In India, an estimated 2,00,000 children are born annually with congenital heart disease. In fact, it is a global burden with 5 to 8 incidences per 1,000 live births, according to an article by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information. However, parents should not solely consider at-birth illnesses. Several heart diseases can develop over the years too.
Therefore, several questions might pop up in your head and you might want answers from the top pediatric cardiologists, like those in Hyderabad. Getting concerns addressed in a transparent and thoughtful manner will help you make informed choices in the long run. Take a look at what to ask the doctor to keep the little hearts beating healthy.
1. Can the Child Play Sports with Heart Disease?
Yes, regardless of the heart ailment, children are encouraged to stay fit. This helps them lead a happy, healthy and active life. Endurance sports like tennis, swimming, bicycling, running and rowing are great choices. In fact, whether the child is suffering from heart diseases or not can be determined through rigorous sports. This is because many physical activities can help existing conditions surface.
2. What is a Heart Healthy Diet?
The best child cardiologists in India suggest moderate amounts of fish, peanut butter, fruits and vegetables, grains, eggs, nuts and seeds as part of the daily diet. Make sure to restrict the intake of whole milk, butter, cheese, pizzas, sausages, bacon and chicken skin. Also, try to avoid palm oil and coconut oil, which are staples of South Indian food. Lastly, make sure the child drinks enough water, since a hydrated heart can do its job better.
3. What are the Symptoms of a Weak Heart?
Children are often unable to express their discomfort correctly. Therefore, getting this question answered can help you take immediate steps before it is too late. The basic signs are usually lack of energy, prolonged shortness of breath, dizziness, frequent fainting, abdominal bloating, coughing while lying down and swollen feet and ankles. These only show up when the disease has progressed quite a bit. Therefore, seek help at the earliest.
4. Which Complications Require Open Heart Surgery?
With the advent of cutting-edge technology, pediatric surgery is much safer and more effective now. A child might have to undergo surgery in case of rheumatic heart disease (RHD), cardiac defect repair, heart transplant, arrhythmia and congenital impairments. These help prevent further chances of heart damage and helps the child live a fuller life. In fact, surgery can be life-saving, followed by regular tests to ensure zero complications.
5. How to Ensure Rapid Relief to Chest Pain?
Until help arrives, offer first aid to your child. Before receiving proper medical treatment, almond milk or a handful of plain almonds can ease the discomfort. In case of heart burn, drinking apple cider vinegar with water can help. In case the child has strained a muscle, leading to heart ache, make sure to apply an ice pack. However, if they complain of crushing pain or might be entering a state of cardiac arrest, call the emergency helpline immediately.
If your child has been suffering from cardiac conditions, work closely with the best pediatric cardiologist, like those in Hyderabad. They can offer the right guidance to raise a heart-healthy child.