Most people think that only middle-aged or older adults are affected by heart disease. Children’s hearts are healthy, right? But some babies can be born with a heart problem – called a congenital heart abnormality. Some of these heart problems are so serious that they need immediate medical treatment.
Although congenital heart problems usually can’t be prevented, heart-healthy living habits can start at an early age. Youngsters can be taught how to eat sensibly, get regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and not smoke. All of these lifestyle choices can greatly cut the risks for cardiovascular problems as adults.
Heart-healthy living is also important for children born with heart defects. This helps prevent complications from the medical and surgical treatments they may need throughout childhood and adolescence.
Print Source: Lipid Screening and Cardiovascular Health in Childhood. Daniels, Stephen R. Pediatrics. 2008; 122;1:198-208.
Online Source: CDChttp://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm
Online Source: American Heart Associationhttp://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/About-Congenital-Heart-Defects_UCM_001217_Article.jsp
Online Source: American Heart Associationhttp://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_317587.pdf
Online Editor: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Medical Reviewer: Foster, S, RN, MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed:
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