Understanding Child Heart Disease

Heart disease is a disorder, which affect the proper functioning of the heart. It is common affecting many newborn and older children. This article examines the various types of such disease and their treatment.

Heart disease is a serious ailment and often leads to premature death. Many children can also suffer from it. Child heart disease is actually quite a common worldwide. When a child is born with an existing defect in the heart, it is called congenital heart disease. It affects almost one percent of all newborn.

Often, the first diagnosis is made during routine examination when the pediatrician detects heart murmur. Heart murmur is the noise that the blood makes as it flows through the heart. Heart murmurs are fairly common in children. It is not necessarily a sign of heart problem.

If a heart murmur is due to a problem in a child’s heart, it is caused either by a hole in the heart, a leaky heart valve, or constricted heart valve. To confirm the diagnosis, an examination by a pediatric cardiologist is necessary.

Abnormalities of the heart may or may not be noticeable at birth. For example, a hole in the heart wall will allows blood to travel from one side to the other. In such case, the baby may have blue lips or fingers. This is one of the signs of heart problem.

Another example is an abnormal heart valve, which allow blood to flow in the opposite direction. Such a problem will usually require surgery once the child is older.

Congenital heart disease must be treated promptly or it will lead to more serious complications. Hence, early detection is important. Unfortunately, many heart defects are not detected at birth resulting in more damage to the heart and requiring more extensive treatment.

Some forms of heart problem are actually self-healing. However, in many cases, major surgery will be required to rectify the problems.

While there are risks associated with surgery, the chances of full recovery and a normal life are very high. So the situation is not hopeless.

Connection between Premature Infants and Heart Disease

A baby is considered premature if born before 37 weeks. Most premature babies are born with some form of heart problem. A premature infant’s organs are also not fully developed, and thus require special care in a nursery or intensive care unit while their organ systems continue growth.

Although there is no sure way to avoid premature labor, one of the most important preventive measures to receive proper prenatal care. Statistics show that proper prenatal care greatly reduces the odds of premature birth and related deaths.

The pregnant mother should also maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, keep well hydrated and have at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.

Heart Disease At Young Age

If a woman should go into labor before thirty-seven weeks of gestation, the baby born at that time is considered to be premature. In many cases premature infants tend to have some form of heart impairment arising from heart disease or defect. The incidence of heart malfunction in premature babies is rather alarming.

Premature infants do not have fully formed organs, and because of this the baby has to be cared for in a neonatal nursery or neonatal intensive care unit until such time as they have developed and strengthened enough to continue living without medical support. However premature infants suffer from many other symptoms, not only heart disease. Some common symptoms are hyaline membrane disease, poor ability to feed, inactivity, enlarged clitoris in females, small scrotum in males, weak cry, body hair, breathing apnea as well as many others.

Treatment

Heart disease in premature infants is not completely avoidable although there are treatment protocols that may be followed to treat this. These premature infants are unable before 34 weeks gestation, to suck and swallow at the same time, so many are fed by a tube inserted into the stomach or in very small infants into a vein.

Complications

Complications in premature infants may not necessarily be related to the premature birth but there are many serious complications that can occur as well as heart disease. Some of these are hyaline membrane disease, retinopathy, low blood glucose, bleeding in the brain, jaundice, anemia, growth retardation as well as mental-motor and developmental retardation.

Prevention

There is absolutely no way for a woman to prevent premature labor and the delivery of a premature infant. But there are ways to ensure you are taking the correct steps to minimize the chances of this happening. One of the most important is to receive good prenatal care early and continue throughout the pregnancy. Statistics do indicate that early, proper and continued prenatal care make a huge impact on reducing the odds of giving premature birth and its related risks and deaths.

During pregnancy it is also extremely important to take care of your own health as well. It is vital to eat nutrient rich foods, including fruits and vegetables, daily exercise and drink adequate amounts of water. Although the combination of premature infants and heart disease is a serious situation, with modern medical technology and better methods to lessen the chances of occurrence, the chances of pulling out of this medical quandary are getting better with each day.

Heart Disease In Children

It is amazing that few people are aware that a child can suffer from heart disease. Many people think that heart disease only affects the aged. Heart disease is a very serious problem and child heart disease is in fact a relatively common ailment worldwide. Child heart disease or congenital heart defects are recognized as one of the most widely known birth defects of all. There are statistics to prove that worldwide nearly one percent of all babies born are affected by some form of heart malfunction. These infants are usually diagnosed as having child heart disease upon examination by their pediatrician at birth. Sometimes this is usually referred to as a heart murmur.

Information About Child Heart Malfunction

A child’s heart might have a slight abnormality that may not even be noticeable at birth and therefore it might be difficult to detect any heart malfunction. But normally if a child has a heart defect there is a small hole in the wall of the heart that allows oxygenated and deoxygenated blood to move from one side of the heart to the other. This causes the infant to have either blue fingers or lips.

A problem that might also be experienced is an abnormal heart valve. The consequences are that the blood flows through the heart in the wrong direction. This type of child heart malfunction usually calls for surgery but this is normally performed when the child is older.

What A Heart Murmur Is

A heart murmur is the sound made by the blood flowing through the heart. This sound has been described as akin to the sound of water flowing through a hose. Heart murmurs occur frequently in infants, many are harmless, but others may create serious health risks for the child.

A heart murmur is a common sign of the evidence of child heart malfunction. In many instances the heart murmur is referred to as being ‘innocent’ or ‘functional’. Naturally parents do become extremely worried when the term is used to describe their child’s ailment. But a heart murmur does not necessarily mean that there is anything seriously amiss with the infant.

Secrets to Breaking Your Child’s Bad Habits

Children, at their early age, develop habits; unfortunately, some of which are awful. Bad habits are defined as some things that are annoying, embarrassing or bad to their wellbeing. They include, but are not limited to, nail biting, lying, hitting, hair twirling, thumb sucking, and others. Because it is not easy to break bad habits because, as it is, they are already habits, parents must make sure that effective ways should be done at the earliest time possible. At the first sign or at the first notice of bad habits, try to make plans on how to put a stop to them. There are secrets to break the children’s bad habits and they are about to be revealed now.

Talk to your child heart to heart

Do not get angry or do not become annoyed. Your child has the capacity to understand what you, as a parent, are trying to say. Explain to him that what he is doing are already bad habits, which people will not like to see in him. Because children like the attention and care of other people, your kid will not want this to happen; hence, he will try his best to change.

Make your decision or your plan solid

If you decide to break the bad habits of your kid, be consistent and focused. Try to do everything not to break your own plan. For instance, every time you see your child does it, give him an ‘understandable’ warning; do not give him an awful look.

Reward him for every day that he did not do his bad habit(s)

Tell your child that each day that he will become successful in avoiding his bad habit(s), such as saying bad words or hitting other child, you will reward him with a gift.

Tell him that you care and that it pains you to see him do his bad habit

Tell him ‘Mommy, will cry’ if he will try to do his bad habit again. Tell him that you do not like what he is doing; hence, the crying. Loving as they are, children tend to stop what they are doing when they are warned that somebody will cry…what more if it is their mom?

Teach him some other things to do

Sometimes, kids do bad stuffs because they think those are the only things that they can do. But, if you try to teach them some things to replace what they are already doing, they will develop focus on these things and will definitely forget about their bad habits (though not as fast as it may seem) and may develop a new habit in what you teach, such as drawing.

Some things that are bad do not stay as they are once they are prevented at the first sign. Like children’s bad habits, once parents do things to stop them during the early age of their kids, they are likely to be broken. Communication and focus are the major factors to successfully do this.

How to Help a Child With ADD

Overview on ADD
The initials ADD stand for Attention Deficit Disorder. ADD is believed to be hereditary but no one knows the exact cause of ADD. Children with ADD have a difficult time concentrating, following directions, and a hard time at school.

Teacher’s Concerns
Is your child’s teacher(s) sending home notes, e-mailing you or calling you with concerns? Most times children with ADD seem to be daydreaming when they should be listening to the teacher speak to the class. Or perhaps your child just goofs off in class. Maybe he/she tries to make the other kids laugh which interrupts the teacher explaining her lesson. Or the ADD child may sit and doodle when he/she should be paying close attention and learning.

Is My Child Stupid?
Children with ADD are not stupid at all; in fact it is quite the contrary. Many well-known famous people have ADD or ADHD. One example of a person with ADD is Albert Einstein. What if Mr. Einstein had been
given medication to cover up his personality traits and creativity?

Medication for ADD
A lot of parents of ADD children have concerns over giving their child prescribed medication. Parents have a right to feel this way. Some medications leave your child in a zombie-like state. The medications also diminish your child’s true personality. When children are given prescribed medication they are shutting down their creative part of the brain. Also, if your child is on ADHD medication for two years or more studies have shown that the medication stunts the child’s growth. The measurement is one half inch per year less for the child. Heart problems may be caused from the medication or your child may have an underlying condition that may be affected by taking medication. Always give your doctor your family’s heart history before giving medication to your ADD child.

Helping Your Child With ADD
There is good news that your child can be helped with other alternatives besides medication. You may start a special diet that is high in protein, complex carbohydrates and Omega-3 fatty acids. You may choose to give your child a supplement to make sure he or she is getting the recommended dosage. Your child needs to have at least twenty to thirty minutes of exercise every day. In addition to the exercise, take your child outside and explore nature together. He or she may do this on his/her own, too. Teach your child how to organize by becoming more organized in your own home. Also, sit down with your child and show him/her how to organize. With these steps you will have a much calmer household and you may treat your child’s ADD.

Prevent Heart Disease in a Child

According to the American Heart Association (2008) heart disease in a child is either congenital or acquired. Children of parents with heart disease are more likely to acquire the illness at a future time in their lives. Therefore, preventing heart disease in a child should begin at infancy. Routine pediatric physician visits ought to include interviewing the parent and recording any family history of heart disease; it should also include taking measures of the child’s growth, body mass index and blood pressure. A child with heart disease may not always show signs or symptoms; health care practitioners must be vigilant when it comes to assessing a child for the risk factors associated with heart disease.

When caring for the child, it is important that parents be educated on how lifestyle decisions (involving diet, physical activity, and avoidance of tobacco use) can affect a child with heart disease. Parents must be reminded that hey are role models; taking care of their own health will also benefit their children. Studies have found that children are at a higher risk of obesity, if one or both parents are obese. Risk factors of heart disease in a child should be assessed during prenatal or neonatal appointments; this history should be updated with each visit and used for future reference when evaluating family related risk factors. A parental smoking history should be recorded during the initial prenatal or neonatal visit. The risks associated with second hand smoke should be communicated to the parents and smoking cessation methods should be strongly recommended. It is well known that second hand smoke can contribute to heart disease in a child.

During the first 24 months, parents will often express concerns and questions regarding the child’s feeding schedule. Discussions regarding the introduction of solid foods should include information on nutritionally sound food options; emphasis is to be placed on the need to monitor sodium, cholesterol and sugar consumption. Preventing heart disease in a child starts with making the right food choices. Health care practitioners can advise parents of when to start introducing a variety of vegetables, fruits and grains into the pre-schooler’s diet. It is important that the child acquire a taste for healthy foods. Variety and portion sizes should be consistent with the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Guide Pyramid.

Healthy eating is an important factor in avoiding heart disease in a child; prevention steps must be taken when a child begins to show signs of becoming overweight. Formally reviewing th child’s weight and growth chart, with the parent, may help to emphasize the need for changes.

During this time, parents should combine regular play with excises. It is important that children create a connection between fun and physical activity. As the child grows older, it becomes increasingly important to educate them on the dangers associated with smoking. Fitness should be perceived as a fun and exciting part of their lives; through either formal or informal sports activities. Sedentary time spent watching television or playing on the computer should be monitored. Acquired heart disease in a child stems from a number of modifiable factors including; smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, exercise, and nutrition. Evaluating heart health during regular pediatric care has the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease in the child, the parents and the general population