Cholesterol and Children (cont.)
High Cholesterol Treatment in Children
Because most parents whose children have high cholesterol have high levels themselves, and because diet and exercise monitored by a parent are so important in lowering cholesterol levels, treatment is a family affair.
- Do not scare your child. Present the facts about high cholesterol in an age-appropriate way. Ask your health care professional for advice. Discuss ways to help your child improve his or her health. Do not present it as treatment for a disease. Emphasis should be made that the goal is for everyone in the family to be as healthy as possible.
- Plan family meals and monitor what your child eats. Pay special attention to cholesterol and fats in foods. If your child eats a school-sponsored lunch, make sure that his or her choices are all healthy options. Pizza, hamburgers, French fries, and fried chicken strips should be avoided.
- Plan family activities that involve exercise, such as walks, hikes, games, and organized sports. Adults should have 45 minutes a day of moderate intensity activity; children should participate in 60 minutes a day in vigorous play a day.
- Have your child's cholesterol levels retested after 3 months of changes in diet.
- Talk with your child's health care professional about the use of medication. It is usually only considered for children older than 10 years, and ONLY after changes in diet and exercise have been tried.
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