The ABCs of Healthy Living
There are many things kids need to know to keep their bodies and minds healthy and strong. To understand how topics such as nutrition, exercise, dental health, and hygiene relate to overall healthy living, check out the handy alphabetical list of terms below.
Autism: Autism is a group of conditions including Asperger syndrome and many others. Autistic children can sometimes have trouble making sense of the world and making connections with other kids.
Bad Breath: Poor oral hygiene and dental health can lead to bad breath. Also known as halitosis, bad breath is caused by sulphur compunds being released by bacteria in the mouth.
Conjunctivitis: Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the eye. Bacteria, viruses, chemicals, and allergies can cause conjunctivitis.
Dark Chocolate: Delicious dark chocolate has a place in healthy living! Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can be good for your overall health.
Exercise: Regular exercise contributes to lifelong good health. Studies have shown that boys today are less active and less likely to exercise than girls.
Fluoride: Fluoride is a mineral that helps to prevent tooth decay. Using fluoridated toothpaste can help to ensure good oral health.
Gingivitis: A gum disease known as gingivitis occurs when plaque develops on the tissue that surrounds teeth. If left untreated, it can cause chronic infection and an overall decrease in dental health.
Handwashing: One of the best ways to prevent colds and the flu is regular handwashing. Washing under fingernails can remove viruses that live there.
Insect Bites: While mainly harmless, bug bites can sometimes cause serious problems. If someone is allergic to bug bites, reactions like rashes or hives can crop up.
Jock Itch: Heavy exercise can lead to excessive sweating in the groin area. This can cause a condition known as jock itch, an infection of the groin caused by fungus or yeast.
Kale: Kale is a member of the cabbage family high in beta carotene. Eating vegetables like kale is an excellent way to get the nutrition needed for a long and healthy life.
Lockjaw: Also known as tetanus, lockjaw is a bacterial infection that causes muscle spasms. Shots to prevent tetanus have kept the disease relatively rare.
Minerals: Macro and trace minerals help bodies to grow and be healthy. Found in food and supplements, calcium, iron, potassium, and copper are all examples of minerals.
Natural Remedies: Teas, essential oils, and salves can all help improve a child’s well-being. Herbal remedies such as elderberry are helpful for flu prevention.
Opioids: Opioid painkillers such as OxyContin are considered safe (with a prescription) for children as young as 11. Opioids are best used to treat acute pain.
Pimples: Acne, also known as pimples or zits, is caused by clogged and infected oil glands in the skin. While there is no known cure, there are several medicines that will help treat this issue.
Quinine: Tonic water containing the anti-malaria drug quinine has been used historically to treat chronic nighttime leg cramps. The FDA, however, warns against its use now due to potentially severe side effects.
Restless Legs Syndrome: Restless legs syndrome is a common neurological disorder that can strike kids. Those suffering from RLS feel uncomfortable sensations in their legs when trying to rest or sleep.
Smoking: About 400,000 people die every year from smoking-related illnesses. Most adult smokers tried smoking tobacco before they were 18.
Tooth Decay: The number one chronic infectious disease in kids is tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by the sugar present in drinks such as soda.
Ulcers: Peptic ulcers can happen in children but are much more common in adults. A peptic ulcer is a sore on the lining of the stomach caused by a bacterial infection or overuse of medicines such as aspirin.
Vaccinations: Vaccines have prevented or eliminated many diseases in the United States and abroad. Despite rumors and claims to the contrary, vaccines do not cause other illnesses.
Weight Control: Being overweight can lead to diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and joint problems. Learning to control your weight can make you healthier.
X-Rays: X-rays are used by doctors and dentists to see a patient’s bones or the parts of your teeth that you can’t normally see. X-ray pictures are made with a special kind of radiation.
Yellow Fever: Yellow fever is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes found in South America and Africa. Rare among U.S. travelers, the disease can cause severe liver problems. Using bug spray and wearing protective clothing can help prevent yellow fever.
Zika Virus: Similar to yellow fever, the Zika virus is also transmitted by mosquitoes. Zika can cause fever, rashes, and conjunctivitis.