Guidelines for Children's Heart Health
Is Your Child at Risk?
|Blood pressure measurement||annually beginning at age three years and then at every visit starting at age 18 years|
|Lipid profile (tests for cholesterol problems)||once between ages 9-11 years and again between ages 17-21 years; measure at other times if child is at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease due to family history of cardiovascular disease or child has diabetes, high blood pressure, or if the child is overweight|
|Body mass index (BMI)||tracking started at age two years|
- Has been exposed to secondhand smoke or has a personal history of smoking
- Has a family history of cardiovascular disease
- Has a sedentary lifestyle
- Has a poor diet
What Are the Recommendations?
- Following the ChooseMyPlate dietary guidelines for children aged two years and older, which focuses on getting a proper balance of fruits, veggies,whole grains, protein, and dairy products
- Note: If your child is at high risk for cardiovascular disease, the doctor will make additional recommendations, like eating a low-sodium and low-fat diet.
- Showing your child the importance of being active by exercising and encouraging him to exercise, too
- Putting limits on how much time your child is allowed to play video games, use computers, and watch TV
- Doing fun activities together as a family such as playing ball or going for a hike
- Having a safe area for your child to play outside
- Making your home smoke-free—If you smoke, it is a good idea to quit
- Talking to your child about the dangers of smoking—If your child smokes, help your child find strategies to quit.
American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.com
Childhood obesity facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm. Updated February 27, 2014. Accessed May 6, 2014.
Cholesterol and atherosclerosis in children. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Cholesterol-and-Atherosclerosis-in-Children%5FUCM%5F305952%5FArticle.jsp. Updated August 7, 2012. Accessed May 6, 2014.
Expert panel on integrated guidelines for cardiovascular health and risk reduction in children and adolescents: summary report. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cvd%5Fped/summary.htm. Published 2012. Accessed May 6, 2014.
Food groups. Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture website. Available at:http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/. Accessed May 6, 2014.
NHLBI integrated guidelines for pediatric cardiovascular risk reduction. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 12, 2013. Accessed May 6, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014 -
- Update Date: 05/06/2014 -