McMaster University

Child Health & Exercise
Medicine Program

Scope of Search

LIFE and Health
for Young Children with Congenital Heart Defects

(Learning, Inclusion, Friends and Emotional and physical Health)

Physically active play allows young children to LEARN and be INCLUDED in community activities, and socialize with FRIENDS. It also provides EMOTIONAL, psychological and cognitive benefits.

Each year, 3 500 Canadian children are born with congenital heart defects (CHD). Children with CHD are more likely to have a sedentary lifestyle and be behind in motor skill by the time they enter school. Our goal is to support and encourage LIFE and HEALTH among young children with CHD.


To do this, we are going to answer the following questions:

  • What are physical activity levels and patterns of young children with CHD?
  • What are the motor skill levels of young children with CHD?
  • Does treatment history have an impact on physical activity and motor skills?
  • How do motor skills influence physical activity levels in young children with CHD?
  • Do physical activity levels in young children with CHD increase, decrease or stay the same as they get older?


What does this study involve?

This is a multi-centre project between the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO-RI) and McMaster University. It involves one visit to McMaster Children’s Hospital every eight months for two years (4 visits in total). During the visit, we will assess the participant’s motor skill level by watching as they move and perform specific activities, such as drawing, throwing a ball, hopping, and building blocks. The child will then take home a physical activity monitor (about the size of an iPod shuffle) to measure their physical activity over a week.


Who is eligible to participate?

We are looking for boys and girls between 12 and 48 months (1-3 years old), who have visited the Cardiac Clinic at McMaster Children’s Hospital.


If I am interested, who do I contact?

If you have questions or want to learn more about this study, please contact Natascja by email at, or call 905-521-2100 ext. 77566


The LIFE and Health study is led by Dr. Pat Longmuir with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the CHEO-RI in Ottawa and is funded by the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada.

™The Heart and Stroke Foundation logo and word mark are trademarks of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and are used under license.