It's natural for many parents to feel worried about their child's health, even after treatment of a congenital heart defect. Although many children who have congenital heart defects can do the same things children without heart defects can, here are a few things to keep in mind if your child has had a congenital heart defect:
Feb. 04, 2016
- Developmental difficulties. Because some children who have congenital heart defects may have had a long recovery time from surgeries or procedures, they may developmentally lag behind other children their age. Some children's difficulties may last into their school years, and they may have difficulties learning to read or write, as well. Talk to your child's doctor about ways to help your child through his or her developmental difficulties.
- Emotional difficulties. Many children who have developmental difficulties may feel insecure about their abilities and may have emotional difficulties as they reach school age. Talk to your child's doctor about ways you can help your child cope with these problems, which may include support groups for parents or a visit to a therapist or psychologist for your child.
- Support groups. Having a child with a serious medical problem isn't easy and, depending on the severity of the defect, may be very difficult and frightening. You may find that talking with other parents who've been through the same situation brings you comfort and encouragement. Ask your child's doctor if there are any local support groups.
- Congenital heart defects. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/chd/. Accessed Jan. 24, 2014.
- Bonow RO, et al. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 24, 2014.
- Overview of congenital cardiovascular anomalies. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/congenital_cardiovascular_anomalies/overview_of_congenital_cardiovascular_anomalies.html?qt=Overview%20of%20Congenital%20Cardiovascular%20Anomalies&alt=sh. Accessed Dec. 22, 2013.
- Yuan S, et al. Congenital heart disease: Emerging themes linking genetics and development. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development. 2013;23:352.
- About congenital heart defects. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/About-Congenital-Heart-Defects_UCM_001217_Article.jsp. Accessed Jan. 24, 2014.
- Facts about hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/heartdefects/hlhs.html. Accessed Feb. 1, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Feb. 1, 2014.
- Congenital heart defects. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/baby/congenital-heart-defects.aspx. Accessed Jan. 24, 2014.
- Congenital heart defects surgery. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/CareTreatmentforCongenitalHeartDefects/Congenital-Heart-Defects-Surgery_UCM_307729_Article.jsp. Accessed Jan. 24, 2014.
- Hochberg L, et al. Folic acid for prevention of neural tube defects. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 1, 2014.