Child Wellness: Screening and tests for kids
With the cost of health care, many parents try to avoid costly exams. But for children, some screenings are important, and even critical. Marcie Fraser reports.
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When a baby is born, immunizations and screenings are performed. As a baby grows, other tests can be requested, like a hearing test, vision or even a test for lead levels. And sometimes it's the parents who see signs and request the testing. An obvious concern is an overweight child measured with a BMI, or body mass index.
"It's the height to weight ratio is astronomical that they are growing much larger than should, they are sitting in front of the TV and not out doors," said Dr. Renate Mazzei, a family practictioner.
Genetics put kids at risk for certain diseases. If mom or dad has cholesterol issues or heart disease, kids may be tested at a young age. The blood test may include a fasting glucose and fasting cholesterol panel.
Kids do what their parents do, so opt for a healthy lifestyle. Exercise and reduce processed and fast food. Busy? Prepare healthier meals ahead of time.
Without symptoms of disease, most children do not need many laboratory screening tests, but help your child turn into a healthy adult by eating right and exercising.
Aerobic activity should make up most of your child's 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day.
"Instill less screen time and less in front of the TV and go outdoors," said Dr. Mazzei.
For good health, keep it simple, eat healthy food, get plenty of sleep, and keep your hands clean.
"Keeping them healthy is washing their hands and eating proper and drinking enough water. Basics, go back to basics," said Dr. Mazzei.