Growing up healthy

Young adults' health (18-20 year olds)

Nothing is more important than your health.

Your body and mind are growing at a tremendous rate. In fact, after your body stops growing, your brain will keep on developing –until you’re about 25. That’s an amazing fact, but it’s true.

That’s why it’s so important to take charge of your health – body and mind. If any problems exist, you can catch them now.

Children's health

Your child's health and well-being is very important.

Here's a helpful infographic called Your Roadmap to Children's Behavioral Health Care. It outlines ways to identify whether your child has mental health concerns. It also show you how to start the journey to get your child the care he or she needs. You can also view the inforgraphic in Spanish.

Here's more information to help you keep your child safe, healthy and well.

“You are what you eat.” It’s an old saying that still applies. It’s especially true when it comes to children. Bones and muscles need the right foods to grow right. The brain also needs the right foods to form right.

  • Eating with the family.
  • Having meals together is a great family tradition. It’s a chance to get your kids to try new foods. As they get older, it’s also a way for you to catch up with your kids, share stories and learn new things. 
  • Kids who eat with their parents on a regular basis usually eat healthier.
  • What’s a healthy diet?
  • When half your child's plate has fruits and vegetables.
  • Lean meats, nuts and eggs.
  • Whole-grain breads and cereals.
  • Foods that are broiled, grilled or steamed instead of fried.
  • Very little fast food and junk food.
  • Water or milk instead of sugary fruit drinks and sodas.

Learn how many calories your child needs and what types of foods are the best based on his/her age.

 

Exercise isn’t just something you do when you want to lose weight or get “beefed”. Of course, it will help you do that, but exercise is more basic than that. Our bodies need exercise in order to work right.

Sitting around can lead to heart disease, diabetes, depression and many more serious diseases, even in children. One of the biggest causes for these diseases is obesity.

The number of obese children in the US is growing quickly. And it’s easy to see why. Parents are too busy to prepare healthy meals, so many families eat fast food on a regular basis. Kids go from their desks at school, to their desks or couch at home. Fast foods usually pack in loads of fat and calories. Sitting doesn’t burn them. The result? There are obese children everywhere.

Most children need at least one hour of physical activity every day. Regular exercise helps children:

  • Relax and feel more calm.
  • Feel better about themselves.
  • Learn better – exercise helps kids pay more attention and remember things better.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Build healthy bones, muscles and joints.
  • Sleep better at night.

Exercise together

To be at their best, kids need to spend more time outside playing than inside playing video games or watching TV. As a parent, you can set a good example by exercising on a regular basis, too. You can even take your child along with you.  Go hiking, swimming, bowling or take a dance or yoga class together. This can make it fun for both of you and help you bond. You can also encourage your child to walk or bike to school or take up a sport.

There’s no way you can keep your eyes on your children 24/7, but there are things you can do to keep them safe.

Tips to keep kids of different ages safe:

  • Babyproof your home.
  • Don’t leave small children alone.
  • Lock up medicines, alcohol, cleaners, bug spray, lighters, matches or anything else that can poison or harm them.
  • Get the right car seat for your child’s size and weight.
  • Teach them to cross the street safely.
  • Teach them not to talk to strangers.
  • Make sure they wear the right gear when playing sports.
  • As they get older, keeping children safe becomes more difficult, especially in the teen years.
  • As your children reach puberty, they need more attention. Because now they can get into “real” trouble.

If you have teenagers, you’ll need to set rules to keep them safe and healthy. And teach them that there are consequences for their actions. As they get older, they will have more chances to do risky things like drinking, smoking, drugs and having sex. Now more than ever, you’ll need to keep an eye on them to help them.

Tips to keep teens safe:

  • Spend quality time with your teens. Do things they enjoy.
  • Always take time to listen when they want to talk.
  • Get to know your teen’s friends and their hangouts.
  • Meet and stay in touch with their friend’s parents.
  • When possible, make sure there’s an adult present when there’s a group of teens together.
  • Test for drugs and/or alcohol use if they’re acting strange, their grades are dropping or they’re hanging out with an iffy group of friends
  • Keep track of teens online