Most people think that only middle-aged or older adults are affected by heart disease. Children’s hearts are healthy, right? But some babies can be born with a heart problem – called a congenital heart abnormality. Some of these heart problems are so serious that they need immediate medical treatment.
Although congenital heart problems usually can’t be prevented, heart-healthy living habits can start at an early age. Youngsters can be taught how to eat sensibly, get regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and not smoke. All of these lifestyle choices can greatly cut the risks for cardiovascular problems as adults.
Heart-healthy living is also important for children born with heart defects. This helps prevent complications from the medical and surgical treatments they may need throughout childhood and adolescence.