Congenital heart defect symptoms in children could include: Pale gray or blue skin or lips (cyanosis) Swelling in the legs, belly area or areas around the eyes. In an infant, shortness of breath during feedings, leading to poor weight gain.
What are congenital heart defects?
Congenital heart defects are problems with the structure of the heart. “Congenital” means that that the problems are present at birth. These defects happen when a baby’s heart doesn’t develop normally during pregnancy. Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect.
Congenital heart defects can change the way the heart pumps blood. They may make blood flow too slowly, go the wrong way, or block it completely.
When there is hole between two chamber of heart known as septal defect of heart.
Coarctation of aorta
When the main large artery of body named Aorta is narrow.
Pulmonary valve stenosis:
When the pulmonary valve which carry blood to the lungs from the heart are get narrow than normal size
Transposition of great arteries
When the great artery valve pulmonary and aorta and their arteries are connected to swap position.
When the part of heart is not properly develop and it become difficult for heart to pump.
Why it happened?
Most of the case, there is no obvious cause of congenial heart disease but some of the reason are:
Down Syndrome: A genetic disorder ( disorder in the gene that help in characterizing effect of body) that affect normal baby heart development and cause learning problem.
Infection: Mother have some certain infection such as rubella in pregnancy.
Medicine effect: Pregnant woman take some certain kind of medicine such as statin use in reduce high blood cholesterol level.
Use of cigarettes and alcohol
If mother drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes
Uncontrolled diabetes: The mother have poorly control diabetes.
Some congenital heart disease detect in pregnancy using a special type of ultrasound called a fetal echocardiogram, which create ultrasound image of the heart of developing baby. Some congenital heart disease detect after birth or in childhood or in adult hood If doctor suspect a symptom of congenial heart disease he will go for the several test such as an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis.
Heart disease symptoms caused by congenital heart defects
Serious congenital heart defects usually are noticed soon after birth. Congenital heart defect symptoms in children could include:
- Pale gray or blue skin or lips (cyanosis)
- Swelling in the legs, belly area or areas around the eyes
- In an infant, shortness of breath during feedings, leading to poor weight gain
Less-serious congenital heart defects are often not diagnosed until later in childhood or during adulthood. Symptoms of congenital heart defects that usually aren’t immediately life-threatening include:
- Easily getting short of breath during exercise or activity
- Easily tiring during exercise or activity
- Swelling of the hands, ankles or feet.
- Weakness or fatigue
When to see a doctor
Serious congenital heart defects are often diagnosed before or soon after your child is born. If you notice that your baby has any of the signs or symptoms above, call your health care provider.
If your child has any of the signs or symptoms of less-serious heart defects as he or she grows, call your child’s care provider. Your child’s provider can let you know if your child’s symptoms are due to a heart defect or another medical condition.
Complications of a congenital heart defect include:
- Congestive heart failure. This serious complication may develop in babies who have a significant heart defect. Signs of congestive heart failure include rapid breathing, often with gasping breaths, and poor weight gain.
- Heart infections. Congenital heart defects can increase the risk of infection of the heart tissue (endocarditis), which can lead to new heart valve problems.
- Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias). A congenital heart defect or scarring from heart surgery may cause changes in the heart’s rhythm.
- Slower growth and development (developmental delays). Children with more-serious congenital heart defects often develop and grow more slowly than do children who don’t have heart defects. They may be smaller than other children of the same age. If the nervous system has been affected, a child may learn to walk and talk later than other children.
- Stroke. Although uncommon, some children with congenital heart defects are at increased risk of stroke due to blood clots traveling through a hole in the heart and on to the brain.
- Mental health disorders. Some children with congenital heart defects may develop anxiety or stress because of developmental delays, activity restrictions or learning difficulties. Talk to your child’s provider if you’re concerned about your child’s mental health.
Because the exact cause of most congenital heart defects is unknown, it may not be possible to prevent these conditions. If you have a high risk of giving birth to a child with a congenital heart defect, genetic testing and screening may be done during pregnancy.
There are some steps you can take to help reduce your child’s overall risk of birth defects such as:
- Get proper prenatal care. Regular checkups with a health care provider during pregnancy can help keep mom and baby healthy.
- Take a multivitamin with folic acid. Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily has been shown to reduce birth defects in the brain and spinal cord. It may help reduce the risk of heart defects as well.
- Don’t drink or smoke. These lifestyle habits can harm a baby’s health. Also avoid secondhand smoke.
- Get a rubella (German measles) vaccine. A rubella infection during pregnancy may affect a baby’s heart development. Get vaccinated before trying to get pregnant.
- Control blood sugar. If you have diabetes, good control of your blood sugar can reduce the risk of congenital heart defects.
- Manage chronic health conditions. If you have other health conditions, including phenylketonuria, talk to your health care provider about the best way to treat and manage them.
- Avoid harmful substances. During pregnancy, have someone else do any painting and cleaning with strong-smelling products.
- Check with your provider before taking any medications. Some medications can cause birth defects. Tell your provider about all the medications you take, including those bought without a prescription.