4 Bad Habits Your Kids May Have That Could Damage Their Health

4 Bad Habits Your Kids May Have That Could Damage Their Health

You can be the best parent and still have your kids pick up some bad habits. Not only do they have their friends, but they also have social media as an influence. You probably remember the cinnamon challenge where kids were posting videos where they tried to eat a full spoon of cinnamon. Well, kids not only have full access to viral pranks, they also are inundated with trends and even advertising that can lead to bad habits, which puts their health at risk. Here are four examples of many poor habit choices your kids may be doing that could damage their health.

Kids Are Consuming Too Much Caffeine

Here is a legal psychoactive drug that your kids can purchase from any vending machine, coffee shop or convenience store, and it is actually actively marketed to them. Sodas, energy drinks, small vials of liquid pick-me-ups, mocha lattes and even caffeinated candy bars constantly entice your kids to give it a try. However, the National Institutes of Health admit that the physical and mental effects of caffeine use by youth is not very well understood. Davis Allen Cripe, a 16-year-old from South Carolina, died from a caffeine overdose.

Control Excessive Exposure to Ultraviolet Light

The number one cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet light rays. Getting even one sunburn increases your risk. You may have went out of your way to protect your children when they were very young by slathering them with sunblock for all of their outdoor summer activities. The problem is that teen girls and tanning go hand in hand, and salons that offer year-round UV light to maintain bronze skin are everywhere. Since kids take what their peers say so seriously, finding them examples of teen tanning regrets online could help dissuade them from pursuing a tan at the expense of their health.

Kids Should Brush Longer, Floss and Use Oral Rinses

Once the baby teeth fall out, your kids have one set of adult teeth that need to last them for the rest of their lives. Genetics plays a huge role in oral health, but proper dental care and home oral hygiene makes a difference in the longevity of your kids’ teeth. The fact is that for most people oral care is an afterthought during the daily routine of getting ready for work and school. From an early age as possible you should instill in your children to brush for at least two full minutes at least twice per day and to floss and use a fluoride rinse. Also, your children should see your local dentist once every six months for an examination and professional cleaning of their teeth.

Limiting Blue Light Exposure

Light toward the bluish color spectrum is part of the normal daylight sunshine. There is a spot on your retina that detects this light, and it tells your brain when melatonin for sleep should be released. The problem is that cell phones, tablet computers and PCs emit blue light. This confuses the natural day/night cycles and interrupts normal sleep patterns. Teenagers already need more sleep, and now they are having it altered by having a blue light source in front of their faces at all hours, even up to the point when they are going to sleep. Demanding no screen time a couple of hours before bed is tough, but it could help prevent serious sleep issues from developing in your children.

Dietary habits are another issue that would take a series of articles to address. You may already have concerns about the amount of processed foods and sugar your kids are eating. Whatever bad habits your kids have that concern you, educate them and show them peer examples that will catch their attention. Also, above all, be an example to them yourself.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.