February marks American Heart Month and a national movement to wear red in recognition of staying heart healthy. It represents a cause that I advocate for every day.
My son was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome when he was 15 days old. You’ve probably read my article about that day or may have even heard my story first-hand. It was an ordeal I hope no parent ever has to go through. And I’m sure you’ll agree.
But what have you done to educate yourself on the warning signs of heart failure in infants and children?
According to the American Heart Association, the term “heart failure” describes a heart that is not functioning properly. And since heart failure can be caused in many different ways, it’s important to know how to recognize it happening in your child.
For infants, heart failure can present itself in the form of lethargy, breathing trouble (watch for lips turning color), poor feeding or rapid heartbeat. Unfortunately, these symptoms can also often occur as a result of the common cold or fever, making it hard to determine the severity of the illness. If you suspect your child’s symptoms may be more severe, call your doctor right away and get your baby seen asap.
Heart failure can happen to even the youngest of children – even if the statistics say otherwise. Wolff-Parkinson-White for example, usually manifests itself in teens or adults. Gavin wasn’t even a month old when diagnosed. I feel very strongly that as mothers, it’s important we recognize the symptoms of heart failure and know to seek professional medical help immediately.
You can learn more about various heart diseases or to donate to the American Heart Association by visiting their website. You can also locate a CPR course near you by visiting the Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) Class Connector.