Heart defect? In my baby? Sadly, it can happen.
Congenital heart disease is the medical term referring to a problematic structure of a child’s heart, which they already have the moment they were born. While some of these defects don’t need treatment, there are those that are very complicated and requires several stages of surgery in a span of several years. The AP News also reported that the global cases for children acquiring CHD are increasing, which leads to the trend of the increase of the Global Newborn Screening Market.
In our children’s charitable organization in Atlanta, Georgia, we strongly advocate for the treatment and recovery of children with CHD, especially those who are from Africa. Unlike here in the US where we have easy access to state-of-the-art equipment to conduct heart surgeries, children in Africa have lesser access to such health care. We provide hope to these children and their families so they can have a wonderful future despite their heart condition.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many specific types of CHD. But there are common signs that parents can watch out for. So we’ve compiled a list of these signs so parents can have something to be aware of.
Generally, the serious level of congenital heart diseases can often be spotted after the baby is born or even during their first few months. For those who are expecting, you would want to spot these signs when your baby comes out:
- Skin color that appears pale gray or blue
- Breathing very fast
- Swollen areas especially around the eyes, at the legs, or the abdomen
- Easily gets shortness of breath especially when being fed
LESS SERIOUS CHD
This type of CHD is not easily distinguishable for newborns but can be observed in their late childhood. If you have a toddler or other older children, it can help to always watch out for these signs:
- Gets tired or short of breath easily in the middle of an activity or exercise
- Faints during an exercise or activity
- Swollen hands, ankle, or feet
As soon as you detect these signs, have your child checked with their pediatrician immediately. The sooner that they can be diagnosed, the sooner you can find their treatment.
As one of the African children’s charities in Georgia, we invite you to join us in our efforts to provide hope for children with CHD. You can make a donation for their treatment or be one of our volunteers. We need volunteers to assist the child with one of their parents when they arrive in the country, medical volunteers for the checkups, or volunteers to raise funds with us.
We know that we are changing the world one child at a time. Every ripple of change will create echoes that will last a lifetime. If your heart is touched to make a charitable donation in Georgia, contact us at Save A Child International.