These are the symptoms which should alert parents that their child may have a heart problem:
- Cyanosis : As explained earlier this is the result of “blue blood” returning to the body without getting a chance to pass through the lungs.
- Easily tired on exertion, such as when feeding or crying: This is the result of the lack of oxygen for the body cells to use, as well as the result of the heart failure.
- Breathlessness either at rest or on exertion, poor feeding: This is because of heart failure.
- Poor weight gain: The child does not grow well because of heart failure.
- Frequent chest infections : The lungs are more prone to infections in many of these children.
- Swelling of face and body: This is not common in children and represents severe heart failure.
Many children with mild heart lesions will have no symptoms and may be picked up incidentally during a routine visit to the doctor.