Disease - Childhood Obesity Disease, Childhood Heart Disease And More...

The last thing any parent wants is for his or her child to suffer from childhood illness or disease. Even easily treatable medical problems can keep Moms and Dads awake at night worrying, never mind the devastation experienced when a child is diagnosed with a potentially life threatening illness such as childhood cancer. Keeping in close contact with your child's pediatrician can help him spot symptoms of disease at an early stage, which usually makes the problem easier to treat. You can also help to prevent certain childhood diseases, such as obesity, heart disease or diabetes, by making sure your child has a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity contributes to disorders such as childhood heart disease, high blood pressure and childhood diabetes. All of these illnesses can greatly reduce a child's quality of life and may even contribute to an early death if left untreated over many years. A number of factors cause children to become obese. Genetics is certainly one of them - if a child's family members are obese, he is more likely to be too. However, there's no getting away from the fact that human beings, including kids, put on weight when they eat more calories than they burn up by moving around. If you want your child to lose weight, he should eat a healthy diet consisting of the recommended amount of calories for his height, and he should increase his amount of daily exercise to make sure he's burning off the excess. You should always consult your child's pediatrician before putting your child on a new diet and exercise regime - especially if your child already suffers from certain diseases or medical conditions, such as asthma.

Childhood Skin Disease

Childhood skin conditions are relatively common childhood disorders. Much of the time, childhood skin problems are just rashes which can be soothed fairly easily and disappear over time (although rash may be a symptom of a life-threatening meningitis infection - seek a medical opinion). Eczema is another common cause of skin dryness and irritation in kids (when babies get this on their heads it's referred to as "cradle cap"). Some skin diseases, however, are caused by viruses - the red, inflamed skin is actually just a symptom of the viral infection taking hold. Roseola and Fifth Disease are two viral infections which cause skin-related symptoms in children.

When a child starts school, she's more vulnerable to picking up skin infections from other kids - such as impetigo (also known as "school sores"). In most cases, childhood skin diseases can be successfully treated providing that medical help is sought early. Of course, protecting your child from sun burn now will help to prevent her developing skin cancer in later life.

Childhood AIDS

Sadly the AIDS epidemic affects children too. The vast majority of AIDS cases and therefore AIDS deaths among children are in the developing world. It's very rare for a child in North America or Europe to be diagnosed with HIV or AIDS. When it does happen, it's nearly always because the child's mother was already HIV positive during pregnancy and the child was either born with the condition, or contracted it through exposure to the mother's infected blood during delivery. It's possible for a woman to pass HIV on to her baby through breastfeeding, although this situation would almost never arise in the Western world, because it would be almost impossible for a woman to complete pregnancy and childbirth without being tested unless she was very determined to do so. If a HIV-positive woman is pregnant, her baby will not always necessarily become infected too. There are drugs the mother can take during pregnancy to prevent transmission, and a C-section will be recommended as opposed to natural birth, to prevent the baby coming into contact with the mother's bodily fluids. Nevertheless, the risk of transmission remains high.

Kids who do contract HIV will be treated with drugs and immunizations, if appropriate and in their best interests, to prevent HIV turning into full blown AIDS. There are no guarantees as to how successful this treatment will be.

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