely preventable.
Adopting heart-healthy habits early on can provide lifelong benefits. What steps can your kids take today to protect their heart health in the future? Make these part of your family’s daily routine:
Getting heart-healthy is a journey that begins in childhood. Create heart-healthy habits for your entire family now to protect your child’s heart later in life.
Young Hearts 4 Life program
Most of the problems that cause the sudden cardiac arrest in young adults are related to heart rhythm and are detectable by EKG, a non-invasive test of the heart’s electrical activity. Young Hearts 4 Life (YH4L) is an EKG-based screening program open to any students (not just athletes). A YH4L screening led to the discovery of an inherited heart condition in 15-year-old track athlete Chris Storm. Read Chris's story.
Learn more about YH4L.
Learn how to help your child overcome childhood obesity
Help your kids develop healthy habits in the new year
10 ways to keep your family heart healthy
Need a primary care doctor for your child? Edward-Elmhurst Health has hundreds of board-certified physicians to choose from. You can book online today to set up your first appointment.
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