As part of Mental Health Awareness Week we are sharing these fab resources from the Yorkshire & Humber Congenital Heart Disease Network. The theme for 2024 is ‘Moving more for our mental health’. Not only is movement super-important for cardiac health, but is brilliant for our mind too.

Does your child have a congenital heart condition? Here are some activities for toddlers to preschool-age children…

Children with congenital heart conditions need to be involved in play as much as possible.

Children need to be given the opportunity to explore their environment to develop and consolidate their gross motor skills and develop their fitness levels.

If your child has had recent surgery then we would advise caution for the first six weeks and avoid crawling or taking weight through their arms. We would also advise not to pick them up taking the weight under their arms.

If you are worried about their development and physical activity please discuss with your Cardiologist, Paediatrician, Specialist Nurse or Physiotherapist.

The Children’s Physiotherapy team at Leeds Children’s Hospital can offer advice on 0113 392 0609

Activities for children from toddlers to preschool

Floor-based play
Encourage your child to play on the floor

Water play

You can take your child swimming, they may feel the cold more than other children so a wetsuit may be helpful. If they have had surgery it is important that the wound has heeled fully and they wait 8-10 weeks following surgery.

Walking/Running/Climbing

Soft play

Singing

Cycling and scooters

Outdoor play
Wrap up warm and play outside

Information published by Specialist Childrens Physiotherapists, Leeds Children’s Hospital and the Yorkshire & Humber Congenital Heart Disease Network.

Download the full PDF booklet here

© The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust • 2nd edition (Ver 1) Developed by: Sarah Hibbert, Clinical Service Manager and Gemma King, Senior Paediatric Physiotherapist. Publication date 04/2024, Review date 04/2027

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