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ADD/ADHD Prevention

ADD/ADHD: Prevention

Top Prevention

1. Avoid artificial additives, processed food and dairy products

Another important reason for occurrence of behavioral problems like ADD and ADHD are artificial additives like food colors, flavors, preservatives, sugar substitutes, MSG, instant noodles, white bread, soda pop, etc. Food items containing any of these should be best avoided or reduced to the minimum. Researchers have also noted that processed sugar and carbohydrates may have an effect on a child’s activity level. Hence, the emphasis on a balanced diet with natural whole foods needs to be strictly maintained. Fresh fruits, whole grains and vegetables are full of natural vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Inclusion of these into the diet of affected children or adults will lessen incidence of behavioral issues.

Another dietary culprit is dairy or other animal products. Due to mass production in the dairy business the methods used involve extremely synthetic procedures with heavy chemical applications and artificial hormonal injections. The resultant meat or dairy contains hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and the diseases of the animal as well. These have a highly negative impact on children and pregnant mothers that could lead to ADD or ADHD. To avoid dairy products in the early years has been recognized as the best possible solution. 

2. Encouraging active brain participation

Activities involving attention skills like learning board games, solving puzzles, word making and clay making should be encouraged. These help children maintain their attention span for longer hours and decrease restlessness. Watching television should be avoided also. It pushes the brain in a hypnotic phase which bypasses the judgment center in the child’s brain. TV programs have been known to implant violent and unreal ideas in the child’s brain without any ability on the child’s part to decide whether what they are seeing is right or wrong.

3. Setting consistent behavior limits

Children need a well scheduled life from the very beginning with clear opportunities for activities such as bed time, morning time, meals, simple household chores, hobbies and playing. This attunes kids to their routine and keeps their behavior at check most of the time. The routine should definitely include a lot of rest and, hence, they should go to bed early. They should also exercise outdoors daily amidst fresh air and sunshine. This has the most calming influence of all.

On the parents’ part, they also need to avoid multitasking while interacting with the kid. It is always advised to make proper eye contact while instructing or interacting with the child. You also need to set aside a few minutes every day to praise your child. These efforts calm the child and teach him/her to become more focused and alert. A direct approach with the kid also makes the parents aware of the child’s condition and if your child does have ADHD or another condition that interferes with learning or social interaction, you will be the first to notice it. Also, be aware that an early detection and treatment can reduce the impact of the condition.

4. Reduce exposure to lead

ADHD could also be triggered by environmental causes. Lead has been seen to be the primary culprit in such situations. To avoid this, children should be kept away from busy roads or far off from the threats of exposure to car fumes, which contain lead. Also, lead in paint can trigger such behavioral issues. Hence, older building and toys coated with lead paint should be avoided.

5. Dietary supplements for mother help control behavioral issues

Researchers have noticed that those children whose mothers were given omega 3 eicosapentaenoic acids (EFA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplements during pregnancy had higher mental ability scores, psychomotor development, eye-hand coordination and stereo perception by 4 years of age. Intake of EFAs and DHA during preschool for such affected children also might prevent occurrence of ADHD and help in recovering their learning ability and establishing academic routines.

6. Breastfeeding mothers should pay particular attention to their diet

As during pregnancy, mothers who are breastfeeding need to be careful about their diet and especially need to refrain from alcohol and cigarettes from getting passed on to the child through breast milk. Practicing good and disciplined parental health measures ensures good consequent health for your children.

7. Pregnant mothers should keep away from smoking or drinking

Access to good medical care and practicing healthy habits during pregnancy are the best preventive measures as these not only ensure good physical condition of the mother and child but also helps avoid future complications. Moreover, the expectant mother should not indulge in unhealthy practices like smoking and drinking. The toxic chemicals present in cigarettes and alcohol can pass through the placenta to the unborn fetus and cause undesirable consequences, leading to possible behavioral problems and ADHD.

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