February is American Heart Month!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released new guidelines to identify high blood pressure in children aged 3 years and older in the September issue of Pediatrics. One in thirty children in the United States suffers from hypertension, and the condition is often underdiagnosed in the primary care setting. According to Penn State Health, 75% of cases are actually missed resulting in a foregone opportunity to begin a treatment program. Like adults, children with high blood pressure are at risk for long term health issues.

The American Heart Association reminds us that we are never too young or too old to take care of our hearts! Embracing a healthy lifestyle and establishing good habits at an early age go a long way toward avoiding heart disease and other illnesses over the course of a lifetime. Ideal heart health for kids focuses on: no tobacco use, a healthy weight, daily exercise, a healthy diet score and normal blood pressure, total cholesterol and blood sugar.

Resolve to prevent heart disease in your family today.

Choose healthy, nutritious foods – Visit www.choosemyplate.gov to learn more about healthy food choices, heart-healthy foods are low in saturated and trans fats, and lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish.
Do not smoke – Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, and tobacco damages the lungs, and the heart, by making it difficult to breathe. Know that smoking a hookah is equivalent to smoking 100 cigarettes.
Exercise and maintain a healthy weight – For children, the American Heart Association recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic activity every day.
Limit alcohol consumption
Keep stress in check

Thank you OneBlood and Suncoast Cardiovascular Research and Education Foundation for sponsoring MORE HEALTH’s “Walk-Through the Heart” lesson!

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