KIDS' HEALTH INFORMATION

Children have a number of unique health concerns. Because children have not been exposed to as many germs as adults, they may be more susceptible to certain illnesses. Also, children are growing at a rapid rate. As their bodies change and develop, a number of health concerns can arise as a result of this process.

Childhood is a critical time for health, and parents can play a big role in establishing healthy habits that children can carry with them throughout their life. This includes things such as eating a healthy diet, being active and making good choices to preserve their health well into adulthood.

Childhood Diseases

Childhood is a time when many illnesses can develop as kids get their first exposures to germs. Vaccinations can help children avoid many serious illnesses like polio or even the flu, but other illnesses -- including colds and ear infections -- are common during childhood.

Some childhood illnesses can develop before a child is even born. These can be congenital or developmental abnormalities such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy. Childhood is when parents also might see the development of asthma or allergies. Mental problems, neurological disorders and behavioral conditions can also occur at times in children, including learning disabilities and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Parents can usually work to find solutions to these problems through good relationships with trusted health care providers.

Healthy Habits for Childhood

Parents can also take a number of steps not only to preserve their children's health but also instill healthy habits for the future. One important step in preserving health and preventing many major illnesses is to have children vaccinated in accordance with recommendations from their doctor. As children grow and develop, it’s important to keep the home safe and free from potential dangers, particularly for toddlers and young children.

Childhood is also when many of the habits related to diet and exercise are developed. Parents can instill healthy habits by eating healthy foods at meals and making play and activity a regular part of their routine.

SOURCES: American Academy of Pediatrics.

kids' health Topics in the News