Healthy Choices for Life Begin at HackensackUMC Children’s Hospital

Everyone knows that life is all about making choices. We try to teach our children to make the right choices in life … HackensackUMC Children’s Hospital –

Healthy habits learned in childhood lead to a happier, healthier life in adulthood.
At HackensackUMC’s Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital,
we help families build smart strategies for raising healthier kids.
Our assistance begins before birth and extends
through the adolescent years to young adulthood,
with multi-faceted programs that help kids avoid the wrong health choices
and arrive at the healthiest possible outcomes for life.

  • We screen for dangerous levels of cholesterol beginning in childhood:

High cholesterol in children is related to the development of heart disease in the adult. Early intervention is needed for hypercholesterolemia and poor health habits in children.

  • We educate families about better diet choices:

Typical initial management for abnormal serum cholesterol includes education about healthy diet and exercise. Healthy-diet education is best handled by a dietitian with the entire family involved. Examples of healthy diet include the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet.

  • We help kids and families avoid bad choices in what they consume:

We promote the avoidance of certain commercially available supplements and energy-boosting products. When energy drinks are mixed with other medications or nutritional supplements, increased toxicity occurs. Combining these drinks with medications for ADHD, asthma or heart disease may be lethal.

  • We actively test for potential hidden cardiac problems and other potentially debilitating conditions:

One of the most common causes of sudden cardiac death in children is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM is a genetic disease in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick, making it harder to pump blood throughout the body. Most people have few, if any, symptoms of this disease. Some people experience shortness of breath when exercising, chest pain, fainting, dizziness, fatigue, or abnormal heart rhythms. Early detection and treatment saves lives.

  • We help establish the right types of exercise for given age groups:

Parents must increase the activity level of children and reduce TV and computer time. The recommended activity level for 5 years and older is one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise per day. Do not forget the best exercise: Walking.

  • We analyze for allergens and educate families about toxins in their environment.