Some remember the term “Blue Baby” and “Hole in the Heart Baby” – these are conditions that describe CHD which, in reality, covers a wide range of conditions. At HeartKids, we also include children who may acquire heart conditions such as Rheumatic Fever and Kawasaki’s Disease – therefore we often refer to CHD as meaning childhood heart disease , rather than congenital heart disease.
Some startling statistics:
- Eight babies are born with a heart defect in Australia every day. That is almost 3,000 every year.
- Childhood heart disease is the single biggest killer of children under the age of one in Australia.
- Approx half of children diagnosed with heart disease require surgery to correct the defect.
- Each week more than four Australians pass away as a result of a congenital heart defect.
- It is estimated that 32,000 children (under 18 years of age) are currently living with CHD in Australia.
- Some children acquire heart conditions during childhood, e.g. cardiomyopathy, Kawasaki disease or as a result of rheumatic fever.
- A disproportionate number of indigenous children suffer from acquired heart disease – often as a result of rheumatic fever, which is prevalent in many communities.
HeartKids are striving to increase awareness of childhood heart disease through various campaign and advocacy programs.