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Heart screens recommended for children after they get COVID-19

If your child has had COVID-19, doctors at Memorial Hermann said you should get their heart checked before letting them get back into physical activity.

HOUSTON — If your child has had COVID-19, doctors at Memorial Hermann have a message for parents: you might want to get their hearts screened before letting them get back into sports.

For brothers Nick and Noah, getting the virus wasn’t fun.

“For some reason, every time I went up a couple of steps, it would get harder and harder to breathe," Nick Parvizian said.

Even three weeks later, Nick, who’s 13, noticed it was still hard to play outside.

“It was like one minute while playing, and I still had shortness of breath. And it really hurt," Nick said.

Thankfully both boys are doing fine now.

“Right now, I’m normal. I’m perfectly fine now," Nick said.

But with both of them being athletes, their mother wasn’t taking any chances.

“That was really important to us as parents to make sure our kids were healthy before we would go back to any type of exercise or any type of sports," Silen Pahlavan said.

So she took them each to get EKGs to make sure their hearts are healthy.

“It was relaxing, honestly," Nick said.

And Memorial Hermann Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Tal Gospin says that’s the right thing to do, especially if you of their doctor have noticed a change in your child’s energy or heart rate since their diagnosis.

“Looking to make sure that the heart size and function are normal, you can actually have inflammation or irritation of the heart muscle," Gospin said.

She says they have seen heart impacts in a few COVID-19 patients, which is why she says it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially before getting back to sports.

“Sometimes those can manifest more at a high degree of activity, meaning heart rhythm issues, heart function issues," Gospin said.

Thankfully, both Nick and Noah’s hearts are fine, and their mother now has peace of mind.