Protecting your child's heart is about more than just diet and exercise
Heart disease is a leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S. Approximately one in 200 of those individuals have an inherited form of heart disease - meaning that individuals who look healthy, eat healthy, and get plenty of exercise can still be at risk of having a heart attack.
Early detection, including cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, is an important part of maintaining heart health. These simple tests give doctors important insight into how a body is working, and what risks they may have of heart disease.
While more awareness is being raised about the importance of a healthy diet and exercise for kids, parents might not be aware of the importance of a cholesterol screening for their child. After all, cholesterol isn't usually an issue in childhood – right?
A pediatric cardiologist at Children's Health℠ debunks that common misconception about a child's heart health. "Children can develop high cholesterol as early as ages 5 or 6," Dr. Blumenschein explains. "Research is well-documented that children with a family history of heart disease, particularly among immediate family members who experienced a heart attack in their 30s or 40s, can begin to exhibit symptoms of heart disease in adolescence."
Knowledge is power. Get your child screened.
Learn more about early detection and how simple tests give doctors important insight into how a body is working, and what risks they may have of heart disease. Dr.Blumenschein encourages parents to have their children screened around the time children enter school. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agrees, recommending that all children, ages 9-11, be screened for high cholesterol.
Pay attention to family history
If you're not sure of your own family history, now is the time to ask your immediate family members abouttheir heart health. Speak with parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles to learn more.