Congenital heart defects are not a commonly talked about subject. If you or your child suffers from CHD, then you may have a lot of questions. It can be a scary diagnosis at first, but after you learn more about it, you will realize that it is extremely common and manageable. Following are five CHD facts for you to consider.
1. Children With CHD Experience Different Things
Although CHD is one term, it is a broad term. Not all children with CHDs experience the same things. Congenital heart defects can be mild, but others can be severe. Some children may be born with a serious heart defect that can be detected in utero. Other children may not have their CHD diagnosed until they are a few months of age.
Severe conditions will require necessary attention and surgery. Other, milder, conditions will only require you to monitor the situation. Some children may need more procedures throughout their life, but some may only need consistent monitoring.
2. 1 in 100 Babies are Born With CHD
Because CHDs are the most common birth defect, there are 1 in 100 babies born with a form of congenital heart disease. You most likely know one or more people who have been affected by a congenital heart defect.
3. CHD Does Not Need to Change the Life of Your Child
Although CHD can be a serious condition, it does not mean that the life of your child needs to be much different than any other child. Children with CHD can play outside, eat chicken fingers, watch television, and might avoid cleaning their room.
Although some children may have physical restrictions, this will always depend on their condition and circumstances. Children with CHD should be able to enjoy their feelings, dreams, and worries like other children.
Very often, children with CHD will not have restrictions due to their heart conditions and will be free to participate in regular activities with their friends.
4. Lifelong Care Will be Necessary
Because there is no cure for congenital heart defects, your child will need lifelong care. Although there is the ability to have repairs made on the heart, anyone born with a CHD will be required to have ongoing follow-up treatment throughout their lives. Your child may not need further procedures, but they will still need to monitor their heart for the rest of their life to be safe.
5. CHD Patients Are Strong And Capable
Albeit some patients with congenital heart disease cannot be as physically active as all other people, they are still extremely strong. CHD teaches you to be emotionally strong and to deal with a lot, physically. Sometimes needing surgeries, cardiac catheterizations, stent placement, or EKGs, is a lot to handle. Especially for children, echocardiograms and chest x-rays are never fun, but it makes them stronger in the long run.
There is Hope for a Normal Life
Even though CHD is a difficult diagnosis to handle for a parent emotionally, it can allow you to learn so much. Your child will inspire you with strength and hopefully will push you to raise awareness for CHD.