A Parent’s Handbook:
Top 10 Health Problems Affecting Your Children Today
The sooner you take steps to understand the top 10 health concerns affecting children today,
the better prepared you will be in case, or when, your child confronts them.
Here’s the good news: As a parent and role model, you have a profound influence on your children.
10 Biggest Concerns About Children’s Health
1. Childhood obesity, for the third year in a row, tops the list of the biggest health concerns for kids. Obesity is a big problem in the United States. In fact, approximately 17 percent of children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years old are obese. Obesity puts kids at a greater risk for serious illnesses, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, several types of cancer, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and depression.
2. Bullying was the second biggest concern. Some 160,000 students stay home from school each day because of bullying. And parents have good reason to be concerned: Research has associated bullying with a greater risk of psychological problems, including depression, anxiety disorders and suicidal thoughts later in life.
3. Drug abuse for the second year in a row rounded out the top three biggest health worries in the survey. But the latest figures from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggest a decreased use of alcohol, cigarettes, prescription pain relievers, inhalants and synthetic drugs, and no increase in use of marijuana.
4. Internet safety is becoming a growing concern. It rose from 8th place in the 2014 survey to 4th on the list of biggest health concerns. This is a reflection of the expanding use of technologies, including smart-phones, which can potentially expose children and teens to dangers like predators and cyber-bullying.
5. Child abuse and neglect was number five on the list of worries about children’s health. Since tracking began nearly a decade ago, the public rates child abuse and neglect a consistent concern for children’s health.
6. Sexting — the practice of sending or receiving sexually suggestive text messages and photos — climbed into list of top concerns the past year. As with Internet safety, this is attributed to the increasing use/availability of technologies like smart-phones. Middle schoolers who sext were more likely to engage in risky behaviors, including intercourse, than those who do not. The practice has also been linked to teens around the country suffering from low self-esteem and even suicides after photos were shared with peers.
7. Smoking and tobacco use dropped this year from the fourth biggest concern to the seventh. This may reflect the declining rates of smoking and tobacco use by youth in recent years. But the National Institute on Drug Abuse warns that e-cigarettes, which were measured for the first time in 2014, are increasingly popular among teens. Though the nicotine in e-cigarettes is vaporized and inhaled rather than smoked, the health effects of e-cigarettes are not yet fully understood and experts caution against their use in kids and adolescents.
8. School violence fell this year from the fifth leading concern to number eight on the list. Though many may associate school violence with the worst-case scenario of school shootings, which dominate news headlines, various behaviors fall into this category, including pushing, shoving and assault with or without weapons. According to the CDC, deaths associated with school violence are rare, but many young people experience injuries, including cuts, bruises, broken bones and head trauma.
9. Teen birth rates have plummeted in recent years, but teen pregnancy still remains a major concern among adults. According to the CDC, in 2013 there were a total of 273,105 babies born to mothers aged 15 to 19. Parents have reason to be concerned, since pregnancy and childbirth are significant contributing factors to high school drop-out rates among girls. The children of teenage mothers are also more likely to perform worse in school, have more health problems, be incarcerated as an adolescent, give birth as a teenager and face unemployment as a young adult.
10. Stress rounds out the top 10 biggest concerns about children’s health. In today’s busy and competitive world, stress is becoming an increasing problem for children and adolescents. In fact, a survey released in 2014 suggests U.S. teens are more stressed than adults. Stress can lead to a number of health problems, including trouble sleeping, a disruption of eating habits and difficulty concentrating at school.
COMPARE THE TOP 10 HEALTH CONCERNS
TO THE RESULTS OF THE JUICE PLUS+® CHILDREN’S HEALTH STUDY
After only one year on Juice Plus+, parents reported that their children and teenagers …
The food & whole food supplements our children eat have an enormous impact on their health. You could say, “Our HEALTH is what we eat,” especially when it comes to addressing your child’s brain health — “…just some food for thought to think about.” 🙂
- Good nutrition is your first and most important step — “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” When we talk about food, we’re talking about foods that are rich in building blocks, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to nourish your child’s brain.
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Talk with a parent who has been there and understands, give us a call, Reinhard & Elisa Hermes, MS, at 301-882-7765, or fill out our Contact Form on the right side—we can help.