Pediatrics | Published February 28, 2019

Five tips to keep your child’s heart healthy

February is recognized as American Heart Month to raise awareness of heart disease and remind us of the importance of taking care of our heart. It’s never too early to create heart-healthy habits. Here are five tips to keep your child’s heart healthy:

  1. Eat the rainbow by eating five servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Also, limit fast food or eating out.
  2. Get moving as a family. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends 60 minutes of play for kids each day. Use this as a family bonding opportunity and go for a walk or bike ride. Other ideas to get moving are playing tag or building an obstacle course in the back yard.
  3. Limit screen time. TV, video games, and computer use should be limited to two hours of screen time per day.
  4. Avoid exposure to smoking/tobacco products. If you smoke, your child is likely breathing in secondhand smoke. He or she is also likely to try cigarettes or other tobacco products.
  5. Don’t forget to laugh! Laughing may prevent a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems by improving the function of blood vessels and increasing blood flow. It relaxes the entire body and relieves physical tension and stress for up to 45 minutes after your first laugh.