Have you noticed that a lot of people and kids these days seems to be hyperactive? This might be a useful tool if one can control it (especially when using the web!) and use it for constructive purposes, but it might not seem like a positive thing for the parent or child before it’s controlled. Read today’s post by Kaity Nakagoshi for ways in how to prevent ADHD.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by the inability to pay attention or focus, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. This disorder is certainly no stranger to receiving large amounts of attention, especially since it is common in children and greatly affects their development, health, and learning abilities. ADHD can be detected in children as early as six years of age, but some children do not show symptoms until later on.
ADHD Numbers to Know
- ADHD affects 6-7% of children and adolescents.
- About 16% of those who are diagnosed are school-aged children.
- Up to 50% of those who are diagnosed during childhood exhibit symptoms until adolescence and sometimes through adulthood.
Although there is no known cure for ADHD, there are ways to prevent it from developing. Keep in mind, however, that ADHD is a psychiatric disorder, so applying these avoidance methods is not foolproof by any means. The main areas of interest that have shown a relationship with the development of ADHD are:
- The mother’s habits during pregnancy
- Lack of breastfeeding
- Environmental factors (pollution, noise, excessive traffic exposure)
Just as with any other potential health problem that children can be diagnosed with early on, the behavior of the mother during pregnancy plays a critical role in determining whether or not a child will be at risk for developing ADHD. Women who smoke, consume alcohol, fail to maintain a healthy diet, and neglect regular doctor visits during their pregnancy are more likely to give birth to children that will be diagnosed with ADHD than mothers who do not partake in those poor pregnancy habits. This is just one more reason why it is so critical for women to find an OBGYN doctor that they trust and feel comfortable with.
Once born, studies have shown that babies who are breastfed are less likely to become carriers of ADHD. This is not surprising, since many child health and development studies have identified a number of other benefits of breastfeeding.
The reason why breastfeeding is so important and plays such an important role in a child’s development is because it affects them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Not only are the nutrients in breast milk ideal for a growing baby, but the physical and emotional connection that is established from breastfeeding is extraordinary.
The first two factors that can contribute to the development of ADHD are fairly logical and predictable, but the last of the three factors is more intriguing. A recent study conducted in Germany reported that children who live in or have grown up next to a busy street are more likely to develop symptoms of ADHD. Basically, children that are frequently and consistently exposed to traffic and city noises are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children raised in quieter environments. The reason for this is because the noise and pollution emitted from a busy and congested city have a considerable impact on a child’s brain development.
Even though there is no definitive cure for ADHD, and no way to guarantee your child does not get it, as a parent, being able to identify symptoms of this disorder at a young will greatly help out your child. As with any medical condition, early detection is key. Once a diagnosis is made, then you can address the various treatment options available.
About the Author
This guest post was written by Kaity Nakagoshi, the Online Community Director for a physician services directory in Florida. Kaity graduated from the University of South Florida and enjoys writing, tweeting, online shopping, and golf. Some of her favorite healthy things are hot yoga, iced green tea with a drizzle of agave, and homemade flourless banana muffins.
Do you have any experience with ADHD? Share your story with us here in the comments!