To help reduce your child's risk of ADHD:
- During pregnancy, avoid anything that could harm fetal development. Don't drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or use drugs. Avoid exposure to environmental toxins, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
- Protect your child from exposure to pollutants and toxins, including cigarette smoke, agricultural or industrial chemicals, and lead paint (found in some old buildings).
- Limit screen time. Although still unproved, it may be prudent for children to avoid excessive exposure to TV and video games in the first five years of life.
If your child has ADHD, to help reduce problems or complications:
March 05, 2013
- Be consistent, set limits and have clear consequences for your child's behavior.
- Put together a daily routine for your child with clear expectations that include such things as bedtime, morning time, mealtime, simple chores and TV.
- Avoid multitasking yourself when talking with your child, make eye contact when giving instructions, and set aside a few minutes every day to praise your child.
- Work with teachers and caregivers to identify problems early, to decrease the impact of the condition on your child's life.
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- Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/index.shtml. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- ADHD factsheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- Bader A, et al. Complementary and alternative therapies for children and adolescents with ADHD. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2012;24:760.
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- Parenting a child with ADHD. National Resource Center on AD/HD. http://www.chadd.org. Accessed Jan. 8, 2013.
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Facts about ADHD. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/NCBDDD/adhd/facts.html. Accessed Jan. 25, 2013.
- Jensen PS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 31, 2013.
- Swintak CC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 21, 2013.
- Goodlad JK, et al. Lead and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review. 2013;33:417.
- Lindstrom K, et al. Preterm birth and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in school children. Pediatrics. 2011;127:858.