Typically, older adults require more cardiac care. However, there is no age restriction dictating who experiences cardiac failure or heart defects. 40,000 children are born with heart defects in the United States each year. Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect in newborns. Affected children either undergo surgery early in life to repair their hearts or need treatment to minimize symptoms. Many kids are living longer and happier lives thanks to advancing technology. These children are making it well into adulthood and even old age with the proper care and advice. As they enter adulthood, seeking monthly or yearly follow-ups with one of our cardiologists at Brookhaven Heart will keep your child’s heart strong and healthy. There are a variety of factors that impact children and young adults’ heart conditions, but they can be controlled if recognized early on.
What are Congenital Heart Defects?
Congenital Heart Defects affect the structure of the heart and its operation. They range from mild to severe conditions. A mild defect is a small hole in the heart that can be sewed up through heart surgery at an early age. A severe defect can include missing or poorly formed parts of the heart. CHD affects how blood flows through the heart and the rest of the body and requires expert cardiac health care to resolve the issue. Some CHD aren’t noticeable until adulthood. Signs to pay attention to are blue-tinted nails or lips, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and sleepiness. Although it can be treated through surgeries such as catheterization, some of the defects can’t be completely cured and need regular checkups.
Help Your Child Prevent Future Heart Disease
Heart disease isn’t a major cause of death in children or young adults; however, it is a leading cause of death in older adults. Some factors can be controlled early in life to reduce the risk of heart failure or disease later. Watching your child’s or teen’s weight is very important. Child obesity is an alarming and rising problem in the United States. By monitoring what your child eats and making sure they participate in daily exercise, you can decrease their risk of diabetes and heart disease. If your child is active, there is a higher chance that they will be active in adulthood too. Encourage physical activity by enrolling them in athletic activities at school or enrolling at a gym. Smoking is another risk for heart failure. It causes shortness of breath and damages the lungs, reducing the intake of oxygen the body needs to function properly. So inform your child of the risks and teach them how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Heart Attacks in Young Adults
We can’t stress the importance of maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly. It’s great to love the body you’re in, but be aware that excess fat can cause long-term heart damage. Type two diabetes is the leading cause of heart attacks in young and middle-aged adults, and this type of diabetes has been significantly increasing in young adults in recent years. Avoid processed food and choose healthier eating options. Take regular walks or do some form of cardio once a day.
Brookhaven Heart Keeps Your Child’s Heart Healthy
Heart defects, diseases, and failures can occur regardless of age. It is important to receive regular follow-ups and treatments to ensure a smooth transition from childhood into adulthood and beyond. At Brookhaven Heart, we get to know you and your heart condition, so we can provide the best cardiac treatment and advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s heart health or need to schedule a checkup, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are here to keep your heart healthy and prolong your life.