Do you ever try to do something and then get racked with sudden shoulder pain you can’t explain? Do you have chronic back pain that you could never have triggered? Studies found that carrying heavy backpacks as children can lead to serious upper body pain. Heavy backpacks also lead to postural problems and decreased lung capacity among teenagers. Backpacks should not exceed 11% of a teenager’s body weight, but school supplies for homework may not give the luxury of carrying fewer books. Worse still, some schools frowned upon students using bags with rolling wheels.
Plenty of habits such as these carry consequences into our adulthood. Awareness of them can give you the right tools and information to avoid further risk of injury or harm.
1. Sleeping with the light on
As a child, you may have been afraid of the dark. To keep the electricity bills low, some parents provided kids with night lights. If you sleep with lights on, studies show that this can increase the risk of depression. This is because exposure to light at night can affect the physiology of the circadian rhythm. However, other factors affect depression, such as body weight, economic status, and mental psychology.
2. Picking your nose
This habit seems embarrassing but harmless. However, picking your nose with dirty fingers can increase the risk of respiratory infections. Studies show that nosepickers are more likely to carry a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, responsible for skin and soft tissue infections. It causes boils and cellulitis.
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3. Watching too much TV
Watching television is a great way to learn or unwind for many kids. It can show them different ways of life, exposing them to cultures they may not be able to access. Educational shows are also more engaging for students, who are more likely to remember facts learned from movies and documentaries. However, studies show that watching too much TV can lead to low verbal intelligence and aggression. In addition, if you have trouble concentrating. research shows it could be because of watching too much TV.
4. Sucking your thumb
Many children grow out of the habit of sucking their thumbs. However, if done for too long, it can change the alignment of permanent teeth. Sucking teeth can change the roof of the mouth. Using pacifiers can also have the same effects, but they are an easier habit to break. Children can break the habit by being told the effects of thumb sucking, but if that doesn’t work, bandage the thumb or put a sock on their hand at night.
5. Consuming too much sugar
Many juices and snacks marketed toward children contain a lot of sugar. This results in damaged teeth, cavities, and erosion. If left untreated, it can lead to root canals or installing crowns as an adult. Studies show that too much sugar for children also increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer for adults. You may also experience joint pain, gout, and fatty liver disease.
Read also: Fatty Liver Disease In Children: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment
6. Eating crayons, rubbers, and toys
Children can eat inedible things because they’re colourful. Children can also have oral fixations. They can obsessively put things in their mouths because they have separation anxiety, social immaturity, or curiosity. If a child is craving clay, ice, or dirt, this could be because of an iron deficiency. Another condition that can lead children to eat inedible items is pica. However, it’s considered pica if the compulsion is to eat one specific item, like only chalk or crayon.
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Eating such items can lead to intestinal obstruction. Some toys also contain lead. Long-term exposure to lead (lead poisoning) can cause mood disorders, developmental delays, irritability, or fatigue.
7. Swallowing toothpaste
Brushing your teeth regularly is great for your dental health. Fluoride decreases dental decay and keeps your teeth from forming cavities. Swallowing toothpaste causes mild effects like stomach upsets. However, swallowing toothpaste regularly can lead to toxicity. It can also lower the amounts of calcium and magnesium in the body.
Read also: 6 Foods To Eat To Prevent Gums Disease
8. Staying up late
Not observing proper bedtimes as a child can affect your weight as an adult. Sleep helps regulate body weight. Studies found that three-year-old children who sleep less than 10 hours a night have a higher risk of developing obesity by age seven. Children who don’t get enough sleep carry the risk of obesity well into adulthood. Sleep deprivation affects weight by increasing hunger hormone levels. People who stay awake longer also have more time to eat during the day. Having irregular sleep patterns also leads to bad diet choices like skipping meals, binge eating, and relying on unhealthy snacks to remain sated.
Read also: 8 Pros And Cons Of Sleep Training Your Baby
It also affects physical activity levels because sleep deprivation leads to fatigue. Being sedentary for long periods of time can lead to a lack of joint mobility, weight gain, and loss of muscle mass.
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