Health Beat - Summer 2020 - 4


Do's and Don'ts:


Puberty-the process where a child's
body becomes sexually mature-
generally starts at age 11 for girls
and 12 for boys, though it can start
earlier. It can be awkward to talk to
your soon-to-be teens about these
changes, but it's important to inform
them about what's happening to
their bodies. Here are some ways to
help your child prepare for the developments that come with puberty:
Do reassure your child that the
changes are normal.


WAYS to Manage
High Cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterol:
LDL, the "bad" kind, and HDL, the
"good" kind. When you have too much
LDL cholesterol or not enough HDL
cholesterol, you increase your risk of
heart disease.
John Wilkins, M.D., a cardiologist and
spokesman for the American Heart
Association, says it's important to
consider overall risk factors for heart
disease when deciding how to treat high
LDL cholesterol.
"We need to look at the big picture,"
he says. "Treating cholesterol shouldn't
occur in a vacuum. It has to occur
in context."
Wilkins offers the following steps
to both lower your cholesterol and
reduce your risk of heart disease:
1. Get active. Exercising can raise
HDL cholesterol levels. The American
Heart Association recommends

150 minutes of moderate-intensity
exercise a week.
2. Eat a heart-healthy diet. That means
lots of fruits, vegetables and foods
like oatmeal with soluble fiber, which
can reduce the absorption of bad
cholesterol. Be sure to also limit
saturated fats, which can raise your
total cholesterol level.
3. Quit smoking. Not only can quitting
smoking improve HDL cholesterol
levels, but, within a year, you can also
cut your risk of heart disease in half.
4. Lose weight. Carrying a few extra
pounds can increase LDL cholesterol,
and being overweight is a main risk
factor for heart disease.
5. Visit your doctor regularly. He or
she can test your cholesterol levels
and prescribe medication if lifestyle
changes aren't enough.

The American Heart Association's heart disease risk calculator can help you determine your risk and offers advice on
how to get heart healthy. Visit

Don't assume your child knows
how to use things like deodorant
or feminine hygiene products.
He or she may need instruction.
Do remind your child (and yourself) that fluctuating moods are
typical in children during puberty.
Don't skip regular checkups.
Schedule a doctor visit for
your child once a year to make
sure changes are happening
as normal.
Do give your child a chance to
ask questions.

The American Academy
of Pediatrics has a range
of information you can
share with your child
about puberty. Visit
and search for



Health Beat - Summer 2020

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