The moment I became a madre, I became hyper-aware of my child’s health. I just wanted to protect him at all costs. So, it comes to no surprise that talking about children’s diseases can be so nerve-wracking for me and any mom out there. But it’s something we must all do.
The reality is that many Latino children are predisposed to particular diseases in the United States. And many of them are preventable or treatable.
So, before harboring worrying thoughts at night, let’s learn a little about some of the health dangers our children may face. Of course, please consult your physician before taking any advice. All of this is over-the-surface information todas las madres deben de saber.
Type 2 Diabetes
According to the CDC, about 17% of Hispanics/Latinos in the United States have diabetes. There are many factors to this, including weight, genetics, and nutrition. Though most cases are seen for Hispanic/Latino adults, 40% of our community get diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes – children are also at risk. In order to protect your child from ever having to deal with a change of lifestyle due to diabetes, it is important you teach them healthy eating habits and get them to move around as much as possible.
The following statistic is incredibly sad, so I’ll give you a moment before proceeding. Now, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health has reported that Hispanic children are 40 percent more likely to die from asthma. That’s an astronomical number if you ask me. So, what can we do? That part remains unclear, but the experts have said that asthma is often present in children exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke. I’m not here to tell anyone to stop smoking if you’re a smoker – just make sure it’s done in a ventilated area (preferably outside.) At least when children are around.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
According to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (the hospital known for treating and helping children with cancer), its scientists have discovered that ALL is the most common childhood cancer. Sadly, Hispanic children have the nation’s highest incidence of the disease, and they, too, are less likely to overcome the disease compared to non-Hispanic children. A lot of it has to do with genetics, so this disease isn’t preventable. The most important thing to do is to make sure you take your child to their physician regularly; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Amigas, my intention was not to startle any of you. But comadres have to talk about everything, especially when it relates to the wellbeing of our children. This is not meant for you to think about the worst-case scenario. No. Use this information as an extra piece of education that can help your children lead healthier lives.
Sending you and your family infinita salud!