The Current State of Children’s Health in the United States

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Children have far more factors that are detrimental to their health nowadays than they did 20 years ago. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.4% of children have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); 7.4% of children have been diagnosed with a behavior problem of some kind; 7.1% of children have been diagnosed with anxiety; and 3.2% of children have been diagnosed with depression. In addition to this, 1 in 5 children in the United States is obese, and 8.4% of children have asthma.

There is also a rise in spine-related issues due to the hours spent looking down at a cell phone screen, increased eye problems and migraines from extended computer usage, and an overall decrease in physical activity in children which has been replaced by time spent playing video games and watching TV.

The increased usage of social media, dependence on electronic devices, fractured homes, and environmental factors have combined to create a real health epidemic among America’s children.

ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common mental disorders that affects both children and adults. However, the symptoms seem to manifest during childhood. ADHD is characterized by many factors, but attention deficits and hyperactivity issues are a bit separate. While some people have both, others only struggle with ADD. Some of these symptoms of attention deficits include:

  • Inability to sit still for long periods of time;
  • Inability to focus on a task for an extended period of time;
  • Jumping or switching between topics or thought processes;
  • Becoming easily distracted;
  • Making careless mistakes in schoolwork, homework, or other multi-step tasks;
  • Disorganized or loses things easily.

Some of the symptoms that sufferers of ADHD exhibit in the hyperactivity diagnosis include:

  • Constant fidgeting;
  • Inability to sit still and must constantly be moving;
  • Has trouble controlling the volume of voice or activities;
  • Seemingly endless energy;
  • Talking constantly;
  • Has difficulty with waiting for anything: their turn in line, for someone to finish speaking, etc.

While there is no single known cause of ADHD, there are several factors that indicate a genetic link might be partially responsible in some cases for development of the disorder. Other factors, including prenatal smoking or drinking, premature birth, and brain injuries have been attributed to the development of the condition.

Obesity

Twenty percent of school-aged children are clinically obese in the United States. While many children are predisposed to obesity through their genetics, the majority of childhood obesity statistics has been on the rise since the 1970s due to lifestyle changes at home.

Children who live in low-income households are almost two times more likely to be obese than children who come from wealthier families. Unfortunately, the high prices of healthy food and the difficult factors that often surround low-income household environments (single parent, unsafe neighborhoods, lack of other resources, etc.) contribute to this risk.

Lack of physical activity throughout the years, in part due to the rise of electronic devices and video games, also contribute to childhood obesity. Use of these electronic devices before bed can interrupt sleep patterns, and a lack of good sleep is also linked to an increased risk of obesity.

Research has shown that children who are obese in childhood are at an increased risk to become obese as adults. The complications from obesity include asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and musculoskeletal complications due to stress from the weight.

Asthma

Asthma is chronic inflammation of the airways and increased production of mucus which causes severe breathing episodes. These episodes can be triggered by environmental factors such as allergies, illness, and infections.

Some asthmatics are triggered by non-environmental factors such as extreme stress or physical activity.

In children, the likelihood of developing asthma is increased through genetic links, exposure to environmental issues such as cigarette smoke or severe air pollution, and severe infections of the sinuses, airways, and lungs.  

Depression and self-harm

Many schools are seeing an increase in children and adolescents who are hospitalized for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Many of these children and adolescents express symptoms of or desire for self-harm.

Factors for developing depression include genetic predisposition, traumatic or violent events or environments, high-pressure environments, bullying, and events such as loss of a family member or medical illness.

How chiropractic care can help

Many of the treatments for these conditions include treatment with medications with high risks for side effects. Complications from these conditions may also lead to a need for surgical interventions. Chiropractic can offer an alternative, safe, non-invasive solution for many childhood health concerns.

Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Waterford, MI includes gentle spinal manipulation to realign the nervous system and get everything functioning properly. Chiropractic can also provide guidance for diet changes to reduce and eliminate inflammation-causing foods, which has been linked to many chronic conditions in children and adults.

Chiropractic can help treat symptoms of asthma by realigning the spine and nervous system, which can restore proper function to internal organs and reduce inflammation. Diet and lifestyle changes can also improve asthma symptoms without invasive medical treatments.

Chiropractic care can also help with lifestyle changes for children who are obese and treat symptoms of obesity such as joint pain and spinal misalignment. Lifestyle changes made with the help of your chiropractor is also an excellent way to help fight depression.

Increases in exercise, changes in diet, and spinal manipulation to release stress on the muscles are all benefits of chiropractic care and can alleviate symptoms of depression, especially when making these changes in conjunction with your traditional medical treatments.