3 Tips for Children With a Congenital Heart Defect

Surgeon in scrubs talking to girl (9-11) sitting in hospital bed, smilingEach child with a congenital heart defect requires extra care and attention, which your pediatric cardiology team can help you understand best. Here are three tips for understanding how to better manage a child’s congenital heart defect.

1. Work With Pediatric Cardiology

It’s important to have full knowledge of your child’s treatment. Keep track of the medicine prescribed by their doctor, along with the dosage information. If your child requires oxygen, make sure to understand how much they will need each day.

When you and your child visit with the pediatric cardiology team, feel free to ask any questions you may have. They will be glad to make sure you understand what your child’s condition means and how the treatment process works.

2. Make Good Habits for Life

Living with a congenital heart defect means adopting and maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle. Instill the habits that promote health in your child so they will be able to continue practicing them into their adulthood.

Eating a nutritious diet, getting physical exercise and managing stress are the cornerstones of heart health.

Those with congenital heart problems are at an increased risk for a heart infection known as endocarditis. This is often contracted through the teeth, so it’s important to teach your child good oral hygiene.

3. Know the Limits

Children with congenital heart defects can often still participate in physical activities. Ask your child’s pediatric cardiology team about the type of activities your child can safely do, along with how to know when your child should take a break. Make sure your child’s school and teachers also understand how their pediatric cardiology condition affects them.

Remember that a child with a congenital heart defect is still a child. Although they may require extra care, it’s important to allow them the chance to lead a full life.