As I listened to this story on National Public Radio, I was concerned about the number of children who have strokes. Sickle Cell disease is listed as the number one reason for childhood strokes, along with heart defects, infections, and malformations of blood vessels in the brain. However, what shocked me most was the fact that childhood obesity and related adult diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure is quickly becoming a cause.
If it isn't bad enough that our kids are being put on medication for PREVENTABLE adult diseases such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, now we have strokes added to the list! I don't know about you but having a stroke scares the hell out of me. I worked in an Inpatient Physical Rehab unit at a local hospital and I saw firsthand what strokes do to people. Strokes hit suddenly and without symptoms. People are often left unable to walk, talk, go to the bathroom on their own, or do any normal activities of daily living. Months are often spent relearning these things that we take for granted.
If obesity is a growing cause of childhood strokes and obesity IS preventable, then let's get serious about this problem and take charge of our kids' lives like we are supposed to as adults and parents. Just this week, I read a story about a 9 year old girl who weight 196 pounds. Thankfully she lost 66 pounds, but my thought was how did the parents and her doctor let her get to that point? Wasn't anyone concerned about this when she reached 100 pounds? As a 9 year old or younger child, she wasn't buying groceries or hopefully making rules in the house. Stop trying to be your child's friend and give them everything they want. Going to McDonald's every night or giving candy and soda to your kid every time they throw a fit isn't helping them, it's hurting them. As a parent, I would never want to see my child suffer the effects of a stroke. I don't care if they think I'm a horrible parent because I don't keep junk food in the house. I AM THE PARENT!