Children's Chronic Diseases

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The number of American children with chronic illnesses has quadrupled since the time when some of their parents were children. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses some of these long-term conditions.

Dr. Hill:

Children often have acute, short-term illnesses such as upper respiratory tract or ear infections, gastrointestinal illness with vomiting and diarrhea, or injury-related problems. However, some children develop chronic illness which last for years or even their lifetime as a result of genetic conditions, environmental factors or a combination of both.

These common chronic childhood diseases include:

Asthma

Cystic fibrosis, an inherited lung disease for which there is no cure

Diabetes

Developmental disabilities, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and the autism spectrum disorders

Cerebral palsy, and

Mental illnesses

Prevention begins with early and comprehensive prenatal nutrition and health care. Also, encourage healthy eating habits beginning at an early age and incorporate physical activity into daily life when children are young to prevent the sedentary lifestyle associated with obesity.

Regular medical care is important for all children to increase the chance that a chronic disease is diagnosed and treated early, lessening the overall impact on the child and family.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.