We Heart Kids

February’s Heart Health Month observance brings fresh awareness of the challenges.

Healthy Heart|Feb.10, 2017

When the smallest hearts need help, it can tug on us the hardest.

A new life — so fragile but so full of promise — threatened from the start by a congenital heart defect (CHD) seems just ... unfair.

February's Heart Health Month observance brings fresh awareness of the challenges.

Nearly nine of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with heart defects, a slightly higher rate than the rest of the world. That’s nearly 40,000 babies annually in the U.S. alone.

Abbott is a leader in the research, design and development of interventional cardiology solutions for pediatric patients worldwide. Caring for children born with CHD is hard on everyone involved. We can help.

"At Abbott, we are keenly aware of the impact that having a child with congenital heart defects can have on families," said Dr. Mark Carlson, division vice president and chief medical officer, Cardiovascular and Neuromodulation.

With the "We Heart Kids" program — created by Abbott employees to provide awareness and educational resources — we partnered with the non-profit Mended Little Hearts to create an essential digital guidebook that provides families with information, tools and support to help them navigate that difficult diagnosis.

The online guide was written for families by parents, caregivers and medical professionals who understand the struggles of caring for a child with a heart defect.

"Empowering families is part of our commitment to helping kids thrive, along with creating medical solutions that save and improve their lives," Dr. Carlson said.

Topics ranging from prenatal diagnosis and hospitalization to caring for children when they come home from the hospital are covered.

"With this resource, we are expanding our ability to support parents and caregivers of children with CHD and furthering our commitment to the community while we continue our efforts to develop safe and effective medical devices to fit children’s growing hearts," Dr. Carlson said.

The "Mended Little HeartGuide" guide is available at www.mendedlittleheartguide.org