Want to know what causes irregular heartbeat in children and what can be done about it? This article will help you understand about the same. Have a look!
An irregular heartbeat, be it among adults or children, can be considered normal at times. We being humans, tend to get involved in many activities like exercising, crying, shouting, jumping, etc. Experiencing an irregular heartbeat or fast heart rate is fairly normal in these cases. Children are at a growing stage, and are much more physically active than adults. This is why their heart rate is faster as compared to adults. The simple key to understand this is that the younger your child is, the faster would be the heartbeat and vice-versa.
The heartbeat of a newborn infant, while at rest, is generally between 130-150 beats per minute. However, the heart rate for a teenage kid who is physically very active, may vary from 50-100 beats per minute! See, how much it varies depending upon the age of the kid! While most of the time, an irregular heartbeat in children is not a cause of concern, there are some cases when this condition may require serious attention if accompanied by some additional symptoms on a regular basis.
Causes of Irregular Heartbeat in Children
An irregular heartbeat is also known as Arrhythmia. A healthy and normal heart will beat at a regular rate. The whole mechanism is properly synchronized in order to pump out sufficient amount of blood and supply it to the rest of the body parts, as and when needed. However, occurrence of some problems in this mechanism may lead to irregular heartbeat. So what are the specific causes of irregular heartbeat? These are discussed as under.
- Born with a defect in the heart.
- Abnormal hormone levels.
- Consumption of certain medication can also result in irregular heartbeats.
- History of a heart attack.
- Stress or anxiety in children can also cause irregular heartbeats or arrhythmia.
- Coronary heart disease can also be the cause of irregularity in the heartbeat.
Irregular Heartbeat or Arrhythmia Symptoms in Children
As mentioned earlier, not all cases of slow, rapid, or irregular heartbeats are worth worrying about. The irregular heartbeat can be a result of various physical exercises, emotional excitement, stress, and other reasons of similar nature. In order to make sure that your child is suffering from arrhythmia, there should be other symptoms accompanying an irregular heart-rate. Most of the symptoms are observed with irregular heartbeat at night in children. Which means that most children may appear to be fine during the day, however, they may be dealing with an irregular heart rate at night. Therefore, if you do not sleep with your child, then try to sleep with him/her for a day or two in order to observe the symptoms of arrhythmia.
The symptoms may also be observed during the day. Have a look at the list of symptoms which includes the most commonly observed signs of an irregular heartbeat that requires medical attention.
- Murmuring sound from the heart
- Shortness of breath
- Chest Pain
- Fluttering sensation in the chest
- Excessive sweating
- Skipping beats
Irregular Heartbeat in Children: Diagnosis
As soon as you observe at least 3 of the above-mentioned symptoms, especially in the night, it is advisable for you to get in touch with a pediatric cardiologist to make sure that the reason is diagnosed as soon as possible. Many tests like an electrocardiogram (ECG), chest x-ray, ultrasound of the heart, etc., can be prescribed to determine if the condition is normal or serious. Again, it becomes important for the doctor to diagnose whether the condition is a normal sinus arrhythmia, which is very common and mostly doesn’t require treatment; or a true arrhythmia, which requires medical attention. Depending upon the condition and the type of arrhythmia, the doctor will prescribe the medication and devices to monitor the irregularity in the heart rate and help your child’s heartbeat maintain a proper stability.
Learning about this condition in a better way will not only help you identify the symptoms of irregular heartbeat in your child, but also make you take care of your child in a much better way. Wishing you and your child a happy and healthy life ahead. Take care.