When a child is diagnosed with a cardiac issue, it can be a challenging phase for parents. However, along with medical treatment and care, there are essential preventive measures that parents can take to ensure their child's well-being. To observe World Heart Day 2023 on September 29, Dr P. Sharath Babu, Pediatrician, at Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital, Chennai, has shared a few measures that are crucial in managing and minimizing the impact of cardiac issues on a child's life.
Preventive Measures to be taken for children with Heart problems
Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Promoting a healthy lifestyle is essential for children with cardiac issues. Encourage the child to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Limiting intake of sugary, processed foods and beverages. Encouraging regular physical activity is suitable for their condition, as it can help improve cardiovascular health and overall well-being.
Proper Hydration: Hydration is essential for everyone, but it's especially crucial for children with cardiac issues. Dehydration can strain the heart, so parents should ensure that their child drinks an adequate amount of water throughout the day.
Infection Prevention: Children with cardiac issues may be more susceptible to infections, which can exacerbate their condition. Parents should take steps to prevent infections, such as ensuring proper handwashing, maintaining up-to-date vaccinations, and avoiding contact with individuals who have contagious diseases.
Education and Awareness: Parents need to educate themselves about their child's specific cardiac condition. Understand the nature of the condition, potential complications, and warning signs. Being informed allows parents to make informed decisions and communicate effectively with healthcare providers.
Emotional Support: Managing a child's cardiac issues can be emotionally taxing for both parents and the child. Providing emotional support to the child is equally important. Encourage open communication, and let the child express their feelings and concerns.
Emergency Preparedness: Parents should have an emergency plan in place in case of emergencies. This includes knowing when to seek immediate medical advice, understanding how to perform CPR, and having a list of emergency contacts readily available.
Emotional Resilience: Encouraging children to embrace life with a positive attitude, and help them develop coping mechanisms to handle the challenges that come with their condition. Building resilience will empower the child to face their cardiac issues with determination and confidence.