As pediatric cardiology care and treatment have improved, children born with congenital heart defects are living longer and healthier lives. Most children now live well into adulthood, often leading long and relatively normal lives.
Through the practice of ongoing medical care, children and adults with a congenital heart defect can live as healthily as possible. That’s why it’s important for parents of children with a heart defect to communicate with their pediatric cardiology team of doctors and specialists regularly.
Maintaining Regular Doctor Visits
By educating themselves, parents will be able to ensure that they instill the habits that their children will need for living with a heart defect. Maintaining regular visits with a pediatric cardiology team are important, because those visits allow parents to make the best possible choices for the health of their child.
Children with heart defects will need periodic testing and monitoring to ensure their heart is functioning as well as possible. During regular check-ups, a cardiologist can also recommend which physical activities are appropriate and determine the effectiveness of the child’s current treatment plan.
Children Can Lead Long, Normal Lives
While a doctor’s recommendations will depend on the type and severity of the heart defect, often children with congenital heart defects can participate in relatively normal physical activities. Some contact sports or those that involve sustained cardiovascular exercise may be discouraged.
Often a heart defect means that not enough oxygen is distributed through the body, which is more noticeable and possibly dangerous when participating in highly physical activities. However, modern medical treatments such as heart surgeries and pacemakers help with this problem, making a long, active lifestyle possible.