Childhood Cholesterol: The Silent Enemy

However, we tend to think that high cholesterol is a problem for adults or even the elderly. However, the truth is that cholesterol can also be a cause for concern in childhood, especially if there have been other people with this problem in the family. In fact, did you know that in Spain two out of ten children have higher cholesterol levels than would be healthy for their age?

Cholesterol is a substance produced by the liver, it is a lipid that our body manufactures and uses to promote the production of some hormones, to contribute to the formation of cell membranes and is part of vitamin D. In fact, cholesterol it is not harmful, it is necessary. For example, good cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins) is responsible for dragging bad cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins) out of the arteries. The problem starts when bad cholesterol levels skyrocket.

Many adults are already aware that they must check their cholesterol levels from time to time but 69% of Spanish parents admit that they have never measured the cholesterol level of their children. However, the ideal is that between the ages of 9 and 11 the child undergoes his first blood test to determine the level of cholesterol in the blood. Later, you will need another test at age 17.

Things change if there have been people with cholesterol problems in the family. In that case, the exam should be done at an earlier age, the first between 2 and 8 years old and the second at 12 years old.

The indicators that indicate that the child may have high cholesterol are:

  • Parent or close relative with total cholesterol that exceeds 240 mg / dl
  • Family history of cardiovascular disease
  • The child is overweight, obese, has diabetes, or has high blood pressure

The usual thing is to perform a simple blood test, fasting . If the cholesterol level reaches 130 mg / dl then it is recommended that the child eat a healthier diet and engage in physical activity. After 3 or 6 months the exam will be repeated. If cholesterol levels continue to be high (above 190 mg / dl), from the age of 10 the doctor may indicate specific medications.

The good news is that cholesterol levels can be lowered by following a proper diet. In this way, you will also reduce the risk of other diseases and help your child to acquire good eating habits.

  1. Every day, the child should eat at least 100 grams of vegetables and a piece of fruit.
  2. Bet on whole grains, instead of choosing foods made with refined flour, since their high fiber content helps eliminate bad cholesterol.
  3. Eliminate saturated or trans fats from your diet, for which you should read food labels and always opt for skim products and fresh cheeses.
  4. Choose foods that are a source of unsaturated fats, such as fish, nuts, and olive oil. Between the ages of 1 and 3, these fats can represent 30-40% of the child’s diet, later, from the age of 4, they should be between 25-30%.
  5. Limit the consumption of drinks and foods rich in sugar, as well as convenience foods and industrial pastries.

Teacher Performances In The Classroom With Students With ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common in childhood. In Spain the figures indicate that it affects 5% of children. However, despite the fact that it is a fairly common problem (it is estimated that there are one or two children with this disorder in each class), not all teachers know how to handle it.

However, we must bear in mind that handling in the classroom can solve 80% of the difficulties faced by the child. With proper care, the school success rate among children with ADHD reaches 70%, a figure comparable to that achieved with other students.

The ADHD children spend much of their time at school, the area where they present the biggest problems, so teachers should play a key role in treatment.

Know the disorder in depth

Teachers who have a child with ADHD in their classroom should learn about the characteristics of this disorder. In this way they will be able to understand the student better and will have more patience when explaining those aspects that they do not understand.

Use practical examples

In this way, they can more easily capture the child’s attention and, at the same time, motivate him to learn the content. Also, practical examples are always easier to understand than theory outright.

Divide the material into small units

Children with ADHD find it difficult to stay focused for long on the same activity, so it is recommended that school assignments be divided into short and simple units. It is also advisable to use colors to highlight the main information and to make sure that there is not too much information on the board.

Positively reinforce their contributions in class

Children with ADHD often carry a history of school neglect with them so they do not always dare to speak up in class. For this reason, teachers should positively reinforce their contributions, so that they feel motivated to pay attention and be actively involved in the class.

Assign a tutor

In the classroom, the teacher cannot always give individual attention to all the children, but she can seat the youngsters with difficulties with a partner who can act as a tutor. This can explain a step that has been missed, make sure that you have written down your homework correctly or motivate you when you notice that you have lost concentration. In fact, this type of tutoring is a measure that is being applied in many schools and is yielding excellent results.

Proper distribution of class seats

Children with ADHD are often easily distracted so they should not be sitting near a window or door. Ideally, they should be close to the teacher. Tables with groups should also be avoided, the lines are better to keep the concentration of all the students.

Keep an agenda of homework with parents

ADHD is not only treated at school but also at home. Therefore, a good strategy is for teachers to make an agenda in which they reflect what the child has done in class and the homework they must do at home. In addition, at least once a month face-to-face meetings with parents should be planned to assess progress.