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Top 5 Heart Disease in Children

infographic-chd-awareness

Infographic from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Heart conditions can wreck real havoc in any adult’s life. However, they are even more tragic when the condition attacks a child or young person. Numerous types of heart conditions and diseases attack children. These include:

  • Congenital heart deficiencies
  • Viral infections that cause heart failure
  • Illness triggered heart diseases
  • Genetic syndrome heart conditions
  • Arrhythmias
  • Kawasaki diseases among others

The best way to treat such conditions is to understand their causes and addressing them immediately. Treatment of most of these diseases depend on the symptoms exhibited. Here are the five most common conditions to kids.

Congenital heart diseases

This is a heart condition that suffering children are born with. It is normally caused by heart defects that are present at birth. Most defects found in children are structural and of this nature occurring in eight out of the possible 1000 births. These defects touch on heart muscles or heart valves:

  • Mitral valve prolapse which causes the mitral valve to leak
  • Aortic valve narrowing which restricts blood flow
  • Left and right heart walls (Septum) defects
  • Underdevelopment of the left heart side
  • Holes in the heart especially between major blood vessels leaving the heart
  • Combination of all the above defects which is known as Fallot tetralogy

The congenital defects of the heart can have a long-term defect on a child’s health. They are however treated through surgery, medication, catheter procedures and heart transplants in case of severe conditions. You can improve your child’s life quality by dealing with the heart condition as soon as it is realized.

Atherosclerosis

This refers to a situation where fat and cholesterol plaques accumulate in the arteries. The increase of these deposits causes the arteries to stiffen and narrow. As such, blood clots increase and the risks of heart failure continue to heighten. Avoid conditions that out children at such risks such as hypertension, obesity and diabtetes.it is important to have regular screening for children whose family history has high indications of its occurrence. Also, focus on regular exercising and make dietary adjustments and modifications.

Arrhythmias

This is refers to a condition where the heart beat at an abnormal rate. As such, the heart tends to pump inefficiently. This condition affects children in different ways including fast heart rate, slow heart rate, Long Q-T syndrome and Wolff Parkinson white Syndrome. Parents should watch out for symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, fainting, difficulty feeding and fatigue. Treatment depends on the specific type of arrhythmias hence the need to have a doctor diagnose and prescribe the necessary treatment.

Kawasaki Disease

This rare disease affects children only and can cause inflammation of blood vessels in the mouth, feet, lips, arms and hands as well as the throat. Researchers are yet to know what causes it but it leads to swelling in the lymph nodes and is accompanies by fever. It is feared to be a major cause of children with heart conditions since it affects one in every five children.

Most of those affected are under the age of five. Treatment is based on the extent of the diseases with gamma globin or aspirin being used. Usually, children with this condition will spend their lifetime going for regular checkups. The heart has to be monitored all the time.

Heart murmurs

This is a condition where a whooshing sound is made when blood circulates through the heart’s chambers. This is condition could be harmless but at times it is an indication of an underlying heart condition. It is important that you get the necessary test to confirm that your heart is in good condition.

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