Over the last 18 months Dr Callaghan has been assessing exercise tolerance and daily activity levels in children with CHD, hoping to improve both exercise tolerance and daily activity levels in this group through a structured intervention programme of education and individualised exercise prescription. Dr Callaghan has not completed her research and an overview can be found below.
Three key recommendations from her research were;
It is important that families receive early education on the importance and safety of regular exercise in CHD. It is also vital that this is maintained throughout the teenage years when activity levels can decline.
Participation in regular exercise can also have a positive impact on self-esteem and development of social skills.
Even children with complex heart conditions should be encouraged to participate in regular moderate physical activity. If you have any concerns about you child participating in physical activities please ask their cardiologist about an exercise prescription form.
Congratulations to Dr Callaghan for completing this very important research and helping heart children live healthier, fitter lives!