Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Parents of children with congenital heart defects often worry about their children engaging in vigorous activity, even after successful treatment.

Children with small defects or a repaired hole in the heart will usually have few or no restrictions on activity or exercise. Children whose hearts don't pump as normally will need to follow some limits. A child with irreversible pulmonary hypertension (Eisenmenger syndrome) has the greatest number of restrictions.

Your doctor can advise you about which activities are safe for your child. If some activities pose special dangers, encourage your child to engage in other, safer activities. Keep in mind that many children with VSDs lead healthy, productive lives.

Consider joining a support group for families of children born with heart defects. Support groups can help parents, families and caregivers find answers, connect with other families, and share their hopes and concerns with others facing similar challenges.

Nov. 04, 2014