Heart disease is often seen an a older persons illness, but it can affect young children as well. Heart disease in children is generally congenital, meaning they are born some will malformation. The types of conditions vary, from holes in the heart, to narrow valves and missing chambers.
In recent years birth weights have risen, childhood obesity has risen and children are engaging in a more sedentary lifestyles. Dr. Kak-Chen Chan, a paediatric cardiologist with Memorial Health Care, says this is leading the way to see more children diagnosed with acquired heart disease. He says all the advice adults should follow when it comes to heart health, like staying active and eating healthy, need to be taught to children as well. “It’s a learned behavior”, says Dr. Chan.
Dr. Chan says parents need to be wary of letting their children have too much screen time with electronics. He also suggests that when a parents takes their child to the doctor, to inquire about their child’s growth curve. Where your child falls on that curve gives an indication of the state of their health.