Len Rome’s Local Health: Hugs can help kids stay healthy

Daybreak

Child care experts say when we hug our children, it helps them control their emotions

(WYTV) – Doctors are discovering just how powerful the human touch can be.

For kids, a hug can help them stay healthy.

Child care experts say when we hug our children, it helps them control their emotions. It also helps their brains develop.

A hug can release Oxycontin, the “feel-good” brain chemical. It can also help kids manage stress.

For example, a child having a “meltdown” could use one.

“We know that even from the moment we’re born, as a newborn, that touch, physical touch, attention, hugs, are so very important for both nervous system regulation, brain development, just from the moment we’re born. We talk about kangaroo care and skin-to-skin, and that really continues through childhood,” said Cleveland Clinic Dr. Emily Mudd.

If your child isn’t a “hugger” or gets shy around certain family members, don’t force them to hug. Suggest a high five and and explain in advance to relatives.

Hugs will change as your kids get older. Your teenager might not appreciate it in front of his friends.

Just let your children know you’re there for them.

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