We all want the best for our kids, right? But between soccer practice, homework, extracurriculars, and everything else that fills up the calendar, it can be difficult to monitor our children’s health. With busy family schedules and a variety of commitments, many kids are eating out on-the-go and fending for themselves in many areas of health.
This fall, St. Thomas Medical Group’s Children & Adult providers are encouraging parents to take notice of warning signs in their children’s health. From eating right to getting a good night’s sleep, let’s look at some common health warning signs among children…
Warning Signs of Poor Sleep Quality
Sleep is critically important for young, developing bodies and minds. Eight to 10 hours of sleep per night is a standard recommendation for healthy children and adolescents. Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important as eating right and exercising. Warning signs that your child may not be getting enough quality sleep:
- Use of phones, tablets, TV or other screen devices during the hour leading up to bedtime.
- Engaging in risky behavior may be correlated with sleep deprivation. For example, one study found, “Teens with sleep problems were 55 percent more likely to have used alcohol in the past month in comparison to teens who didn’t report any sleep problems.”
- Mood swings, irritability, and difficulty in concentrating can be signs of poor sleep quality.
Social Warning Signs
It can be impossibly frustrating to figure out, at times, what’s really going on at school. Is your child being bullied? Depressed? Struggling with a learning disorder that hasn’t been recognized by her teachers or doctors? Some common behavioral health warning sings include:
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Loss of interest in activities
Nutrition Warning Signs
In the U.S., nearly one in five children between the ages of six and 19 are obese. “Empty calories” like added sugars and fats account for nearly 40% of the calories consumed by two- to 18-year-olds, reports the National Institutes of Health. Warning signs your child may not be getting a balanced, healthy diet include:
- Lack of family meal time.
- Reliance on fast food and highly processed foods.
- Irregular meal times (or lack of regular meals altogether).
See a Doctor in Nashville at St. Thomas Medical Group
If you’re concerned about your child’s health, you can always schedule an appointment with a provider at St. Thomas Medical Group by calling +1 (615) 301-7040. You can also make your child’s appointment online (new and returning patients) at your convenience. We look forward to partnering with you and your child in better health!