Having a heart murmur means being careful, but it doesn't mean that you have to stop living. Heart issues can be genetic; therefore, there is always a chance that your child could end up with a heart murmur. A heart murmur may be a cause of concern for you regarding their health. Though the murmur may require consideration, it is important that they remain active. Here are three things that you can do to keep peace of mind with an active child with a heart murmur. 

Get a physical checkup before any physical activity

Prior to allowing your child to take part in any physical activity, take them to see their specialist for a check up. First, the general practitioner should give them the green light to participate in any sports activities. Your child should also be cleared by their heart care doctor. The cardiologist will also need to check up on your child's murmur before signing off on sports participation. They will need to be sure that your child's murmur has not gotten worse and that the heart remains strong enough to withstand heavy exercise. 

Keep a medical kit with your child

If your child takes medication or has heart monitoring equipment, you should send the medication and medical equipment with them. Talk to the coach and ask them if they would like to keep the set of "just in case" medical equipment or if they have a place on the sports premises that this can be kept. If you child is older, allow them to carry the medication, equipment, and instructions with them inside of a gym bag. This could help them stay healthy and can be used to intervene in the event of a medical emergency. 

Insist on regular breaks

It is important that your child learns how to stay in tune with their own body. To do this, your child will need to take regular breaks during their sports practice. They will need to understand the signs of their heart and body telling them to slow down. Let your child's coach know that it will be important for them to stop if they begin to feel that they are overdoing it. If your kid is playing a team sport, they may easily be substituted for a new player when they need to take a break. For solitary sports, such as singles tennis or cross country running, your child will need to tell the coaches when they need a little time to rest before continuing the contest. 

For more information about how to approach staying active while monitoring a heart murmur, work with a doctor like those at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital.