Importance of Eye Care

At Cornerstone Care Community Health Centers, we believe children deserve the best start in life, and that begins with prioritizing their health from the moment they take their first breath. We have three pediatric healthcare professionals on our team ready to provide high-quality, affordable care to your little ones.

Currently, nearly 20% of children and adolescents in the U.S. are classified as obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Obesity in children can increase the risk of health conditions later in life so it's evident we must go further to safeguard the health of our youth.

Effects of Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity not only poses immediate health risks but also increases the likelihood of developing serious conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes later in life. The effects of obesity on mental health are also evident, as children who are obese are more likely to experience anxiety and depression. Over the past four-plus decades, obesity rates among young people have steadily climbed, with recent years showing a concerning increase in severe obesity and widening disparities across racial and ethnic groups. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated these issues, with children experiencing heightened levels of stress and reduced physical activity, contributing to weight gain.

How Pediatricians help Identify Health Challenges

Pediatricians play a pivotal role in keeping our children healthy. Starting from as early as age two, pediatricians and other clinical providers begin obesity evaluation and treatment during well-child visits, laying the foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits. Regular pediatric well-checks serve as crucial opportunities to monitor a child's growth and development, identify potential health concerns, and provide guidance to parents on promoting a healthy lifestyle. Cornerstone Care proudly offers comprehensive pediatric care, including immunizations, well-child visits, sick visits and sports physicals.

“At Cornerstone Care Community Health Centers, we understand the profound impact that early interventions can have on your child’s wellbeing. Each well-child visit is an opportunity to set your child up for the best possible future. That’s why we work alongside parents to tailor strategies that lead to healthy growth and development and provide the best outcomes for them to lead a long, healthy life,” says our pediatrician, Dr. Max Chen.

Tips for Parents to Help Children Develop Healthy Habits

The following are some tips our pediatricians have shared with parents to help promote a healthy lifestyle for their children:

  1. 1. Encourage a Balanced Diet:

    Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the day and prioritize whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. By following nutrition guidelines, parents can set their families up for optimal health and reduce the risk of obesity-related conditions.
  2. 2. Rethink Sugary Drinks:

    Help kids rethink their drink by replacing sugary beverages like soda and fruit drinks with healthier alternatives such as water, 100% juice, or plain low-fat milk. Limiting sugary drinks can significantly reduce calorie intake and promote better overall health.
  3. 3. Promote Physical Activity:

    Ensure that children engage in regular physical activity as part of their daily routine. Preschoolers ages 3-5 should be active throughout the day, while older children and adolescents between 6-17 need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Encouraging outdoor play and family activities can make exercise enjoyable for children.
  4. 4. Prioritize Quality Sleep:

    Adequate sleep is essential for a child's health and development, with insufficient sleep being linked to obesity and other health issues. Preschoolers need 11–13 hours of sleep per day, including naps. Children 6–12 years old need 9–12 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night, and youth 13–18 need 8–10 hours. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule can help children get the rest they need and lead to better health.
  5. 5. Limit Screen Time:

    Excessive screen time has been associated with various health risks, including poor sleep, weight gain, and poor mental health. Encourage activities that promote physical movement and limit recreational screen time to ensure a healthy balance.

Early Intervention for Better Outcomes

The sooner concerns about a child’s weight are addressed, the better the chances of making positive changes that benefit their overall health.

Making positive changes that benefit a child’s health starts with prioritizing regular pediatric visits, which are often the first opportunity to identify these and other health concerns. Learn more about age-appropriate screenings and well-child checks on our Wellness page.

For children in the Greene County School District, check out our HONEY Program. It encourages children and families to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Every well-child visit provides a valuable chance to assess not just the physical development of your child, but also the entire spectrum of their health. By starting these conversations early, we can work alongside parents and caregivers to implement tailored strategies that support healthy growth and development,” says Dr. Chen.

Cornerstone Care’s Integrated Care Model

Cornerstone’s integrated care model provides patients with access to many different specialists all in one location making it easier to manage overall health and treat multiple health concerns simultaneously. Together our pediatricians and healthcare providers can create a supportive environment where our future leaders thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally. Keeping our children healthy truly takes a village, and by working together, we can build a brighter, healthier future for generations to come.

Our team is ready to see you! Schedule your child's next appointment by calling your local office or using our online patient portal

Cornerstone Care Community Health Centers are here to help you and your family live your best lives, and providing affordable, accessible, high-quality care is always our top priority. If you’d like to get started with us, schedule an appointment online today.

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