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.

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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.

Online Medical Reviewer: Foster, S, RN, MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 4/8/2014
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