Education.com
Try
Brainzy
Try
Plus

Kids and Their Bones (page 4)

— National Institute of Mental Health
Updated on Apr 14, 2011

My 8-Year-Old Son Is a Daredevil and Has Already Broken Several Bones. Could He Have a Problem Like Osteoporosis at This Young Age?

Osteoporosis is rare among children and adolescents. When it occurs, it is usually caused by an underlying medical disorder or by medications used to treat such disorders. This is called secondary osteoporosis. It may also be the result of a genetic disorder such as osteogenesis imperfecta, in which bones break easily from little or no apparent cause. Sometimes there is no identifiable cause of juvenile osteoporosis. This is known as idiopathic juvenile osteoporosis. Two or more low-impact fractures may be a sign of one of these disorders.

If you are concerned about your son's frequent fractures, talk to his doctor for more information.

How Can I Get Through to My Kids? They Sure Don't Think About Their Bones.

You are absolutely right. Research has shown that children and adolescents do not tend to think much about their health. Their decisions about diet and exercise, for example, are rarely made based on “what's good for them.” But we also know that you have a much greater influence on your kids' decisions and behaviors than you may believe. For example, many teenagers, when asked who has been the greatest influence in their life, name parents before friends, siblings, grandparents, and romantic partners.

Disorders, Medications, and Behaviors That May Affect Peak Bone Mass

Primary Disorders
Juvenile arthritis
Diabetes mellitus
Osteogenesis imperfecta
Hyperthyroidism
Hyperparathyroidism
Cushing's syndrome
Malabsorption syndromes
Anorexia nervosa
Kidney disease
Liver disease
Medications
Anticonvulsants (e.g., for epilepsy)
Corticosteroids (e.g., for rheumatoid arthritis, asthma)
Immunosuppressive agents (e.g., for cancer)
Behaviors
Prolonged inactivity or immobility
Inadequate nutrition (especially calcium, vitamin D)
Excessive exercise leading to amenorrhea
Smoking
Alcohol abuse

The best way to help your kids develop healthy habits for life is to be a good role model. Research suggests that active children have active parents. If you make physical activity a priority and try hard to maintain a healthy diet, including plenty of calcium, chances are your positive lifestyle will “rub off” on them along the way. Here are some things you can do:

  • Be a role model. Drink milk with meals, eat calcium-rich snacks, and get plenty of weight-bearing exercise. Don't smoke.
  • Incorporate calcium-rich foods into family meals.
  • Serve fat-free or low-fat milk with meals and snacks.
  • Stock up on calcium-rich snacks that are easy for hungry children to find, such as:
    • Cheese cubes and string cheese
    • Single-serving puddings
    • Yogurt and frozen yogurt
    • Cereal with low-fat milk
    • Broccoli with yogurt dip
    • Calcium-fortified orange juice
    • Individual cheese pizzas
    • Tortillas
    • Almonds
  • Limit access to soft drinks and other snacks that don't provide calcium by not keeping them in the house.
  • Help your kids to find a variety of physical activities or sports they enjoy participating in.
  • Establish a firm time limit for sedentary activities such as TV, computers, and video games.
  • Teach your kids to never start smoking, as it is highly addictive and toxic.
  • Look for signs of eating disorders and overtraining, especially in preteen and teenaged girls, and address these problems right away.
  • Talk to your children's pediatrician about their bone health. If your child has a special medical condition that may interfere with bone mass development, ask the doctor for ways to minimize the problem and protect your child's bone health.
  • Talk to your children about their bone health, and let them know it is a priority for you. Your kids may not think much about health, but they are probably attracted to such health benefits as energy, confidence, good looks, and strength.

Where Can I Go For More Information?

  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
    Information Clearinghouse
    National Institutes of Health

    1 AMS Circle
    Bethesda,  MD 20892-3675
    Phone: 301-495-4484
    Toll Free: 877-22-NIAMS (226-4267)
    TTY: 301–565–2966
    Fax: 301-718-6366
    Email: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
    Website: http://www.niams.nih.gov

    The NIAMS information dissemination efforts include providing general information, distributing patient and professional education materials, and referring people to other sources of information. Additional information and updates can also be found on the NIAMS Web site.

  • NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center

    2 AMS Circle
    Bethesda,  MD 20892-3676
    Phone: 202–223–0344
    Toll Free: 800–624–BONE
    TTY: 202-466-4315
    Fax: 202-293-2356
    Email: NIAMSBoneInfo@mail.nih.gov
    Website: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/bone/default.asp

    The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases~National Resource Center provides patients, health professionals, and the public with an important link to resources and information on osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases.

  • Milk Matters Campaign

    Website: http://www.nichd.nih.gov/milk

    Milk Matters is a public health campaign sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It is designed to increase calcium consumption among children and teens to help them build strong and healthy bones.

  • National Bone Health Campaign

    Website: http://www.cdc.gov/powerfulbones/

    The NBHC is a multiyear campaign to promote optimal bone health in girls 9 to 12 years old, and reduce their risk of osteoporosis later in life. The NBHC is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health, and the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

  • National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF)

    1232 22nd Street, NW
    Washington,  DC 20037-1292
    Phone: 202-223-2226
    Email: patientinfo@nof.org
    Website: http://www.nof.org

    The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) is the leading nonprofit, voluntary health organization dedicated to promoting lifelong bone health in order to reduce the widespread prevalence of osteoporosis and associated fractures, while working to find a cure for the disease through programs of research, education, and advocacy

For Your Information

For updates and for any questions about any medications you are taking, please contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Toll Free: 888-INFO-FDA (888-463-6332)
Website: http://www.fda.gov/

View Full Article
Add your own comment
DIY Worksheets
Make puzzles and printables that are educational, personal, and fun!
Matching Lists
Quickly create fun match-up worksheets using your own words.
Word Searches
Use your own word lists to create and print custom word searches.
Crossword Puzzles
Make custom crossword puzzles using your own words and clues.
See all Worksheet Generators

Washington Virtual Academies

Tuition-free online school for Washington students.

SPONSORED