| 14 July 2024, Sunday |

High screen time, lack of exercise linked to increased heart attack risk in kids! Doctor answers key questions

When children fail to participate in adequate physical activity, they deprive their bodies of the advantages that exercise offers. Consistent physical activity contributes to the maintenance of heart and blood vessel health, as it enhances cardiovascular fitness, helps control blood pressure, manages weight, and improves overall circulation. This encompasses factors such as elevated cholesterol levels, obesity, and impaired blood vessel function. Consequently, children who do not engage in enough physical activity during their formative years are at a higher risk of developing these risk factors, consequently elevating their vulnerability to potential heart attacks in their later life.
In an exclusive conversation with WION, a renowned cardiologist shared some important parental tips and answered some pressing questions of concerned parents. Read on!

How can parents help their kids change this lifestyle slowly and steadily?
“Parents should encourage their kids to find physical activities they enjoy and which can be continued sustainably. It is important that the kids are not forced to do something they don’t enjoy, as this will only lead to resentment. Kids should slowly incorporate these activities into their schedule, and maintain consistency and regularity,” said Dr. C Sridevi, Consultant Cardiologist, DPU Private Super Speciality Hospital, Pimpri, Pune.

What are the precautionary cares one should take?
According to the medical expert, one should focus on adequate, regular physical activity and a balanced diet.

How can the screen time be reduced for kids?
“Parents should discuss their expectations with their kids. They should create goals to be intentional about reducing screen time. Parents should set limits on screen time. These goals should be gradual and realistic. Minimise the number of digital devices and TVs available at home,” the medical expert shared. “Parents should provide alternatives for screen time, such as learning a new hobby or spending time with family and friends.”
How do exhaustive screen hours affect a child’s mental and physical health?
“Excessive screen time has a negative effect on a child’s mental health. There is an increased chance of anxiety and depression. Sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality are also more common. Behavioural problems are also seen. Very young children may also experience developmental delays.”

“Excess screen time also increases the risk of obesity as kids spend less time performing physical activities. There are also chances of developing neck and back posture issues,” Dr C Sridevi stated.

  • Wions