Happy Childhood for a Healthy Heart in Adulthood

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Counselling Services MelbourneAs parents, we are all aware that a physically healthy child is very likely to grow into a physically fit adult. To this end, we strive to give our children the best we can to make them physically active and strong. So, I am sure it might interest you all to know that a child’s emotions also have a bearing on his or her future health. Researchers have now found evidence that the emotional health of a child is directly linked to the wellness of his heart later in life.

A recent article on the BBC News website talks about a study done by US researchers who had enrolled more than 300 children who were around seven years of age. A number of tests on the children’s emotional states were done and the results were recorded. Now in their 40s, the participants were analysed for cardiovascular diseases.

The scientists found that participants who had a happy childhood had reduced heart risk. On the other hand, those who were emotionally distressed as children – quick to anger, easily frustrated, with short attention spans – had a considerably increased risk for heart problems – especially the women with about 31% increased risk, with the men faring in the range of 17%.

Dr Allison Appleton, who led the study, stated that they are now going to research into the biological mechanism that can explain the findings.

Although more research is needed to confirm these findings, it cannot hurt if we take some positive steps to ensure our children’s future heart health. Giving them a balanced diet and engaging the children in physical activity is a great place to start.

Apart from this, we need keep our eyes open for any signs of emotional distress or any change in our children’s behaviour. If we notice any excessive anger, aggression, anxiety or tearfulness, withdrawal, or listlessness in our children, we need to sit up and notice, and take some measures. Our earlier blog article, “Taking Your Child to a Children’s Counsellor,” can be of some guidance in identifying whether you child indeed has a worrying problem that needs professional help or if he or she is just “going through a phase.”


Child Practitioners at the Centre

Mathew Gaynor is a practitioner at the centre who has experience in treating children.

To get an appointment or to make enquiries, please call (03) 9820-5577.


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