Heart birth defects are problems with the heart that are present at birth. Also known as congenital heart defects, they range from minor to life-threatening. Serious defects may include a complex defect that requires years of surgeries. In mild cases, however, a baby may be born with a tiny hole in the heart that closes up naturally.
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- What are heart birth defects?
How do I manage my child's heart birth defect on a daily basis?
UCLA Health answered
Children with cardiac defects often require extra medical, emotional, and physical support from their caregivers. Even after corrective surgery, many individuals with heart birth defects will still require lifelong care and treatment. Medically, some people may require antibiotics to decrease infection risk before undergoing any kind of procedure or surgery. Emotionally, the heart defect may have caused growth or developmental delays, so supporting your child through any difficulties they may have is important. Your child might feel insecure about being smaller than their classmates or they may have difficulties learning. Physically, children may have limits placed on their exercise and sports activities. Support them through all of these needs, and find a therapist if necessary to help them cope with their development.
Do heart birth defects affect children differently than adults?
Heart birth defects generally do not affect children differently than adults. However, they are usually discovered when a person is still young due to the serious symptoms and health issues they can cause. With very minor birth defects, it is possible for someone not to realize they have the defect until they become an adult. In most cases, however, birth defects are discovered either shortly after birth or around toddler age.
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