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    A healthy heart is obviously an important part of your child's overall well-being. Just like for adults, good and bad things affect your child's heart health. In this guide, Dr. Mike Frostad, pediatrician at Palouse Pediatrics, provides insight into some smart strategies, backed by facts, to make sure your child's heart stays happy and healthy.


    When it comes to your kids' heart health, it's important to know that the largest factor, genetics, is something beyond our control, says Dr. Mike. As the saying goes, "It's in the genes," but understanding this helps us focus on what we can help.


    The "next largest factors are probably activity level and diet," suggests Dr. Mike. While these are areas where parents can make a positive impact, they're also areas we've all heard about for years. However, identifying ways to help your child create positive habits will benefit them as they age.


    The American Academy of Pediatrics supports a fantastic program called 5-2-1-0. It provides clear targets to promote a healthy lifestyle for kids:


    • Eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
    • Less than 2 hours of recreational screen time per day
    • At least 1 hour of physical activity per day
    • 0 sugary drinks; opt for more water and low-fat milk


    These guidelines offer a practical and positive approach to supporting heart health in children. It's about making choices that contribute to their well-being and future.


    As for physical activity, Dr. Mike encourages parents to engage and participate in the activity with the child. Life gets busy, stresses exist, and sometimes parents need to decompress, but when possible, "get outside and do things together," he suggests. "It is good for the child and the parent."


    Monitoring heart health is a proactive and positive step. Dr. Mike says the easiest way for parents to do this is by scheduling "regular well-child visits with a primary care provider to identify issues early and address risk factors before they become problems."


    You can always get help from the caring pediatricians at Palouse Pediatrics to ensure your child's heart stays happy and healthy. Call the practice today at the Pullman (509) 332-2605 or Moscow (208) 882-2247 office to schedule an appointment for your child. It's a great way to ensure a healthy future!


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