What to Expect at Your Child's First Preventive Cardiology Appointment
The Preventive Cardiology Program is designed for kids who are at risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity. Our experienced team offers a positive, personalized approach to help these children avoid cardiovascular disease later in life.
Heart disease doesn’t happen overnight—it takes decades to develop. You are taking an important step by making this appointment now, when there is still time to prevent and even reverse your child’s heart health risks.
The goal for the first clinic appointment is for our team to understand your child’s personal and family health history and current health needs. We’ll also provide treatment recommendations. The visit will last one to two hours.
It’s normal to feel a bit anxious about this appointment. Our team will do all they can to help your child feel comfortable and relaxed. We are here to help!
Making an Appointment
To make an appointment at the Preventive Cardiology Program clinic, please contact us.
A physician referral is welcome but not necessary.
Before Your Visit
Our care team will review your child’s medical records before the first visit. This helps us ensure that the program is a good fit for your child.
If we need additional information about your child, a member of our team will call or email you. During this call, we may:
- Collect more information about your child’s symptoms, health history and previous treatment
- Talk to you about lab tests that need to happen before the appointment
- Explain what to expect at the initial appointment
- Answer any questions you may have
If your child’s appointment is via telehealth, we will ask you to complete a nutrition questionnaire in advance. We will email this questionnaire to you. If your child’s appointment is in person, you can fill out the questionnaire during the visit.
What to Expect at Your First Appointment
Before Arriving at the Clinic
Please arrive about 15 minutes before your appointment time. This will allow you to park, find the clinic, check in and register. If you are running late, please contact us. We recommend a parent or guardian accompany any patients under the age of 18 years for the first clinic visit.
At the Appointment
During the appointment, you and your child will meet with:
- A cardiologist (heart specialist), a nephrologist/nephrology nurse practitioner (kidney specialists) or an endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in prediabetes, diabetes and other disorders related to hormones)
- Specialty nurses
- A registered dietitian
The visit will include a physical exam and a conversation about your child’s personal and family health history. The care team will explain your child’s lab test results and order additional tests if needed. A member of our research team may talk to you and your child about clinical studies available to your child.
The care team also will provide helpful information about your child’s diagnosis, heart disease risk factors and recommended lifestyle changes. They will explain these important topics in a way your child can understand.
Your Child’s Personalized Treatment Plan
You’ll receive a written after-visit summary with treatment recommendations at the end of the appointment. This plan may include:
- Making changes to your child’s eating and exercise habits
- Taking medication
- Meeting with a dietitian to talk about heart-healthy nutrition
- Getting additional labs or diagnostic tests
- Referring you to other specialists and programs at Cincinnati Children’s, such as HealthWorks!, behavioral psychology providers, the endocrinology department and gastroenterology department
The care team will also tell you when to schedule a follow-up appointment at the Preventive Cardiology Program clinic.