Salt Lake City, Utah (ABC4 UTAH) — Heart health is often something adults think about. But keeping a healthy heart starts early in childhood.

“Parents can help their children create healthy habits when they’re young, to help them be healthy now and later in life,” said Adil Husain, MD, chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery for University of Utah Health and co-director of the Heart Center and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Husain offers the following tips for parents to help their children be as heart healthy as possible:

  1. Make physical activity part of your family’s day. This can be playing catch outside, walking in the neighborhood, riding bikes, playing at a park, and other fun activities.
  2. Limit sugary drinks, treats, and candy.
  3. Worry less about weight, and more about healthy lifestyles. If a child has a higher weight, it doesn’t mean they are going to have health problems. The key is in developing healthy habits.
  4. Sometimes, taking a test is necessary to keep kids healthy. Parents who have high cholesterol or are taking medicine to control lipids, or have a family history of these things, should have their children screened as well to keep them healthy.

Children who are born with a heart condition can receive world-class heart care at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. In a partnership with the University of Utah, the doctors at Primary Children’s can help families at the hospital, or in clinics closer to their homes.

Intermountain Primary Children’s heart clinics are open in southeastern Idaho and St. George. New clinics are being built in Montana and at the second Primary Children’s Hospital at the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Campus, which is opening next year in Lehi.

More information is available by visiting their website.

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