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3 Most Common Chronic Childhood Health Conditions and How to Deal

6th Nov 2013

If you’re a parent or about to become one then you understand that there’s nothing more important than your child. When they’re happy and healthy, they’re the most adorable part of your life. However, if your child is experiencing any type of illness, then you’ll want to do whatever you can to ease that pain. Sometimes, no matter how hard you want to help, a condition can be out of your hands. With that said, here are three of the most common chronic childhood conditions and ways to help you manage.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy is diagnosed at an early stage and usually starts with the parent noticing their child is not growing properly. Although some parents may not want to accept that their child is not developing normally, it’s important for you as the parent to quickly consult your pediatrician if you do notice any difficulties. Early treatment is crucial for a child living with Cerebral Palsy.

Signs and Symptoms

  • A delay in reaching normal motor functions such as rolling over, sitting, crawling, or walking.
  • Impairment of muscle tone.
  • Lack of reflexes, control, or posture.
  • Most signs and symptoms happen during years 3-5 when the brain is developing.

Parenting Tips

Although there is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, there are ways to help deal with the chronic disease.

  • The first thing to consider is joining a support group to help with the mental struggles that will ensue. It will be very important to have the support of others in a similar situation.
  • Work with your child to help minimize the effect of the disorder. This can be done through one-on-one exercises, and is vital to improve your child’s quality of life.
  • It is also important for you to encourage independence as your child grows. This may be difficult, but is an extremely important step in child development.

Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the most increasingly common chronic diseases in children. What used to be classified as type1 (juvenile) and type 2 (adult) has quickly blurred as an increase in type 2 diabetes in children has become prevalent. Type 1 Diabetes is incurable and can only be treated with insulin injections. However, type 2 is treatable through a healthy combination of diet and exercise.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Fatigue and laziness.
  • An increase in thirst or urination.
  • Vision change.
  • Increased appetite or sudden weight loss.

Parenting Tips

If your child is starting to develop type 2 diabetes it is recommended to improve their diet. However, if your child is facing the incurable type 1 Diabetes, then here are some tips to help.

  • Be encouraging and help your child realize that having this illness is not a punishment.
  • Keep your child organized and informed. Type 1 Diabetes is a very complex illness that can be different depending on the situation. Help your child stay educated and informed about their particular condition and they will be equipped to handle it as they grow.

Asthma

Asthma is the most common childhood chronic disease in our society. It affects more than 25 million people in the United States and is an extremely treatable condition. As a child, it may seem overwhelming because it requires frequent doctor visits, the carrying of an inhaler, and the restriction of physical activities.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Frequent wheezing
  • A loss of breath during physical activity
  • A panic attack

Parenting Tips

Asthma is a very common condition among children and fortunately some even grow out of it before adolescence. Because it is so frequent there is no longer a taboo about having an inhaler or having asthma. There are several ways to help manage children’s asthma.

  • Keep your child organized with their medication easily accessible.
  • Minimize your child’s physical activities until they have become more accustomed to their condition.

Roughly 18 percent of children in the United States live with a chronic health condition. These conditions can range from severity and treatments. However, being a parent that is raising a child with a chronic health condition, you will quickly realize that it can take a lot of work. If your child happens to have any of the chronic conditions mentioned above, take some time to learn more about the conditions.

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