Helping children build healthy bones should be a focus for raising a healthy child. Lack of knowledge about this for many parent has lead to major problems for the kids and will drastically affect them the rest of there lives.
Children build over half of their bone mass during the adolescent years of their life so parents should be aware of the importance of this and what to do. As humans we reach our peak bone mass by the age of twenty, so you can see that the years that children are spending at home are the most crucial by far.
The 3 most important things that are factors for building strong healthy bones are vitamin D from exposure to the sun, plenty of exercise and of course calcium.
Poor nutrition, lack of exercise and other physical activities has lead to an astonishing number of childhood obesity cases and is being directly linked to more and more diseases that are effecting children more than ever before. One of these is Rickets.
Rickets is a childhood bone disease that is usually only seen in 3rd world countries, but in recent years is showing dramatic increase in the number of cases in the United States. Rickets causes bones to severe aches and pains in the bones and causes the bones to become permanently deformed at a young age.
According to Dr. James Beaty, President of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, “There’s some early data showing that even a 10 percent deficit in your bone mass when you finish your adolescent years can increase your potential risk of having osteoporosis and fractures as much as 50 percent”. So as you can see it will not only affect them now, but will cause them a life time of problems and pain.
What’s the cause of this? Well, when it comes to American kids you are talking about poor nutritional habits, too much tv, too much internet and too many video games. “This potentially is a time-bomb,” says Dr. Laura Tosi, bone health chief at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C.
What can be done? Make sure that your children get plenty of sunshine, calcium and lots of exercise.
Calcium is the building block of healthy bones. Foods which are good sources of calcium include fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, canned fish with bones, nuts, fruits, vegetables, dried beans, rice beverages, molasses and some leafy greens.
The best source of vitamin D is natural sunlight, that’s why getting outdoors is so important for your children. When the kids are playing outdoors they are getting both exercise and vitamin D.
So, are you putting your kids at risk? It’s like anything else…..it’s a learned behavior. You MUST educate yourself and your children. As a parent it’s your responsibility to make sure that they have the opportunity for a long healthy life and not just for the 18 or so years that they are at home.