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Drs. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Mike Roizen
Dr. Mehmet Oz is host of the popular TV show “The Dr. Oz Show.” He is a professor in the Department of Surgery at Columbia University and directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr. Mike Roizen is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, an award-winning author, and has been the doctor to eight Nobel Prize winners and more than 100 Fortune 500 CEOs.

Dr. Mehmet Oz,Dr. Mike Roizen

Tags: kids | pets | health | dogs | cats | studies

Kids Get Health Benefits From Pets

Wednesday, 15 August 2012 09:21 AM EDT

Kids With Pets See Health Benefits

Santa's Little Helper, Lassie and Scooby Doo clearly bring joy to the make-believe kids they live with. But your real kids can get real health benefits. Studies show that infants who live with dogs have fewer respiratory infections and less risk of developing asthma. FYI: Cats don't reduce the risk of asthma. But cats, as well as dogs, do help strengthen the immune system, reduce stress (good for hyperactive kids) and get kids out walking and playing more often. These pets help fight childhood obesity - now hitting 20 percent - and a fit kid has a much better chance of a long and healthy life.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals does have some suggestions if you're thinking about getting a pet: Never leave a child 3 or younger alone with a cat or dog; kids can't control their impulsiveness and may provoke an animal. And don't expect children younger than 10 to be able to really care for a pet; that'll be mostly your job. Work with your children so they can learn how to treat the animal, feed and clean up after it, and provide discipline and training.

On the off chance that you bring home a pet and it makes your child uncomfortable or unhappy (occasionally, young kids find dogs scary or overwhelming), don't feel defeated. Find the animal another good home and look into adopting a smaller pet, such as a gerbil or hamster. Love and caring for any pet brings joy into children's and adults' lives.

© 2012 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

© HealthDay

Kids get health benefits from pet, studies show.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 09:21 AM
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