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Does my child need to give up football?

Q: My 10 years old son was born with a problem in his heart aortic valves. The last check up report states that he is leaking blood and has an enlarged left ventricle. He loves to play football but the doctor has asked him not to play football more than 2 hours a week. Football is his life and it's so difficult for us to ask him to leave it. What should we do?

A:Being a father of Chelsea doting teenage footballer myself, I can well appreciate the predicament that you are in as also how your child might feel on being told to restrict football. It is not that he has to give up football completely but certainly the advice to restrict physical activities is well meant and well intentioned. He needs to restrict the intensity of the exercise and the duration of exercise to relatively moderate levels. I would not be too dogmatic about my advice and would certainly keep in mind the actual symptoms of the child, but in general terms, he should do marginal exercise only.

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