You think that I am probably thinking about getting over a break-up don’t you?  No, I am talking about your actual heart.  February is American Heart Month.  Most of us think of heart disease as something that affects adults as they grow older, and that there is plenty out there on how to prevent heart disease, like eating healthy  foods and exercise. But children have heart problems, with the most common being a congenital heart defect – something they are born with.

February 7  thru February 14 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.   Each year almost 40,000 babies are born with a heart defect.  CHD affects approximately 1.8 millions families in the U.S. and this subject is very special to my heart since each week I take care of a child with a heart defect.

The CDC webpage has some great information, as does Congenital Heart Information Network and this video.   It uses a lot of fancy words but in simple English these children’s hearts did not develop correctly:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lcixHzMGwE

Take a journey with two different families as they deal with this diagnosis:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCVjWA-6kmM&feature=related

This has more video right after the surgery, so if you are sensitive to that you might want to skip it. (Yes, she is wearing fancy bows.  Parents have so little that they can do until their child goes to the step-down unit that they focus on bows and socks.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emT3fn0B32c

Do you have a child born with a congenital heart defect or do you know a family that is dealing with this?  If not, then I hope I have provided you with new information about the number one birth defect in the United States.

– Leigh