Knowing your family history can be an important tool in illness prevention. Typically, children are not screened for diseases unless they become symptomatic. When children are taught healthy habits such as eating well and regularly being active, their need for screening declines. There are a few diseases worth learning about ahead of time, particularly if your family has a history of them. Type 1 Diabetes normally is not diagnosed until a child’s symptoms are severe. Recognizing these symptoms quickly can help manage your child’s care. Symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes include urinating often, excessive thirst, blurry vision, extreme fatigue, weight loss even with increased intake and slow healing wounds. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also recommends children be screened around age ten for high cholesterol. There are not typically signs or symptoms associated with high cholesterol in kids, which is why it is important to heed the testing recommendations of the AAP. Hypertension is generally screened by age three. Signs and symptoms of hypertension in children include headaches, vomiting, chest pains, shortness of breath and seizures. In all cases, be sure to share your family disease history with your pediatrician who can help you understand possible signs and symptoms of potential risks that your child may be exposed to.
Cheyenne is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in the Charleston, SC area.