September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and we at Pediatric ENT Associates in Birmingham, AL want to discuss how to keep your child healthy as well as some of the dangers of obesity in children.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 out of 3 children in America are obese. This means it is classified as an epidemic! However, obesity leads to many serious health problems, including heart disease, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and even sleep apnea.
Follow some of the following tips to keep your child healthy:
Nowadays, people are so busy, it can be difficult to set aside time for cooking or family dinners. However, starting slow and making gradual changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Begin with things like keeping a bowl of fruit on the counter for snacking, instead of junk food. Try to limit the amount of fast food your family eats, and if cooking is difficult for you, maybe try making things in bulk so that it will last for a few days.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Breakfast is an important meal for the day, and studies have found that children who eat breakfast tend to be healthier than children who don’t. It can be difficult to find time in the morning for breakfast, but even a quick breakfast of yogurt and fruit is better than nothing! Try to make sure your kids have something for breakfast every day.
Even small changes can help kids stay healthy and avoid obesity. Playing outside, joining a team, or even just going for a family walk after dinner are all good steps towards a healthy lifestyle. In the summer, visiting a local pool can be fun for the whole family, while participating in seasonal outdoor ice rinks and sports during winter.. Check for community activities that could get your child out and moving!
Limit Sedentary Activities
Technology is a big part of our lifestyles today, and children spend a large portion of their day simply staring at a screen, whether it’s the TV, their tablet, or their smartphone. Often, they are snacking at the same time. Limiting the amount of time your child spends sitting down and looking at screens can help to improve their health and get them off the path to obesity. Two hours or less is the recommended amount of “screen time” for kids!
Talk to Your Doctor
If your child is overweight or obese and you notice that they are snoring at night and lack focus during the day, it could be because they are experiencing sleep apnea, which is where a person has difficulty breathing at night and stops breathing for short periods of time.
This contributes to a lack of restful sleep, which in turn causes tiredness and an inability to focus on tasks during the day. If your child is experiencing these symptoms, visit an experienced ENT doctor for a diagnosis and treatment options.
Pediatric ENT Associates are experts in child sleep apnea, and will help you and your child on a path to a healthier lifestyle free of obesity-related conditions. To learn more about childhood obesity, visit cdc.gov.
Schedule a Pediatric ENT Associates Appointment
If your child is obese and you think they may have sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to contact Pediatric ENT Associates in Birmingham, AL. To learn more about sleep apnea in children and to schedule your appointment with an ENT specialist, call 205.315.5633 today.