Children with CHD should be listened to as they are usually very familiar with symptoms of their heart problem. If they feel that they need to rest they should be allowed to do so and not pressurised to complete an activity they feel is too much for them. Extremes of temperature (hot or cold) may make a big difference to what activities they are able to participate in. As a general rule, if they feel comfortable when exercising, it is unlikely to be dangerous or causing them harm.
Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:
- dizziness or feeling faint
- becoming so breathless that it is difficult to speak
- palpitations (the heart feels like it is pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly)
- becoming very pale and clammy
- severe tiredness or fatigue
If a child with CHD develops any of these symptoms they should immediately stop the activity.