Bottom line, healthcare is expensive. To stay healthy, the average individual needs to spend at least $7,000 on healthcare bills–and that's in 2009. But spending a lot of money in health care doesn't necessarily make the average American healthy and disease-free.
The bad news is health care is expected to get more expensive as time goes on.
It's in your best interest to find ways to ensure every member of the family is healthy and disease-free.
1. Protect young kids from obesity and a string of serious health concerns
New studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the cases of childhood obesity have gone down. But there is some bad news. According to recent data released by the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, children aged 10 to 17 may be at risk of serious health problems before adulthood.
The study, led by Dr. Neal Halfon, found that obese children may suffer from physical and mental diseases that include headaches, allergies, ear infections, bone, muscle and joint problems, and even ADHD.
Even with the decline in childhood obesity, 30% of kids are still overweight and they are at risk of acquiring long-term health problems.
How do we keep children healthy and safe?
Obesity can cause a string of serious health problems. The New York City Department of Health advises parents to begin obesity prevention at an early stage because unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyle starts in early childhood.
Don’t focus on weight loss. Instead, pay more attention to proper nutrition. Kids shouldn’t be made to become conscious about their weight this early. Also, kids may weigh more but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re obese. Kids are growing at this stage and they have different body structures. So if your kid is bigger than other kids his age, don’t assume he’s obese and make him undergo a certain diet. Only health professionals should determine whether a child is obese or not.
Teach your kids the importance of healthy eating and getting enough exercise. Do not focus on a specific weight goal.
Get them involved in planning meals for the family. Don’t single out an overweight child because it can have an effect on his self-image. Make it a family effort. Everyone has to be taught healthy food choices for meals and snacks.
You should also limit the time they spend in front of the television and playing video games. Instead, encourage them to go outside and play some sport.
2. Protective factors to keep teens in check health- and behavior-wise
Protective factors—things that influence an adolescent’s likability to smoke, do drugs, drink alcohol, become promiscuous, and develop other unpleasant behavior and habits—are directly influenced by a parent’s involvement in a teen’s life.
The CDC have findings that prove the correlation between parent engagement and an adolescent’s potential to engage in unhealthy lifestyle and bad behaviors.
Ultimately, when these factors are missing, a teen is more likely to perform badly in school and develop unhealthy habits that can lead to serious long-term health problems.
What should parents do to keep their teens in check?
Parents, as well as schools, are strongly advised to be more involved through activities and strong communication. Research has shown that teens with engaged parents are less likely to smoke, do drugs, and drink alcohol. This will greatly reduce the chances of acquiring lung-related problems, heart ailments, and kidney and liver diseases.
3. Keeping senior family members safe using medical alarm devices
It’s typical for seniors to either live alone or left alone at home for long periods. Having a medical alarm is beneficial during medical emergencies. In the event of an accident or when they need medical help, this device will automatically call family members, a neighbor, or an operator who can call medical response teams.
A medical alarm will also be good when you have a family member who requires special care. At times when you can’t watch over them, you can be assured that they are safe even during an emergency.