Guidelines for Children's Heart Health
Is Your Child at Risk?
|Blood pressure measurement||annually beginning at age three years and then at every visit starting at age 18 years|
|Lipid profile (tests for cholesterol problems)||once between ages 9-11 years and again between ages 18-21 years; measure at other times if child is at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (eg, family history of cardiovascular disease or child has diabetes, high blood pressure, or is overweight)|
|Body mass index (BMI)||tracking started at age two years|
- Has been exposed to secondhand smoke or has a personal history of smoking
- Has a family history of cardiovascular disease
- Has a sedentary lifestyle
What Are the Recommendations?
- Following the ChooseMyPlate dietary guidelines for children aged two years and older, which focuses on getting a proper balance of fruits, veggies,whole grains, protein, and dairy products
- Note: If you child is at high risk for cardiovascular disease, the doctor will make additional recommendations, like eating a low-sodium and low-fat diet.
- Showing your child the importance of being active by exercising and encouraging him to exercise, too
- Putting limits on how much time your child is allowed to play video games, use computers, and watch TV
- Doing fun activities together as a family (like playing ball, going for a hike)
- Having a safe area for your child to play outside
- Making your home smoke-free—If you smoke, it is a good idea to quit
- Talking to your child about the dangers of smoking—If your child smokes, help him to find strategies to quit.
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org/
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca/home/index%5Fe.aspx/
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.com/
Childhood obesity facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm. Updated June 7, 2012. Accessed June 18, 2012.
Cholesterol and atherosclerosis in children. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Cholesterol-and-Atherosclerosis-in-Children%5FUCM%5F305952%5FArticle.jsp. Updated June 20, 2012. Accessed June 18, 2012.
Expert panel on integrated guidelines for cardiovascular health and risk reduction in children and adolescents: summary report. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cvd%5Fped/summary.htm. Published 2012. Accessed June 18, 2012.
Food groups. Choose MyPlate.gov website. Available at:http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/. Accessed June 19, 2012.
NHLBI integrated guidelines for pediatric cardiovascular risk reduction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/. Updated February 28, 2012. Accessed June 18, 2012.