When I first heard that my daughter was going skydiving, I thought, “Please don’t.” Then, after hearing her cite statistics on how safe it is (compared to driving a car) and how well-trained the staff are that “jump” with you, I sort of softened and reconsidered.
Same thing happened when another daughter decided to zipline from treetop to treetop with only some ropes supporting her. My first reaction was, “Please don’t.” Again, another discussion ensued about the merits (and safety) of the activity.
Once I got over the shock and did some research on my own, I felt a lot more comfortable about my kids participating in these sports (to use the term loosely). Then, I realized the reason I felt better about their choices of leisure fun was that they’d both taken the time to check out the safety factors for themselves, they weighed the risks, and then acted with decision.
This got me thinking about the general health and safety of kids across the nation. Specifically, how so many children are not growing up healthy and if parents (and then kids) begin taking their health into their own hands by making smart eating and exercise choices, this generation of young people will be able to jump, leap, and even soar over whatever obstacles come their way. For their sake, “Please do” review the following stats on our children’s health and help yours start thinking ahead by making smart choices today.
Toledo Orthopedic surgeon,Dr. Christopher Foetisch writes –
FACT: Children, teens and young adults live for the moment. From their standpoint, today is all that matters, tomorrow is too far away. As a result, they seldom think about what they do today and how it will affect them tomorrow or next month or even in years to come. Young people have little awareness that today’s choices can have profound effects on their health as an adult.
STATISTICS: According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 16 percent of today’s children ages 6 to 19 are overweight. This percentage represents 9 million children. Alarmingly, the number has tripled since 1980. The obese child is at risk for numerous health problems. These include diabetes, coronary artery disease, asthma, hypertension and sleep apnea.
PREVENTION: Experts agree that inactivity and poor eating habits contribute to obesity. National guidelines recommend 150 minutes of physical activity each week for elementary children and 225 minutes for older children. Most children do not meet this modest level of physical activity on a weekly basis.
CONSEQUENCES: It is important for parents to ensure that their children (teens, and young adults) eat a healthy balanced diet and exercise regularly. The CDC reports that 80 percent of obese 10-15 years olds become obese adults. Clearly, it is vital for parents to set the bar early on for a healthy weight and activity level as failure to do so will likely carry a lifetime of obesity related problems.