Most of our clients – children and young adults with special needs – tend to have sedentary lifestyles. This can have profound effects on the client’s life, such as an increased risk for obesity, heart disease, and stroke. Here’s how to protect your child from having a stroke:
The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Know the Signs
Before diving into preventative measures for strokes, it’s important to know the signs of a stroke, so you can take immediate action in the event this happens to your child.
- One side of the face droops.
- Only one arm can be raised fully.
- Speech is slurred or impeded.
If you notice the above signs in your child, call 911 immediately. Acting right away can save your child’s life and make rehabilitation more likely.
Help Your Child Maintain a Moderate Weight
Obesity comes with many side effects, including a risk of heart disease, diabetes and increased risk of stroke. To protect your special needs child from a stroke, one of the best things you can do is make sure they’re maintaining a moderate weight.
You can learn your child’s target weight by calculating their BMI. If your child is overweight, these are a few things that can help them get back on track:
- Keep a food journal for them.
- Make sure they’re burning more calories than they’re consuming.
- Replace foods with saturated fats with healthier options.
- Reduce sugar intake.
- Encourage active play over sedentary activities.
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Have Diabetes Diagnosed Early and Treated Properly
Type II Diabetes is most commonly associated with obesity, but your child could be at risk of diabetes, even if they’re maintaining their target weight. As diabetes is a common prerequisite to strokes, it’s important to schedule frequent doctor’s visits to catch diabetes early and have it treated properly.
Steer Them Away from Smoking and Drinking
If your child is young, you may be rolling your eyes at this piece of advice. But you’d be surprised at how far the pressure to drink and smoke can reach – especially if you do either of these things in front of your child. If you’re a smoker, consider quitting to set a good example (and protect your child from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke). If you drink in front of your child, do so in moderation and choose healthier options, like red wine.
Make Exercise a Habit
One of the best ways to protect your special needs child from a stroke to is to make exercise a habit for them. It’s easy for young children to get exercise because so many childhood games involve running around. It can be a little tougher to encourage teenagers to engage in physical activity, however.
That’s where Special Strong comes in. Our personal trainers have experience working with children, teenagers and adults with special needs. They have the training and the heart to make a difference in your child’s life. Sign your child up for private training sessions or a local boot camp class today!
Special Strong provides fitness and nutrition for special needs children, adolescents, and adults with autism and other disabilities. Through our online training platform, we also provide special needs fitness certification courses for personal trainers and service providers who want to work autism and other disabilities.