Preventable Health Problems in Children Every Parent Should Know

Anxiety and depression in children: Get the facts | CDC

Being a first-time parent can be nerve-wracking. You can read about all the things that could go wrong, but unexpected health problems can still arise. Fortunately, what you can do is prevent the ones that can be avoided with good practices. These often stem from poor habits that were not treated when kids were younger. Make sure that you make the right choices by avoiding these common diseases in children.

Tooth Decay

Experts say that the most common chronic disease in children is poor oral health, particularly tooth decay. What is even worse is that it is entirely preventable with good practices. The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention even says that tooth decay is four times more common than asthma for those aged between 14 to 17 years old. Even those who are in their 20s face this issue.

Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is caused by various factors, but it all comes down to diet and regularly brushing your teeth. Kids are prone to snacking on junk food and snacks. When teeth aren’t cleaned, they get stuck between teeth, which is what cavities feed on. Brushing and rinsing with mouthwash will wash away this bacteria.

What happens is that bacteria start to feed on the food left in your mouth. This then turns to acid, which causes teeth to yellow and rot. The typical diet of children today speeds up this process. Sugary drinks like soda also have acid in them, which further causes damage to their teeth. This is why kids must drink plenty of water after soda to wash away some of the acid and sugar. Regular check-ups and cleaning with a pediatric dentist will also help reduce cavities.


There are 1 .7 million children in the United States who are suffering from obesity. The average weight of kids is getting higher each year, and parents should be alarmed by this. Although there are cases where obesity can be challenging to avoid, it is still mostly preventable with the proper lifestyle and diet. If left unchecked, they may continue this behavior until they are adults, and that would make it even harder to fix or treat.

Obesity is caused by two main factors: inactivity and lack of proper diet. For one, a lot of kids today are too absorbed in their gadgets to go out. Fewer children are going out to play because of an increase in computer use and video games. Back then, people had to walk to school or to see their friends. Now, they can easily make calls while sitting at home all day. The same can be said for most adults as well.

A healthy diet can significantly help in reducing cases of obesity. Many parents rely on takeout and fast food to feed their children. However, a lot of these are made with lots of unhealthy fats and high calories. While it is alright to indulge sometimes, eating out too frequently will cause excessive weight gain.

High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is not just for adults, but even children can have them as well. This ties closely with the rise of obesity. The best way to prevent this is to increase vegetables and fiber in their diet. Cooking food that doesn’t use a lot of fat can also lower cholesterol levels.

This health problem is caused by the buildup of fat in blood vessels. It disrupts blood flow and, when left unchecked, can cause mild to severe heart problems. High cholesterol levels are not just purely the result of a poor diet. It can also be hereditary, so if you have someone on either side of your family who gets this, you should be extra careful.


Unfortunately, many adults seem to think that just because a child is young, they do not experience anxiety. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Untreated anxiety affects seven percent of children aged between three to 17 years old, and the numbers continue to rise.

Signs of anxiety are often dismissed as just children being difficult. However, parents should recognize these symptoms to prevent them from worsening in the future. Children who have difficulty in school or concentrating on homework may have problems with anxiety. Tense and nervous behavior can also be a symptom.

When left ignored, anxiety only worsens over time. It affects everything that children will do. They might perform poorly in school or make reckless decisions. The risk of anxiety attacks will also increase the longer that it is left unchecked.


Knowing these things can help you watch out for signs in your children. You can stop health issues from happening before they begin or worsen.