A new study suggests a simple trick could improve your child's experience with ADHD.
ADHD can pose significant struggles for young children and their families. There are a number of theories on the best way to tackle ADHD, ranging from medication to therapy, but few medical professionals agree on the best practices for treating the disorder.
According to a report from UPI, however, a recent study suggests that the key to mitigating the struggles of ADHD may be simpler than you think. Scientists at American University in Washington, DC examined a sample of 184 children with ADHD and 104 children without the disorder and found that kids with ADHD were less likely to engage in healthy behaviors recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Sleep Foundation and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
The guidelines not met by participants with ADHD included limiting total screen time to no more than two hours per day, getting at least an hour of physical activity each day, limiting the intake of sugar-sweetened drinks and snacks, drinking enough water, and sleeping nine to 11 hours per night. The ages of the participants ranged from 7 to 11 years old.
The study’s findings were published in the Journal of Attention Disorders. Researchers say their findings suggest that the correlation between healthy habits and ADHD could hold the key to treating the disorder.
“Many parents of children diagnosed with ADHD do not want their children on medication,” said lead author Kathleen Holton. “Having their children follow healthy lifestyle behaviors may be an effective intervention, either alongside or in the place of traditional ADHD medications.”
“Parents of children with ADHD should talk with their pediatrician about how to improve health behaviors, such as limiting screen time, encouraging physical activity, improving bedtime routines and drinking water rather than other beverages,” said Holton in a statement.
A press release from American University describing the details of the study can be found here.