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Posts for category: Health Care

By Bel Air Pediatric Center
March 31, 2017
Category: Health Care
Tags: Nutrition  

Healthy Meals for TeensAs children grow into adolescence, their bodies require more nutrients to grow healthy and strong. But as many parents know, for those teens with busy school schedules, sports practices and jobs, managing a healthy, well-balanced meal plan isn’t always at the top of their priority list. In many cases, a teen’s most important meals are eaten in the car or on the bus as they shuffle from one activity to the next.

Parents can play a very important role in influencing their teen to stay active while maintaining a healthy diet. These tips can help:

  • Encourage your teen to not skip meals, especially breakfast. A well-balanced breakfast is essential to keeping your son or daughter nourished throughout the day.
  • Educate your teen about healthy snack choices. Stock your refrigerator and cabinets with healthy foods and snacks, such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk and lean meats and poultry. Avoid buying sodas and other sugary drinks and foods that are low in nutritional value.
  • Involve your teen in the selection and preparation of foods to teach them to make healthy choices.
  • Teach your teen how to make healthy selections when eating out at restaurants.

How many servings per day your teenager requires will depend on how many calories his or her body needs. This is based on age, sex, size and activity level. You can discuss your teen’s nutritional habits and recommended daily intake with your teen's pediatrician.

Although balancing school, sports and social activities may present challenges to eating healthy, it is possible to guide your teen on a path of nutritional food choices. Educate them now and promote healthy eating at home to help your teen develop a good understanding of proper nutrition into adulthood. The whole family can benefit from improved eating habits starting at home.

Hearing ProblemsIt may seem like your teenager is ignoring you, but in reality, they may be having trouble hearing you. More and more we see kids listening to their MP3 players while doing homework, walking to school or riding in the car. The result? A surge in hearing loss.

For years, studies have shown that constant exposure to loud sound damages hearing. In fact, between the mid-1990s and 2006 there was a 31 percent increase in the prevalence of hearing problems among U.S. adolescents, according to a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers suggest that one in every five teens today has some sort of hearing impairment.

Chronic exposure to loud noise may not cause hearing loss in the short term, but it can gradually result in irreversible hearing loss later in adult years. Even slight hearing loss can have a negative impact on a child’s academic success and social interaction. Warning signs of potential hearing loss include: difficulty following directions, asking that things be repeated, trouble with speech and language and listening to the TV at a high volume.

With the prevalence of music devices only gaining popularity, parents need to be particularly aware of their kids’ music-listening habits and educate them about the dangers of excessive noise.

To mitigate hearing loss, talk to your kids about how to use their music players properly to protect their ears from hearing damage.

  • Teach kids to never play their music devices at full volume.
  • Monitor your child’s music volume and frequency.
  • If you can hear the music from the child’s ear buds, then the music is too loud.
  • Explain to your child the importance of wearing ear protection when they are in an environment with loud noises for long periods of time, such as concerts.

The difficult truth about hearing loss is that in many cases it is not reversible, and it can even be progressive over time. Talk to your kids about the dangers of hearing loss now, and keep the volume and length of their listening to a minimum.

Whenever you have questions about your child’s hearing, talk to your pediatrician.