Prevention begins in childhood
- It is important to promote bone health at all ages
- Childhood and young adulthood are the bone building years
- As children grow, their bone mass increases until it reaches what is called peak bone mass (“PBM”) .
- PBM is the greatest amount of bone an individual can attain
- PBM is reached in the late teens and early 20’s
- Children and adolescents who have higher PBM reduce their risk of osteoporosis later in life
What can I do to help my child and teen build and protect their bones?
- Provide a well balanced diet including calcium rich foods such as milk, yogurt, green leafy vegetables and calcium fortified foods
- Be sure your child gets the right amount of vitamin D
- Be sure your child is physically active – Children and teens need to be active everyday and get at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise
- If you observe your child or teen exercising or dieting to excess, speak to them and your healthcare provider
- Stress the importance of healthy life-style choices including avoiding smoking and avoiding underage alcohol consumption since they are harmful to bones
- Teach about the importance of wearing a seatbelt and using protective equipment for sports such as a helmet, and knee pads to protect bones
- Speak to your child’s healthcare provider about their bone health